At the outset, let us clarify that though the film claims that the story is inspired by real stories, we didn’t find any information about the incidents in the film happening in real life. This did weigh in on the final review, so that’s that.
Netflix has been trying hard to cater to Indian audiences since it launched here. It had the Russel Peters film, The Indian Detective, and then of course, Sacred Games. Along the way came Love Per Square Feet, and all this increased the expectations that audiences had from Brij Mohan Amar Rahein.
The film is about a young shopkeeper in Delhi, who’s harried enough by lenders to take money from a private lender. Things go haywire, he soon has blood on his hands and is the ensnared in a legal tangle that could land him in jail for the rest of his life.
Unfortunately, the screenplay has gaping holes and isn’t exactly believable. The main character, Brij Mohan, decides to take a loan from a loan shark to pay his bank EMIs. In retrospect, it seems that Brij doesn’t fall in trouble for not paying the money, but because he has a very bad habit of not taking calls. Do Delhi businessmen take a hefty loan to repay ones that are structured, taken from banks? We don’t know, and the film doesn’t tell us that either.
There’s zero build-up of any character, though each of them is interesting enough. From the police officer who’s looking for his promotion to the young woman who’s hooking up with Brij just because she can – none of them are explored enough for the audience to connect with them.
The problem with BMAR is that it tries too hard. The performances are earthy, but somehow seem to be notched up a bit. The screenplay too, falls flat after a while. At the end of it all, BMAR looks more like the boring, meandering cautionary tale that elders tell bored younger relatives, rather than the snapper of a dark comedy that it could be. The one character who really bears the brunt is of the police officer, who has two story arcs going for him, but they fall by the wayside as the film progresses and are forgotten by the time the reaches the climax.
The film has another staple of a black comedy – including revamps of old Bollywood songs. It’s cute at the beginning but ends up lost as the delirious second half snaps about. The whacky, what-did-just-happen screenplay stutters to an end and looks like the directors didn’t want to push the envelope just a little more to make it this generation’s Ek Chaalis ki Last Local.
Unfortunately, the character doesn’t endear himself to the audience – after all, he is the unfaithful, phone-ignorer of a man. The last time the audience empathised with a man who had lost it all and took the easy way out was in Raghu Romeo. This film starts off as an Ek Chaalis ki Last Local, but the ending is a film like Satya marrying Raghu Romeo. So, the writers even take away the final whoop from the audience too.
What’s Wow: The film has an interesting concept and it even starts out nicely, making the audience decide to hang on to the main character’s story.
What’s Blah: Almost everything else.
Parting Shot: Not a crime caper for your watch list.
Cast and Crew
Director: Nikhil Bhat
Starring: Arjun Mathur, Nidhi Singh, Sheetal Thakur, Manav Vij, Sunny Hinduja, Vijayant Kohli, Yogendra Tikku, Mohit Tyagi.
Brij Mohan Amar Rahein is now streaming on Netflix.