Film Review: Baazaar

‘What goes up must come down’ – director Chawla gives us a lesson in quantum physics while loosely adapting his film on the 1987 Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen starrer, ‘Wall Street’. Rizwan Ahmed (debutant Rohan Mehra) is a small-time share broker from Allahabad who aims big, he sets base in the commercial capital to meet, emulate and work for his idol – kingpin broker Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan), who, we are shown in the opening frames as manipulative and who, with a single phone call can create ripples in Dalal Street. Rizwan’s acumen lands him a job with a top investment firm. Aided and abetted by colleague Priya (Radhika Apte), he impresses Kothari and soon finds himself working for him. Soon, Rizwan lands himself in a vicious whirlpool of fraudulent and underhand dealings.

‘Baazaar’ works around the sharp practices of wheeler-dealers in the stock market. There are oblique references to those involved in the 1992 scam and those bribing their way to procure telecom licences. The film mainly belongs to Rohan Mehra, son of the late Vinod Mehra, who makes an impressive debut. Saif reminds us of his role in ‘Race’ and Apte manages to look glamorous while delivering a fantastic performance. Chitraganda’s role is largely ornamental.

Swapnil Sonawane’s cinematography and the background score by John Stewart Eduri is pleasing. But for the unnecessary number of songs one could easily mistake it for a Madhur Bhandarkar film. The stretched runtime, brand endorsements and a none-too-perfect screenplay makes one recall the term ‘insider information’ which crops up often – if even the filmmakers were privy to that!

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