Film: Babli Bouncer
Cast: Tamannaah Bhatia, Saurabh Shukla, Abhishek Bajaj, Sahil Vaid, Supriya Shukla
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
OTT: Disney + Hotstar
Rating: 3 Moons
How often have you seen female bouncers guarding high-end clubs in metro cities? The answer in all probabilities will be few or none. In the time that we are living, women are leaving behind their impact in every field possible and it is to be wondered why we don’t have enough female bouncers. Tapping into this possibility, Madhur Bhandarkar gave birth to Babli Bouncer. Headlined by Tamannaah Bhatia, the film released on Disney + Hotstar today.
The story takes us straight to 2019 when Babli Tanvar (Tamannaah Bhatia), a young Haryanvi girl, is hit hard on her head. In the next 2 hours, we get to explore the events that led to the incident shown at the beginning of the film. Babli is a fearless, strong and independent girl who happens to be the best among all the male pailwans in the kushti akhada. While her mother (Supriya Shukla) wants her to get married and have more feminine behaviour, it is her father (Saurabh Shukla) who motivates her to lead her life on her own individual terms.
At a wedding, Babli meets Viraj (Abhishek Bajaj), the NRI son of her school teacher. It is love at first sight for Babli who then desires to go to Delhi just for Viraj. Much to her merit, her gaaon wala dost Kukku (Sahil Vaid), a bouncer at a club in Delhi, asks Babli to take up the position of a female bouncer at the same club. After coaxing her parents, Babli embarks on a journey that’s life-altering.
Babli Bouncer has one of the most unique concepts ever explored in Hindi cinema. Primarily targeted toward Tier 2 and 3 cities, the film will hopefully motivate women to stand up for themselves and pave a path to success. While Babli Bouncer is a fun and easy-breezy watch, it is not flawless. Suffering from predictability, the film lacks a strong punch in the script which ends up making it an average one-time experience. Yes, there are smarter moments in Babli Bouncer but that’s not enough to become a masterpiece.
A mundane script is enhanced by Tamannaah’s super solid performance. It will not be wrong to call Babli Bouncer her strongest role to date. She gets the body language of a typical Haryanvi girl right and shows spark while owning the film completely. She gets into the skin of Babli from the word go. Understanding the character’s sensibilities and thought process, she has multiple memorable moments to applaud. But there are two things I fail to understand. One is why is Babli wearing blush and pink lipstick even in the hospital and the other is a peculiar noise she makes with her mouth.
Sahil Vaid is reliable as always. This time, as the ‘heroine ka best friend’, he provides stability and comic relief to the story. Abhishek Bajaj gets a meaty role and the actor does a decent job at it. Saurabh Shukla is seen in a limited and under-baked role. Supriya Shukla has hardly anything to do.
Choosing to release Babli Bouncer on OTT was the best decision ever taken by the team as it misses the mark to qualify for theatres. The perfection that Madhur sought in his previous directorials seems missing in his OTT film. Yes, the plus points include facts that Babli Bouncer isn’t preaching feminism in your face but you cannot even ignore that such stories now seem quite generic. The dialogues play an important role in providing laughs at regular intervals and don’t harm even when they aren’t at their best.
Babli Bouncer is a light-hearted small-town story that has the potential to tug your heart. If a family-bonding night is on the way, this Madhur-Tamannaah could be a good idea. Leaving the misses aside, Babli Bouncer is a decent and one-time film. Half moon extra for the actress’ efforts and another half for Madhur’s conviction and vision to deliver something unusual.
PeepingMoon gives Babli Bouncer 3 Moons