Bahut Hua Sammaan Movie Review: Bahut Hua Sammaan, directed by Ashish R Shukla (Undekhi), is a heist comedy. The movie revolves around two students, Bony (Raghav Juyal) and Fundoo (Abhishek Chauhan), from an engineering college in Purvanchal, UP. When it comes to academics, they are complete losers, but when it comes to swindling people, they do pretty well in making a fast buck. Bahut Hua Sammaan: 'Wanted to Have Contemporary Take on Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Says Director Ashish Shukla.
There is also Bakchod Baba (Sanjai Mishra), a former engineer who lives a Bohemian lifestyle. He is a supposed genius, who has made his own desi version of Alexa, which he calls as Apeksha. Baba keeps giving lectures on the evils of capitals and consumerism (hence the misnomer), and harks about the need of a revolution.
After Bony and Fundoo fail to make it through campus selections, they are convinced by Baba to loot the bank of their campus. They are to infiltrate the bank's deposit area and steal the money there, including something Baba calls the 'Kohinoor'.
Of course, things don't go as the plan, and now the boys have to deal with the cops led by a righteous officer trying for a baby (Nishi Singh, two criminals Raju-Bhola (Singh Bhupesh and Sharat Sonu) in love with a TikTok star (Flora Saini), a fake godman (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) and an assassin with a penchant for using Panchatantra tales as his kill-line (Ram Kapoor). And yes, most of them are after the mysterious 'Kohinoor'.
Watch the Trailer of Bahut Hua Sammaan:
Shukla's Undekhi, that came out earlier this year, was a hardhitting look into how the rich and powerful can get away with any crime. Bahut Hua Sammaan has the opposite tone to Undekhi. It never takes it seriously at any point, even when it gets prachy about the country's obsession with consumerism. There are comicbook panel editing phases, sound effects are literally written across most of the actions (Deadpool would be proud!) and the language is as colourful as they come. In case you wonder why the need for such crude language, Mishra's character even trolls our double standards about being ok with F-words but not with something like as 'beautiful' as g*nd-mazaki!
The cop's husband (Namit Das, effective as always) trying to convince her for some kiny sex acts extracts a couple of laughs, and does the goon names 'Pablo' Yadav who goes on and on about tatti during police investigation. Particularly laughed my guts out at a moment, during a hallucinatory episode, Bony and Fundoo see a shootout in various forms, from mythological characters showering petals at each other to '90s video-game versions 'pew-pewing'.
The jokes don't end on there. Taking quite a gutsy route, Bahut Hua Sammaan goes on to take potshots from everything relevant in today's political climate, from the Godi Media to the PM's fuckeeri status. The third act involves a plotline about turning the nation's citizens into mind-controlled zombies. Even Akshay Kumar's Canadian nationality isn't spared. Not all jokes land well (a suicide joke cam come across as tasteless in present times), but the tongue-in-cheek treatment makes it hard to take things offensive or serious, whether you belong to the left or right wing.
This whimsical treatment, along with Shukla's quirky direction and an effective cast, makes Bahut Hua Sammaan appealing as long as it lasts. The dialogues (screenplay by Avinash Singh and Vijay Narayan Verma) are sharp, mostly borrowing pop-culture lines and quotes from social media, but a couple of strong lines make some nice impact. My personal fave is when Baba tells the leads that "Kranti do ghante ki picture nahi hai" (Revolution is not a two hour movie). It has to flow on to keep the democracy intact. Bahut Hua Sammaan Trailer: Raghav Juyal, Nidhi Singh, Ram Kapoor's Caper Will Bring the House Down With Laughs.
Sure, this satirical commentary on the sad state of our affairs may not come across as strongly in the film as it should have, more so because the movie tries to tackle various threads. The second half gets muddled at times, when Bahut Hua Sammaan goes for a larger picture, compared to a more contained, and therefore more effective first half. Which is why, despite the potential, Bahut Hua Sammaan doesn't come across as memorable as it should be, turning more to be a pleasant one-time watch. At times, the film reminded me of the brilliant Vijay Sethupathi-starrer Koodhu Kavvum, which I assume, could have been a reference point for Shukla, seeing how both films share similar themes.
The BG score, that borrows some popular '70s and '80s tracks, enhance the fun quotient.
The performances in the film are too good. Especially Sanjay Mishra, who is on an absolute roll here, even getting to wield two guns at a time in a badass moment for the character. His dialogue delivery is impeccable as always, and he gets away with the best scenes. Raghav Juyal's performance is quite an improvement from what I have seen in the ABCD series - he does well with some of the film's sharp lines and displays good comic flair. Abhishek Chauhan, who was impressive in Undekhi, is sincere and confident in a role that is polar-opposite of what he did in the web-series. Among the supporting cast, Nidhi Singh stands out as honest police officer, looking forward to being a mother. Ram Kapoor is effective as the cold-blooded assassin, though I wish the character could have more sharpness. Special mention must also be given to Singh Bhupesh and Sharat Sonu, they are quite the scene-stealers.
- The Cast
- The Treatment
- Satire Doesn't Always Work
- A Muddled Second Half
Watch Bahut Hua Sammaan with no baggage, and you are most likely to find an effective comic heist thriller rolled into a satire, with some smart puns and Sanjay Mishra in excellent form. Bahut Hua Sammaan is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.