“Badlapur Boys' mediocrity does not do justice to the sport of Kabaddi”
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Badlapur Boys is a very boring film. There were large parts of it pre-interval where I caught a well deserved nap and when I woke up I hadnt’ missed much.
The movie is set in a village called Badlapur in UP (and here I was thinking it’s about some Marathi boys from good ol’ Badlapur here). The village has no water and one man immolates himself in protest. His son is then known as the “son of the mad man” and this leaves him traumatized for life. He vows to restore his father’s honour and goes off to work on a farm. His employer doesn’t allow him to play his favourite sport kabaddi and he watches from the sidelines as his buddies lose every match. Along comes the Indian railway team coach who then proceeds to make this team into the best (how??? Does it matter?? Maybe I missed that while I napped???) Of course it includes traumatized boy who has now also acquired a love interest over a wasted idiotic song with badly dressed background dancers. Lots of melodrama happens (including another romantic interest) and then a dam gets built and his dad’s honour is redeemed but not before the hero dies in what can be only ascribed to wanting to shock the viewers into waking up from their naps.
The setting of the film is quite authentic and even the language sounds pretty real. The bunch of actors who form the team are unknowns and no character is fleshed out enough for us to identify with any one team member. Anu Kapoor as the coach is loud and bombastic. Kabaddi is not a very popular sport and if you don’t know it well it gets boring to watch. Also, none of the matches build any tension and if you are not going to take sides you may as well not watch. The most fun for me was watching the audience in these matches. There were plenty of very old village ladies with their heads totally covered in their ghoonghats. I wonder what they saw of the matches. Maybe they got their kicks peeking at ganji clad men muttering ‘kabaddi kanbaddi’ under their breath.
A sports movie can be taut with drama and inspiring. Badlapur Boys does neither. It gets sidetracked into various other dramas and that leaves you with nothing to do but sleep. Avoid.