Review: Review: ‘Batti Gul Meter Chalu’ Does Work But Only Sporadically
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramadas
Video Producer: Chandni Sharma
Once upon a time in the picturesque hilly town of Tehri there lived 3 friends. They would give each other big warm group hugs and exchange gifts.
The girl Lalita is a dhinchak dress designer. The street smart Sushil Kumar Pant aka SK has a law degree that he uses to blackmail businessmen and the seedha saadha Tripathi is pleased with himself for setting up his printing factory.
Life is good till Lalita decides she wants to get married. She dates the two boys for one week each to find out who is “husband material.”
She zeroes in on one and upsets the other. Meanwhile the one who wins the ladki has trouble with naukri !
The exorbitant power bill along with the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities pushes him to take an extreme step. This overall is the crux of the movie.
It starts off as a love triangle but develops a social consciousness midway. This is fine but the fact that it decides to tell us this story in the most lumbering fashion is the problem.
Director Shree Naraynan Singh delivers “jan hitt mein jaari films” with generous doses of Bollywood masala. We are accustomed to it, thanks to his last venture Toilet ek Prem Katha.
In this one too there are song and dance sequences, and background score that flips on cue giving us a heads up on when to laugh and when to get slightly emotional.
The fight for justice shifts to adaalat when after the interval Yami Gautam walks in looking all fair and lovely. The melodrama meter is fully chalu and subtlety gul. Surrendering to all contrivances of mainstream cinema is completely fine but what’s the point if we never invest in the on-screen proceedings?
There is a strange disconnect throughout its long and tiresome runtime!
Batti Gul does work but only sporadically. The scenes where the three friends grapple with the enormity of the situation is moving. Also Shahid, Divyendu Sharma and Shradhha try and imbue their characters with some degree of sincerity.
The kumaoni accent is sprinkled throughout and works just fine. But the screenplay is a huge let down. Corruption and no bijli in remote places are important social issues but animated court monologues are hardly the bright solution to this dark problem.