Batti Gul Meter Chalu

  • 29 Sep - 05 Oct, 2018
  • Omair Alavi
  • Reviews

Bollywood is the bigger film industry in the region but has been accused of copying plots from regional films including Tamil and Marathi films. However, they have gone one step up and now come up with Batti Gul Meter Chalu that borrows its central plot from Pakistani film Actor In Law and makes it into a tasteless film that has a bad first half, an engaging second half with a twist that was revealed long before the interval. As for the acting, with Shraddha Kapoor as the main lead (opposite Shahid Kapoor at his worst), you don’t even get a chance to be entertained at any point.

The story takes place in a remote Indian village where the electricity plays hide and seek all the time (although we know how it feels better in Pakistan). Three childhood friends – hypocrite lawyer S.K (Shahid Kapoor), fashion-designer Nauti (Shraddha Kapoor), and Printing Press owner Tripathi (Divyendu Sharma) use the time without electricity to bond together and when Nauti picks Tripathi over SK, the latter decides to go away and explore other options. One thing leads to another and Tripathi commits suicide so that his parents don’t have to sell their house to pay the huge electricity bill sent to his factory. SK turns sober with his friend’s death and decides to move the court and provide justice to all those who get billed beyond means.

The film’s plot, especially the second half, has similarities to our very own Actor In Law where Fahad Mustafa’s character sued the electric company and used his acting skills to convince the court that the losses incurred by the consumers should be paid by the people profiting from them. It was hardly a 20-minute scene where he challenged the people behind the ‘torture’ and got a verdict in his favour through smartness than anything else. Sadly, the second half of Batti Gul Meter Chalu is anything but smart as the lawyer played by Shahid Kapoor makes fun of the female defence lawyer, informs the judge of cricket score during the proceedings and impresses only if you haven’t seen Actor In Law. To make matters worse, the director fails to capitalise on a massive twist in the story and presents it in ‘by the way manner’ further disappointing the audience.

The only two people who impress are Divyendu Sharma who commits suicide and Atul Srivastava who plays his father and is outstanding in the scene where SK goes to console him. Yami Gautam continues to impress but it was sad to see her character being ridiculed considering she was the better lawyer amongst the two. The songs are forgettable and so is the film, where the director’s satirical use of Vikas and Kalyan breaks the tempo of the story. Overall, the film is something you will forget unlike the director’s last film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha that is still being talked about all over the world for its brave take on an important subject.•