It’s time for some raw action! Ajay Devgn has come out with a power-packed action-thriller which he has produced and directed himself. Titled “Bholaa”, this action-thriller features Ajay Devgn himself in the titular role. Bholaa made its theatrical release on March 30, 2023.
Bholaa (2023) Synopsis:
Bholaa (Ajay Devgn), a prisoner, gets released from prison after 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. After his release, he desired to meet his daughter from whom he got separated after his wife’s murder. But at the same time, chaos arises as a group of police officers were poisoned at a party they were attending. Police inspector Diana (Tabu) requested Bholaa to drive a truck with the poisoned police officers in it to a hospital that was five hours away.
As Bholaa along with Diana by his side drove the truck towards their destination, they encountered several gang men on separate occasions. Experience this power-packed and obstacle-laden truck journey where death lurks around every corner! Bholaa’s truck gets surrounded by hundreds of henchmen, and each time Bholaa gets down from the truck bashes up the goons, and continues with his journey. This goes on till the very end. He reunites with his daughter afterward.
Bholaa (2023) Official Trailer:
Breathtaking Action Similar To Bollywood Action Dramas Of The 1990s!
You might have seen Bollywood action-thrillers of the 1990s, which featured Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Sunny Deol, and of course Ajay Devgn in their younger versions. These charismatic actors were in their late twenties during that era and you should have seen their intense action scenes. Their films used to be packed with violent action sequences from the beginning to the end.
Bholaa brought back that cinematic nostalgia of the 1990s! The dramatic essence is high in this movie and appears similar to that of the 90s era. The screenplay is engrossing and is packed with raw and brutal action scenes. As the screenplay unfolds, the thrill packs up with a powerful punch! Throughout his truck journey through the dark forests, Bholaa and Diana encounter hundreds of gang men in separate sequences. Bholaa beats up and destroys all with his bare hands while making his way through the forest in the truck along with Diana. In fact, I feel that this movie should have been named “The Truck” instead of “Bholaa”. Excuse me for the joke. I am saying so because major portions of this movie have been filmed showing Bholaa’s action-laden truck journey to escort the poisoned police officers to the hospital.
Now you may question, why these goons were attacking Bholaa’s truck? Actually, these goons worked for Nithari (Vineet Kumar), a drug dealer who was serving a prison sentence, from whom inspector Diana had seized a thousand kilogram of drugs in the past. That’s the reason the goons were after their blood, maybe to seek vengeance from Diana for the drug seizure and Nithari’s imprisonment. Now such drug seizures happen in India often. Take for instance in September 2021 at businessman Gautam Adani’s Mundra Port, nearly 3000 Kilograms of heroin worth over INR 21,000 Crore was seized.
The climax of Bholaa showcasing the bonding between a father and his daughter after years of imprisonment is sure to make you emotional. The scenes in Bholaa have been edited superbly by Dharmendra Sharma which helps in maintaining a steady flow throughout its 2-hour and 25-minute screenplay.
Power-Packed Performance By Ajay Devgn!
Ajay Devgn seems to have a great time bashing up the henchmen in Bholaa. He has wonderfully adapted himself to this action-packed character which intensifies the thrill. His pairing-up with Tabu is legit. They share a great bond on-screen as well as off-screen. Tabu is Ajay Devgn’s childhood friend and they can be seen in many movies together. Some of the recent ones include the mystery-thriller Drishyam series and the romantic-comedy De De Pyaar De. The dialogues narrated by these two are not so impactful but I must say their action scenes are thrilling. Still, a dialogue narrated by Ajay Devgn amazed me. He says, “Yeh Dharti Banjar Hoke Bhi Buzdil Paida Nahi Karti Hain!” which means, “Even if the soil (of India) is barren, it doesn’t give birth to cowards”. Dialogues like these do bring back memories of the 1990s when such dramatic dialogues were very common in Bollywood action-thrillers.
Deepak Dobriyal as gangster Ashwathama carried out his role well. However, his personality didn’t suit the character of a dreadful gang leader who should have left an impact with a terrifying screen presence. The lead villain in this movie is Nithari (Vineet Kumar), who happens to be Ashwathama’s elder brother. Nithari has been shown imprisoned throughout the entire movie and at the end, dies of a mental shock inside the prison. So, he didn’t have much of a role to play except for shouting and giving vivid expressions from behind the bars. Ashwathama, in his quest of attacking the police station where his elder brother was imprisoned, got killed by inspector Angad Yadav (Sanjay Mishra). I have to say, Sanjay Mishra is an ace comedian. The audiences look up to him as a comedian only. Serious roles like this which involve fighting and killing somebody don’t suit his personality at all!
A Vague Plot
I am used to addressing unoriginal plots as bad. Of course, this movie is a remake of the 2019 Tamil-language action-thriller Kaithi, translated as “Prisoner”. The credits for the original plot go to South Indian film writer and director Lokesh Kanagaraj. So here, Ajay Devgn decided to remake Kaithi as a Bollywood Hindi action-drama by the name “Bholaa”. The plot is predictable as, even if you have not watched Kaithi, you will get to know what’s coming in the climax of Bholaa at the very beginning itself. The father is sure to reunite with his daughter after barging through all obstacles!
Not only is the plot unoriginal and predictable but if you watch the entire film, you will be left with a lot of guesswork to do! There are some loose threads in the plot which the filmmakers didn’t look into while writing the script. Or maybe, the filmmakers purposely wanted the audiences to keep guessing. Bholaa, who was eager to meet his daughter after 10 years of imprisonment, was obliged to help police officer Diana (Tabu) to escort the poisoned police officers to a hospital. Out of all the truck drivers available in this world, only God can tell what actually made Diana opt for the “fresh-out-of-prison” Bholaa to drive a truck and escort the dying police officers to a hospital.
Take another instance. There is a character of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Devraj (Gajraj Rao) who was chasing Bholaa and Diana’s truck while they were trying to escort the poisoned police officers to a hospital. The plot doesn’t establish any valid reason for this chase, although the plot reveals that it was Devraj who was responsible for poisoning the police officers at the party. Might be that Devraj wanted to bury his own misdeeds! Similarly, the scene depicting the murder of Bholaa’s wife at the beginning of the movie was unclear; although the fact is that a dreaded gangster named Chomu Singh had killed her. The reason for this murder was unclear. Also, the character of Chomu Singh has not been established clearly. The identity of this “Chomu Singh” was revealed only at the end. Such loose threads can be enough to irritate the audiences for sure as so much guesswork can cause brain fatigue!
In the post-credits scene, Abhishek Bachchan made a special cameo appearance as Chomu Singh. This gives us a hint that a sequel will be coming out soon in which the story will continue and Ajay Devgn will go one-on-one with Abhishek Bachchan to avenge his on-screen wife’s murder!
The major portion of the cinematography in Bholaa has been shot in the darkness of forests where Bholaa can be seen driving the truck with Diana by his side and gangs of henchmen are pouring at them. Most of the truck scenes have been shot in utter darkness to give the cinematography a cryptic thrill. But dark cinematography may not suit all films. This resulted in many of the truck-action sequences being unclear.
Take no offense, but it is a truth that Ajay Devgn has a dark skin tone. Throughout the movie, he was shown clothed in black from top-to-bottom. And to add to it, he was shown fighting gang men in utter darkness. So, what can you make out of all this? Ajay Devgn disappeared in the darkness even while he was in front of the camera!
Excuse me for this joke! My motto here is not to demean anybody. India is a land of people having dark as well as fair skin tones but despite that, we are genetic of the same race. So, there is no question of me being racist here. What I mean to say is that considering Ajay Devgn and his attire, cinematographer Aseem Bajaj should have considered adding a little bit of brightness to his camerawork. Then the action scenes in the dark would have appeared much more clear.
Also, there are no catchy locations in this film as the majority of the movie has been shot showing Bholaa driving a truck through barren lands and forests.
Bholaa (2023): Behind The Scenes
I also found the story of Bholaa amusing to some extent. In the entire state of Uttar Pradesh in India, there are only two honest police officers, Inspector Diana (Tabu) and Inspector Angad Yadav (Sanjay Mishra). The majority of the police force is corrupt and is associated with criminals. Ajay Devgn might have decided to hand over the script of Kaithi to some smart scriptwriters in Bollywood who have great experience in converting South Indian scripts to Hindi. So, the porridge they cooked out of Kaithi’s script became the plot of Bholaa.
Ajay Devgn has made a mockery of Hinduism in this film. Bholaa, being a Hindu, has been shown hungrily devouring a full plate of chicken in a scene. Even I am a Hindu and I happen to be a hardcore non-vegetarian just like Ajay Devgn. However, that’s something personal. If scenes depicting Hindus practicing non-vegetarianism are shown publicly, they might hurt the sentiments of a majority of the Hindu population in India who happen to be pure vegetarians.
Even if I have praised the high-octane, violent, and gory action scenes in Bholaa, mind it that they may not be suitable for women, children, and faint-hearted people. The songs in Bholaa are not very pleasing but may appeal to the rustic countryside population in India. I have to say, Ajay Devgn has given a series of flops. I am talking about those films which he has produced, directed, and acted-in himself. Bholaa is one such of his recent releases which have been produced and directed by him and in which he has acted as the protagonist. I hope this movie gains mass appeal and does well in terms of business because although this is a truck-based action film whose plot may not seem great, its budget amounts to a whopping INR 100 Crores!
In fact, I am very much inspired by Ajay Devgn and his work. Someday, I desire to produce and direct my own film, just like him, where I plan to act as the protagonist. And yes, if I am successful in making such a film shortly, I will be more than happy to review it on The Movie Blog!
Bholaa (2023): When Action Speaks Louder Than Words!
- Acting - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6.5/106.5/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 6.5/106.5/10
- Setting/Theme - 8/108/10
- Watchability - 7.5/107.5/10
- Rewatchability - 7/107/10