In a country where access to power is far away from approximately 300 million Indians, and surprisingly, 1.2 billion people are compelled to live with spotty supplies of electricity, the issue of unpredictable supply of electricity becomes undoubtedly crucial. But this is also true that a good subject does not guaranty you to have two and half hours of entertainment and this what happened with Batti Gul Meter Chalu, which comes to a whopping length of 2 hours and 55 minutes.
This is a story of three friends SK, Nauti and Tripathi living in a small town called Tehri in Uttarakhand. Sushil Kumar aka SK (Shahid Kapoor) is a treacherous lawyer who believes in earning money by hook or crook. On the contrary, his friend Sunder Mohan Tripathi (Divyendu Sharma) is a man with a simple character and wants to start a business. Both the friends are in love with the same girl Lalita Nautiyal aka Nauti (Shraddha) who decides to spend a week with each of them to reach to a conclusion whom she actually wants, and guess what she nods for Sunder for his simplicity and rejects SK for not being helpful and sensitive.
But the story doesn’t end here. SPTL, the local private electricity board, starts playing the antagonist in Sunder’s business, which is bogged down by huge electricity bills. Sunder complains about it but the owner who runs this corrupt affair keeps on sending wrong bills of 54 Lakh despite the fact that SPTL is responsible for constant power failures in the town. Sunder and Nauti also try to seek their friend SK’s help considering him a lawyer but being jealous of Sunder and annoyed from Nauti for her decision to choose Sunder over him, SK refuses to help them.
Being frustrated by his chaotic life, Sunder commits suicide one day. This step of Sunder falls like a hammer on Nauti as well as on SK and then he pledges to avenge his friend’s death from SPTL and his owner. He drags the company into the court where he encounters advocate Gulnaar (Yami Gautam), the defense lawyer.
Does Sushil get justice to his friend Sunder? Is the crux of the film.
Screenplay and Dialogue
The duo writers Sidharth-Garima have freshness because there are millions of people living under the threat of power cut. The first half of the film is dedicated to the love triangle and the aspirations of Sushil and Sunder; however, the sequence is overstretched; therefore, it tests the patience of the audience, and this is also the reason the lengthy first half becomes a pain.
However, if you pass through this monotonous phase, you will witness the real entertainment in the latter half when the screenplay picks up the pace. Sushil pledges to avenge Sunder’s death by putting SPTL to see a tough time and the drama reaches to the courtroom where Sushil’s confrontation with Gulnaar and the arguments between the two are the real treat. Written by Garima, the dialogues too have weight and impress you, especially the courtroom sequence in the second half.
Shree Narayan Singh, who directed Toilet –Ek Prem Katha last year, could not hold Batti Gul… the way he took on his previous attempt. Being the editor also, he should have tailored the repetitive sequences in the first half and this is where his feeble authority on the subject is exposed. Although, his narrative style impresses but the loopholes in the script and screenplay drive the whole impact away.
Shahid once again impresses with his intrinsic ability to slip into the character. He enshrouds SK with a sheer brilliance and portrays his wickedness, love interest, anguish, and all other emotions superbly on the screen. Shraddha also impresses and lives up to expectations. Divyendu nails the role of a simple business aspirant and the victim. He draws Sunder and emotions associated with him with depth. Yami, in a brief role, leaves her mark. In other supporting casts, Farida Jalal, Atul Srivastav, Supriya all lend a fine support.
Why Should I Watch?
The 90s born and earlier ones might show the patience Batti Gul’s… first half needs, but the millennial, in our opinion, will surely not. You can go for it for its laudable second half.
Watch Batti Gul Meter Chalu Trailer Here