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There's a crooked lawyer, Shahid Kapoor (extortionist in the first half I would say). There's an aspiring fashion designer, Shraddha Kapoor. There's a factory owner, Divyendu Sharma. There's a lawyer, Yami Gautam. But where's the electrician who was so direly needed to fix the umpteen voltage fluctuations that the story-telling has? Shree Narayan Singh, who was fine with his craftsmanship in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, fails to make Batti Gul Meter Chalu hold your attention throughout. The second half, in particular, is too comical to digest for a portrayal of the burning problem of electricity thefts and high bills which is the premise of the film. So obviously, a restrained and intense actor like Shahid Kapoor ends up hamming in portions. Yami Gautam, who had caught the eye in Kaabil, needs to give an explanation on why she took up this role which introduces her when you are squirming in your seat for the film to culminate. Shraddha Kapoor is fine and the role between Shahid and Divyendu suits her.
More on Shahid. Heart bleeds to see that this fine actor has got a raw deal. He puts his best foot forward in most scenes but Narayan fails him terribly, so much so that the man at the helm does not know that even his choreographer is compelling Shahid to do steps which don't do justice to his dancing skills. Narayan has clearly not done his basic homework on not only the hero but even the sensitivity of the relevant subject he is handling else he wouldn't have made his second half so animated that it borders on the hinge of buffonery. Why does he want us to laugh when Divyendu (who has done a good job) has committed suicide? And pray, how does Shraddha get over her lover so quickly? Narayan, some sensitivity please. Filmmaking is not a 1000m sprint.
Shahid and Divyendu in Batti Gull Meter Chalu
The music is again one of those types, where you can barely remember the first or second line, and then... Phew, so typical of contemproary times.
So what is good? Well I have already told you- Shahid, Shraddha and Divyendu. And yes, the first half is nice especially the portions where Shraddha dates Divyendu and Shahid both to see whom she has or can develop 'those' feelings for. There is a cherry (can't call BGMC a cake, though) yes, Shahid Kapoor's outburst in the court (but to a judge who is distracted in hoping that Dinesh Karthik will hoist a six in an on-going match!). There are several phases in the film when you start enjoying it, but suddenly it plunges into unrequired humour.
Shraddha Kapoor And Shahid Kapoor In Batti Gul Meter Chalu
And hey, I will pay the electricity bill of 12 months of anyone who can convince me why talented artistes like Farida Jalal and Supriya Pilgaonkar were taken?
Yami Gautam In Batti Gul Meter Chalu
The end is another disappointment. Narayan feels that he is pulling a rabit out of his hat. But it's that repair job which conks off as soon as the electrician has left your house- hota hai na aisa? Well, I am pushing myself to TWO-AND-HALF.