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Bunty Aur Babli 2 review: New duo dazzles but crime caper loses steam in second half

Release Date: 19 Nov 2021 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 18min

Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

The film, which stars Rani Mukerji, Saif Ali Khan, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari, is also severely lacking in the music department.

Shaadi Ali’s Bunty Aur Babli (2005) was about a con-artist couple — Rakesh Trivedi aka Bunty (Abhishek Bachchan) and Vimmi Saluja aka Babli (Rani Mukerji) — who takes numerous suckers for a ride in order to earn a quick buck. But in the end, they see the error of their ways and vow to walk the straight and narrow, all thanks to a senior cop, Dashrath Singh (Amitabh Bachchan), who gives them a rare chance to reform. 

The sequel picks up 16 years later when the couple starts making headlines again for apparently pulling off elaborate heists. But this time, the actual culprits are the youthful Kunal (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Sonia (Sharvari), who are seeking to capitalize on Bunty and Babli’s legend. 

Jatayu Singh (Pankaj Tripathi), Dashraj’s junior who has now risen through the ranks, promptly takes the original Bunty, now played by Saif Ali Khan, and Babli into custody. However, he soon realizes his folly and asks the duo to help him nab their namesakes. 

Directed by first-time filmmaker Varun V Sharma, Bunty Aur Babli 2 has a good build-up. As expected, the writers take creative liberties, plotting imaginative situations where the junior Bunty and Babli dupe their gullible victims, just like in the first movie. Suspending disbelief is the best course of action for the viewer while watching the 2005 film and the same is required here. 

Chaturvedi and Sharvari live up to the hype as the new-age Bunty and Babli. Chaturvedi played an introverted cricketer in the web-series Inside Edge. We saw a completely different side to him in Gully Boy (2019). Here, he succeeds in displaying his prodigious talent once again.

Sharvari is a terrific find. Not only does she look glamorous, but she also is also confident about her acting skills. Mukerji brings the same energy she brought in the first movie. She subtly displays the change one can see in a character. Tripathi impresses yet again as he maintains the balance between being serious and sarcastic. 

Khan’s casting is a disappointment though. It is not possible to take him seriously as his take on Bunty is not a patch on Abhishek Bachchan's effortless portrayal of the rogue. Although he tries his best, he appears awkward on a few occasions.

Bunty Aur Babli 2 has been conceptualized on a grander scale than its predecessor, which is evident when the action shifts to Abu Dhabi in the second half. However, this is where the film starts going downhill, and the strength of the script begins to have an inverse relationship with the grandeur of the location. The narrative becomes dry and devoid of the one thing viewers would expect from the sequel to a fun film — excitement. And although a twist is thrown in at the end, it doesn’t come as a surprise.  

The film also has some flaws which are difficult to ignore. For example, even after pulling off massive heists, Kunal and Sonia are completely clueless about how to launder their ill-gotten cash. 

The 2005 film wasn’t flawless by any means. It entered questionable territory in the latter part of the second half, especially during the scene at the airport. But the film had enough going for itself to keep viewers' interest alive even during this stretch.

Bunty Aur Babli also scored high on the music front. Apart from the title song, tracks like ‘Kajra Re’, ‘Dhadak Dhadak’, ‘Chup Chup Ke’ and ‘Nach Baliye’ are heard even today. The sequel, on the other hand, cannot boast of even a single memorable number.