After films like Shagird and Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster, Tigmanshu Dhulia has carved an identity for himself as the maker of films with intense characters and engaging plots. His latest venture, Bullett Raja, however, screams mass entertainer.
Has Dhulia succeeded in maintaining a balance between his sanity and the non-real action-comedy that qualifies for mass entertainers these days? Critics believe Tigmanshu should stick to his forte of realistic films that focus on political-criminal nexus. Dhulia's intensity is somewhere lost in the commercialisation, feel critics.
The film begins on an abrupt note with Mahie Gill suddenly gyrating to the tunes of 'Don't Touch My Body', with probably some of the worst facial expressions ever seen in an item number.
The story deals with two well-educated guys (Jimmy Shergill and Saif Ali Khan) who get trapped in a crime saga, and end up becoming goons themselves.
The film lacks Tigmanshu's trademark character depth. Gaurav Malani writes for Times of India, "You never really know how the jobless graduate Raja Mishra (Saif Ali Khan), with no criminal background, is such a pro at shooting that he never ever misses a mark."
Also you never get to see how these two strangers become Jai-Viru (think Sholay) in a matter of minutes.
The script does not offer anything new to the audience either. Mohar Basu writes for Koimoi, "The script itself is so unenjoyable that there is indeed very little to rescue it. The story has no embellishing factor that offers anything new to the audiences."
As for performances, Tigmanshu has roped in some of the best actors in Bollywood. While Jimmy adds another feather to his cap with his interpretation of Rudra, Saif's Raja Misra lacks the intensity of a Langda Tyagi. Deepanjana Pal writes for Firstpost, "The two men who are fun to watch are Shergill and Vidyut Jammwal. Khan might be the star of the film, but Shergill is very much the hero of the first half and if there is a central story to Bullett Raja, it’s the bromance that he shares with Khan’s character."
Film analyst Saurabh Dwivedi (India Today) writes, "In role of the main lead in the film is Saif Ali Khan whose efforts are for everyone to see. But comparing Saif's role as UP mafia to his role as Langda Tyagi would be unfair since that raised the bar pretty high."
Sonakshi Sinha does not have much to do in the film, except for the usual song-and-dance sequence. Gulshan Grover, Raj Babbar and Ravi Kishan have also fared well.
Thankfully, the dialogues in the film are a treat. Peppered with typical north Indian dialect and accent, Tigmanshu has written his dialogues in perfect sync with his new 'commercial venture'.
Saurabh Dwivedi agrees and says that the film will "only be remembered for its dialogues."
Some of the dialogues worth mentioning are…
When the political conspiracies are upturned against the protagonists: UP ki rajneeti ne sabke khaas khatam kar diye.
When Saif and Jimmy, two educated guys, decide to turn goons: Padhe likhe bakait milte kahan hain.
Another one mouthed by Saif: Samjhe to paida hue the... brahman jo hain... humaare yaha badle ka riwaz hai, corporate culture nai hai ki agle quarter me adjust kar lenge.
As a mass entertainer, Bullett Raja has abundant melodrama but it is not over-the-top like Rowdy Rathore or even Dabangg.