Why Batti Gul Meter Chalu was a colossal disappointment

Why Batti Gul Meter Chalu was a colossal disappointment

After the glowing success of his directorial debut Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Shree Narayan Singh decided to up the stakes with his next social drama. This time he replaced Akshay Kumar with Shahid Kapoor, and the topic of open defecation with inflated electricity bills. But Batti Gul Meter Chalu failed miserably to recreate the magic of his debut film, in terms of money as well as accolades.

If the film is struggling to find its feet at the box office, the sketchy screenplay has only dimmed the glow of an otherwise interesting subject.

Set against the backdrop of picturesque Tehri, Batti Gul Meter Chalu has a private electricity company playing the main villain in this story about three friends. But only in the story. Otherwise, there is no dearth of villains – from unimaginative writing to over-the-top performances to bad editing.

Back to the story: It all begins with a ‘gehri dosti’ between a crafty lawyer Sushil Kumar Pant aka SK (Shahid Kapoor), a wannabe fashion designer Lalita Nautiyal (Shraddha Kapoor) and a simple businessman Sundar Mohan Tripathi (Divyendu Sharma). But things take an ugly turn as soon as the story steers the usual course of a love triangle. Singh dedicates more than 1.5 hours of the film’s running time to a love story that fails to create even the slightest of emotion, forget being of any consequence to the main subject. But then who cares, right?

If romance plays hero, inflated electricity bills turn villain in this otherwise boring love story. And that’s when Singh decides to finally address the elephant in the room and stabilise the otherwise flickering story.

Constant power cuts, faulty meters, overpriced billing and a corrupt electricity company almost drives Sundar to the brink, and thus begin the war against the company. With Shahid taking the centrestage as a lawyer, Singh goes into an activism drive.

If the first half is marred by a forced love story, Batti Gul Meter Chalu turns into a slapstick courtroom drama in the second half. From a cricket-crazy judge to dramatic monologues to cringe-worthy sexist jibes, everything about the second half makes you want to leave the theatre.

The 161-minute social drama becomes a drag because Singh forgets to use the scissors during his edit sessions.

Batti Gul Meter Chalu is nothing you have never seen before in Bollywood. A tried and tested mash up of a not-so-required love triangle, an over-the-top courtroom drama and overtly-abused activism. And that’s what makes Shree Narayan Singh’s sophomore project a big disappointment.

 

Source:- indiatoday

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