May 13th, 2010
The dollar in the title doesn’t give away much except that it is another tale of greed and the youth’s desire to get rich quick. But the latest offering from the YRF stable has that and some more. In fact, Badmaash Company chronicles, within the limits of a Bollywood commercial potboiler, the Indian economy post liberalisation of early 1990s with some credence.
You get to know that the movie will give you some gyaan on the economy when you see the headline, Reform and Liberalisation, fit for an edit piece and in font size bigger than the masthead, on the front page of country’s most read English daily.
The film is set in the ‘Bombay’ of 1994 and the plot delves into the kind of unscrupulous techniques people could employ to make money. Extremely high import duty on things like shoes gives the characters in the film an opportunity to find ways to make gains through dubious means.
This is one film from the YRF stable with a good storyline and the moves made by the characters meet with a logical conclusion.
The film moves from talking about a liberalised world to hinting at the asset bubble in the US and in a too simplistic manner shows how people made money by borrowing from too-keen-to-lend banks.
However, at the end of the movie where the director wants to convey that good should triumph over evil and honesty is the best policy, there is a major lapse.
The protagonist says that he would now make money only by “seedhaa” ways but participates in insider trading and even walks away unscathed by the SEC. Looks like the US market regulator in the 90s was as lax as its Indian counterpart.
I went to watch the movie after having read different opinions of critics ranging from it being worth a 1 star to 4 star on their rating scales. Many of them said that it was a mishmash of Bunty Aur Bubbly and Rocket Singh—Salesman of the Year, both YRF films.
Though there are some similar nuances it would be unfair to compare the films.