Batti Gul Meter Chalu: Relevant theme, few sparks

Batti Gul Meter Chalu: Relevant theme, few sparks

Hindi (U/A)

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha kapoor, Divyendu, Yami Gautam

Director: Shree Narayan Singh

Rating: **

Three friends. One of them (Divyendu) opens a printing factory but fails because he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. The second (Shahid Kapoor) bails him out because he is the brightest bulb in town. And the third (Shraddha Kapoor) spends three hours choosing between the two.

Batti Gul Meter Chalu uses frequent power outages to prick the achhe din bubble. But it is too long drawn-out to bring out any genuine spark. Yes, electricity is precious. But 175 minutes to bring it home! Watt a waste!

Set in Uttarakhand’s Tehri, the movie confronts ‘Vikas’ and ‘Kalyan’ with some dark truths. That’s quite a shift for director Shree Narayan Singh whose Toilet: Ek Prem Katha sang hosanna to the powers that be. Barring this courageous departure, Batti... remains a flicker that focuses more on three friends’ PDA than jacked-up electricity bills.    

Curiously, electricity woes aren’t given much room in the first half. But Shraddha’s electric blue hair streaks are. The lady and her men eat, drink and hug amid countless bike rides. Here, biscuits get more focus than businesses shutting down due to power shortage.

If anybody carries a torch for anything, it’s Shahid Kapoor. As the quirky, small-time lawyer, he makes an earnest attempt. A dip in the Ganga, some yoga... and the man makes the most of the courtroom drama. Alas, the meter is off.