'Bazaar' movie review: Works better than Maari

'Bazaar' movie review: Works better than Maari

Film: Bazaar

Director: Suni

Cast: Dhanveerrah, Aditi Prabhudeva, Sharath Lohitashwa, Aruna Balaraj

Score: 3.5

The exercise of comparison is unflattering. But in the vast cinematic universe, it’s hard to not miss stories that seem familiar.

Early on, Suni’s Bazaar plays like Balaji Mohan’s Tamil flick Maari. It’s a pigeon racing meets-underworld world. The hero, trapped between the two perilous territories, finds peace in love.

Bazaar’s resemblance with Maari grows stronger when the characters are introduced: a cop out to wipe out the mess, a constable who narrates the backstories of the gangsters, a hero’s rival who turns into a monster after tasting defeat and a heroine who is a struggling fashion designer.

Despite an interesting premise, Maari was a damp squib thanks to the lack of inventions. The film required sustained energy but the Dhanush-starrer was frustratingly plain. Maari had only Dhanush’s quirky mannerism to offer and that was not enough.

But Bazaar stays away from the errors of its uninspiring cousin. Suni provides delightful spins to conventional ideas. Unlike his last flick Chamak, which suffered from an incoherent script, Suni treats Bazaar’s different themes with intent. There is a nice mix of style and fire in the gangster portions. The romance, though slightly over-the-top, is still likeable. The handling of the pigeon racing aspect is satisfactory.

While Maari was a yawn-fest, Bazaar is largely entertaining. In Bazaar, we keep receiving small knocks on the head whenever we decide to dismiss many plot points as predictable. The hero (Dhanveerrah as Kalki), not surprisingly, becomes a dreaded gangster’s (a terrific Sharath Lohitashwa as Yajamana) favourite after he saves his life. But not many times do you see the gangster repaying his due. 

In a superb scene, at Yajamana’s funeral, his wife doesn’t just uncontrollably weep. She gathers courage and warns the heroine (Aditi Prabhudeva as Paari), saying a gangster’s wife is anytime a widow.

The writing is impressive. Kalki, an orphan, cares dearly for a pigeon named Amma (mother). The climax scene further shows Suni’s purpose to stay ‘different’. There is nothing more infuriating than to see the Indian cinema heroine deserting the groom for her lover at the marriage hall moments before tying the knot. In Bazaar, the groom gets his chance to shine too and that is sure to garner whistles.

It is the heroine's interestingly written character that lifts the movie further. She is a mind-over-heart person. She is hard working and ambitious and has no time for love, which demands listening to her heart. But a good balance of heart and mind completes an individual and Suni stages a brilliant interval-block scene (spoiler alert!) to drive home the point.

Moments after confessing her hatred towards Kalki’s activities, Paari is forced to help him with a machete when a gang’s sudden attack puts him in danger. Her mind is against rowdyism but the heart wants her lover to kill and survive if that’s the only option.

Aditi is delightfully natural and gives a touch of grace to her role. Dhanveerrah makes a decent debut and sparkles with his dialogue delivery. He is at ease in action sequences but fails to convince in romantic scenes.  

The narrative detours are a problem in Bazaar, which is a tad overlong. Ravi Basrur’s background score is a positive but the same cannot be said about his songs. Santosh Rai Pathaje’s camerawork is the film’s soul.

The director is weighed down by his ‘simplicity’ tag. One wonders how interesting and better he can get if he works as Suni and not ‘Simple Suni’, as he is famously known. Maybe the needless comedy tracks and songs will have no place in the script and the thought-process can might more ambitious.

In the end, will Kalki get his Paari? Paari, interestingly, rhymes well with Maari.