BATTI GUL METER CHALU
Directed By: Shree Narayan Singh
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Divyendu, Yami Gautam, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Atul Srivastava, Sudhir Pandey and Farida Jalal
Story: Vipul K. Rawal (Original Concept), Siddharth Singh and Garima Wahal (Adapted By)
T Series, Shree Narayan Singh, Nitin Chandrachud, Kusum Arora and Nishant Pitti’s BATTI GUL METER CHALU is a social drama which talks about the issue of electricity; power shortages and over priced electricity in small towns of India, especially Uttarakhand. Set in Uttarakhand the film revolves around three friends Sushil Kumar Pant/ SK (Shahid Kapoor), Lalita Nautiyal/ Nauti (Shraddha Kapoor) and Sundar Mohan Tripathi (Divyendu) and the issues of electricity which is now a fundamental right and a basic amenity. The story kicks off in the hills of Uttarakhand, where SK is a wily lawyer who makes a living by blackmailing local businessmen who indulge in malpractices. Nauti is an aspiring fashion designer with her own boutique while Tripathi wants to start his own business. The common grouse in the town is the failing electrical grid, which is pretty much their way of life. The second half of the film unfolds in the court, as Shahid Kapoor’s SK launches an all-out attack on the corrupt power company. This segment of the movie serves up heightened drama and in a sense, the first half largely plays on introducing the characters and is a build up to the second half, while the second half serves very well. The film could have been tighter and more focus on the crux of the story would have worked wonders, overall the social drama has its moments of glory and could shine bright.
Technically the film is very good, Cinematography by Anshuman Mahaley is amazing and he captures the hills and valleys of the beautiful Uttarakhand wonderfully. Music of Anamik Chauhan, Arbind Lyton and Vijay Verma is okay.
Performances wise all the actors have done a very good job, Shahid Kapoor keeps a fine balance between the over-confident young man and then his transformation to a more focused man is played brilliantly, his performance in the monologue in the end is amazing. Shraddha Kapoor portrays the fun loving small town girl with ease and panache. Divyendu plays his part of a good guy well; Yami Gautam appears as Lawyer in the second half but sadly does not have much to do. Other actors fit nicely in their characters.
Director Shree Narayan Singh does a good job; he is able to hold up a strong and scathing mirror to corruption and everything that is wrong with corporations and their governance. But also being the editor he could have tightened the film and focused on the story, rather than the friendship between the actors.
At the box-office
The film has taken a fair opening but will need a strong word of mouth to sustain.