Director Habib Faisal has a soft corner for melding a theme with food. His last directorial – Daawat-e-Ishq – had a love story blooming while sampling all kinds of Lucknowi food. Qaidi Band, too, lays emphasis on food through its song ‘I am India‘, where it says there’s a bit of khattas (sour) and meethas (sweet) in everybody.
The film, much like his previous films, has two leads – Sanju (Aadar Jain) and Bindu (Anya Singh) – backed by some characters around them. While the story intends on revolving around these two, the characters in the background, too, get their share of stories told.
The film doesn’t surprise though, considering its trailer pretty much reveals the entire premise of the story – undertrials who want to be free, get embroiled in political bigwigs’ agenda, and choose to express their angst through music, with more attention paid to the leads.
Six undertrials are chosen to perform patriotic numbers on Independence Day, the first time where men and women practice and perform together. They aren’t hardened criminals or typically bad prisoners, just got caught at the wrong time for crimes they didn’t intend on committing.
They bond and develop a friendship sealed with the words, “I’ve got your back.” This serves a lot of purpose especially when they try to escape when an opportunity comes off, without giving the consequences much thought.
Love, friendship, music, and problems with the system are explored, and thankfully, no forced patriotism or jingoistic setting pushed through.
A lot of questions were raised when Aadar Jain, a Kapoor scion in Bollywood, was chosen in this Yash Raj Films production. Words like ‘nepotism’, ‘talentless’, ‘New Kapoor boy in the block’, were thrown in, with him even clarifying that he had it going pretty hard.
While he sports a sunny disposition and acting inspired from Hrithik Roshan’s hamming in Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon and Ranbir Kapoor’s manner of speaking – the film isn’t about him or a test to see if he has inherited talent from his predecessors. It’s about YRF’s new find – Anya Singh.
An ordinary girl who is undoubtedly the rockstar of this film. A non-glamourous face, no godfather to look to, and possessing actual acting talent – Anya Singh shoulders this film driven by her convincing performance of a young girl full of spunk and intolerant towards any bias.
Her introduction scene, as shown in the trailer, pretty much remains consistent. Wild child with a soft heart but strong in her conviction, Bindu doesn’t judge or will allow herself to get judged. And when things look dreary, she doesn’t resort to “hope” like the others and chooses to let her misery take over. But at the same time, she lets others hope and gives them support if needed.
Depressed that she wasn’t freed despite spending two years in jail, Bindu refuses to sing even when the jail’s warden entices her with jalebis and samosas. She’s the only one who sees through the plans and takes the decision of putting her foot down, with the other members following suit.
While the posters might focus on Aadar more, it’s clear who possesses the real talent on-screen and gets the best dialogues.
The story manages to successfully steer clear from jingoism despite the plot being set on Independence Day. With movies lately, there should be a warning if the film contains the National Anthem within the story, something that Dangal should’ve had. But, there’s the catchy ‘I am India’ and ‘Jag Mag Mera Vatan’ composed by Amit Trivedi and Komal Shayan. Since the film is technically musical, the music isn’t a let down even if the plot is wafer thin.
But it’s evident that the makers meant well with their story, interweaving a love story in what would’ve otherwise sufficed as a good example for friendship and bad timing with the cops. There are long sermons delivered on how you should be careful about everything, and not trusting anybody. There’s also a sermon on how one should take the frequent leaps of faith because life isn’t all that bad. The inconsistency and the nagging sermonic tone makes this one a missed opportunity.
The Qaidi Band review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.