Ajay Devgn crafts a sturdy (but generic) star vehicle out of Lokesh Kanagaraj’s sturdy (but generic) star vehicle

Posted on March 30, 2023


Spoilers ahead…

The nicest change in ‘Bholaa’ is transforming the Narain character into a woman, and making her an action heroine. She shares butt-kicking duties with the hero.

Ajay Devgn’s Bholaa follows the same beats as its predecessor, Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Kaithi – but there’s one crucial difference in terms of flavour. Lokesh made a Hollywood-style action movie. Ajay’s version is full-on desi, right down to colloquialisms we have not heard on the Hindi screen in years – like the phrase “neki aur pooch pooch“. In other words, we have a team that’s thinking in the local language. When someone asks what the hero’s name is, the reply is, “Naam bataaya to paon mein gir jayega.” Indeed! Because it’s god’s name: Bholaa. And throughout, the man is portrayed like a god, with ash on his forehead and a fight sequence with a trident. He is invincible. (In comparison, the equally invincible Karthi character from Kaithi came off like a Marvel superhero.) Another desi-cinema touch: this Hindu protagonist is aided by a Christian cop (Diana, played by Tabu), one of whose secret resources is a Muslim named Ali Abbas.

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Posted in: Cinema: Hindi