In the trailer of his latest movie Batti Gul Meter Chalu, Shahid Kapoor plays the role of a slippery, small-town lawyer, someone who doesn’t mind fighting cases for personal profits. With a dialect that has a pahadi twist, he’s free-spirited until a personal tragedy coaxes him to use his legal practice for the right reasons. Sound familiar? Yes, this is an exact repeat of Jolly LLB 2, starring Akshay Kumar.
You know what’s more interesting about this? The Shahid Kapoor-starrer is directed by Shree Narayan Singh, who also directed Akshay Kumar in 2017’s
propaganda PSA film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. If the ‘social message’ in that film addressed open defecation in villages, this one is about the issue of inflated electricity bills. And if Jolly LLB 2 tried to expose the issue of fake encounters, Batti Gul Meter Chalu one is about the cruel electricity companies that overcharge their customers, driving them to a point where they take their own life.
Batti Gul Meter Chalu is essentially an Akshay Kumar film, starring Shahid Kapoor.
But Shahid looks game to imbibe the small town accent, even covering for Shraddha Kapoor’s terrible delivery. Hearing Shraddha Kapoor try to fluently roll out lines in that dialect comes close to being as painful as hearing Nargis Fakhri parrot Hindi lines in Rockstar. And the film also stars Divyendu Sharma, who played a similar character in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, but I guess we’ve already been over that.
It’s also great to see Shahid Kapoor reliving the good, ol’ days with Prabhu Deva – where he’s doing the dance routine and being casually misogynistic. Towards the end of the trailer, Kapoor is confronted by a fellow lady lawyer (played by Yami Gautam) who asks him to present ‘facts and figures’ in the courtroom. Playing the Hindi film ka hero to perfection, Kapoor ogles at her and smirks at talking about ‘figures’ when she is around. It’s 2018, Bollywood. Grow the heck up.
This movie looks like a combination of two of the worst elements plaguing ‘commercial Bollywood films with a message’ these days. But I guess that’s the flavour of our masses, and who can blame either Shahid or Shraddha for trying to cash in.
Here’s the trailer for Batti Gul Meter Chalu:
Batti Gul Meter Chalu will release on September 21, 2018.