Movie Review: Bullett Raja (2013)

Bullett_raja0.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Bullett Raja is an identity-less hodgepodge of scenes assembled with no master plan. Things happen because, well, this is what happens in movies. Rooftop chase? Check. Love at first sight? Check. Exploding car? Check.

There’s so little connecting the scenes in Bullett Raja that it almost seems like a deliberate choice on writer-director-producer Tigmanshu Dhulia’s part: a middle finger to an audience he assumes will uncritically devour anything, so long as punches are thrown and female torsos bared.

All of Bullett Raja‘s problems stem from an utter lack of character development. Saif Ali Khan’s Raja is a chameleon. He’s whoever he needs to be in any given scene, shifting at will.

The movie begins with Raja crashing a wedding to avoid some goons. (The cause of his beef with the faceless goons is never addressed.) One of the guests, Rudra (Jimmy Shergill), figures out that Raja doesn’t belong there, but befriends him anyway. (Why? Doesn’t matter.) When Raja assists Rudra in a gun battle that disrupts the wedding, the two become best friends forever.

Rudra’s uncle offers to make the two into gangsters, but they refuse because they don’t like violence (the previous day’s shootout already forgotten, apparently). But when Uncle is murdered, the two decide to become the most notorious assassins in Uttar Pradesh. Naturally, right?

Who the heck are these guys who can turn from pacifists into cold-blooded killers in a single day? Rudra and Raja have no independent identities; they only serve the plot. Because of that, it’s impossible to discern what their motives are. Do they want to be rich? Famous? Powerful? It’s never made clear why they do what they do.

Other elements are introduced into the film at random to add color and extend the overly long runtime. There’s the former assassin now living as a woman to avoid prosecution. The guys kidnap a woman, Mitali (Sonakshi Sinha), who immediately falls in love with Raja. Innumerable politicians and businessmen operate in some system that’s never explained. Also, Raja and Rudra become teen idols, because what kid doesn’t want to grow up to be a contract killer?

The introduction of Vidyut Jamwal’s character, Munna, is the clunkiest of all the story’s many clunky elements. A police inspector assures a politician that he knows the perfect man to take out Raja, once and for all. Cut to Officer Munna out in the desert, beating up a gang of bandits who have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the rest of the story.


Why? Why? Why? What do any of the characters hope to gain? Why does anything happen in this whole frigging movie? WHY?!


15 thoughts on “Movie Review: Bullett Raja (2013)

  1. JustMeMike

    Hi Kathy – you’ve run into a downturn – 2.0,, 1.5 and now 0.5.

    I am sorry to hear the Bullet Raja was so bad. The trailer caught the highlights of the action – and gave us no clue that there’s nothing behind all that motion, noise, and meaningless stuff.

    I did see Madras Café via erosnow, and liked it.


    1. Kathy

      No kidding about the downturn, Mike. I’m not optimistic about R. Rajkumar this weekend, either.

      The trailer made it seem as though Bullett Raja was a black comedy, but it wasn’t at all. The jokes in the trailer — Jimmy Sheirgill’s character shooting somebody before Saif’s character was ready; Saif promising to kill Sonakshi if she acted up, then indicating to her that he wouldn’t — are the only one’s in the movie, and they come after the characters out-of-the-blue start to revel in their assassin jobs. It’s a shame.

      Glad you enjoyed Madras Cafe.

  2. Nav

    Hi, You have given a pretty disappointing review though the movie is doing quite well at the BO, critics have praised it…

    1. Andy

      “Grand Masti” did well at the box office too, grossing Rs 100 crores or $16 million, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is critically acclaimed.

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  4. Shah Shahid

    It seems to be a sad time for B-Town. Both R… Rajkumar and this one seemed to be black horses out of the gate, but oh well. I’ll still watch to form my own opinion. But have a feeling that the ‘novelty factor’ (so tacky that it’s badass) might not be enough for me to make it through either.

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  6. sean

    I don’t get it. I actually liked the movie…it wasn’t trying to be something it wasn’t….it was a masala flick. Made more sense than most of salman’s porridge fests

    1. Kathy

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Sean. If we’re using Salman’s movies as the metric for judging film logic, we’re in big trouble. 🙂

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