After the resplendent Midnight’s Children, the latest offering from Deepa Mehta is Beeba Boys, a film about a charismatic gangster who tries to wrest control of the Vancouver arms and drug trade from a long standing strong man. The film has Randeep Hooda playing Jeet Johar the leader of the Beeba Boys who are an ultra stylish lot and do not believe in laying low. They carry their guns and swagger wherever they go and are ready to flash both at the slightest pretext. While the story of the film follows these boys as they go about bringing down the Vancouver overlord of arms and drug trade, their own personal errands and family life constantly keeps crossing paths with what they do for a living.
Beeba Boys is a stylish film with good looking people and an oh! so great background score but beneath its extravagant exteriors it tries to hide a somewhat under-cooked story. Deepa Mehta’s previous offerings have always been sure of what they were trying to achieve but here the film suffers from a strange predicament of ending up short of whatever it is that it tries to step up to achieve. The story tries to be an action film, a drama and an infiltration flick at the same time and falls short on all counts. Right from the first scene that the character of Nep (Ali Momen) shows up, you know that he is no Beeba Boy. He seems like nothing more than one to infiltrate the Beeba Boys for either the police or Grewal(Gulshan Grover) the man who own the Vancouver underworld. But he ends up being a party to both which becomes a tad bit tedious to take in.
Jeet Johar has nothing but style. He looks stylish and in some suave ways he tries to lure the beauty in his life. However on the gangster front, he is meek. He has absolutely nothing to do as his Beeba Boys are taken out one by one. He just stands there shouting Ma di! Behen Di and doing nothing. This really hurts the likeability of the character. Gulshan Grover’s Grewal starts off by giving a big speech about maintaining a low profile but in the climax, the stupidity that he pulls is one for the record books. You have to see it to believe it. Ali Momen looks the part. He is believable in certain parts and looks apt for the character that he plays but is terribly done in by some lackluster writing.
Randeep Hooda could have easily slipped into one of his trademark brooding and suave acts which have really done him good in 2015 but he is not allowed to. The director reduces his character to a confused soul who wants to go everywhere and ends up going nowhere. Sarah Allen plays Jeet’s Love interest who spends half of the time being Jeet’s doll and the other half being reduced to nothing and trying to figure out what she did wrong. Her character is one of the weakest female characters of the year and is almost on a line of being pure demeaning. Waris Ahluwalia is likeable.
Technically, Beeba Boys is great. The film boasts great of cinematography and editing. The background score is electric and it helps to increase the likability of a few scenes which sans the score would have been hard to take in. The cinematography uses the lush visual palate of Canada to present a pretty picture which is good enough to hold on to your attention for a while. The film tries to be ultra violent in some scenes and does ok but then again the story retracts to its shell of playing it safe and subdued. I strongly feel that a few more re-writes, addition of some more action, introduction of a more formidable baddie, making Jeet Johar take the underworld head on and some more of the Beeba Boys left alive to do some damage would have helped make this film a better experience. After Midnight’s children, I was expecting a cracker of a film from Deepa Mehta but I was really disappointed by this film.