Every once in a comes along a film which is so moving that the audiences move
out of the theaters. Basti, the posters claim, is about anger, power, justice
and people. In other words, it is about a B-grade Bollywood flick.
It has all the ingredients - blood, blood, and some more blood - in overdose, with a dash of rapes, and garnished with a few midriff- and cleavage-baring bimbettes. There is a multitude of baddies who are out to wrong the dwellers of the hero's basti. And, of course, the police are neck-deep in it all.
Ramesh, a k a Rama (Samir Soni), is the jack-of-all-trades master of none saviour of his people. His younger brother, Satish (Faisal Khan), is one of those brilliant students in college who believes firmly in his father's (Govind Namdeo) dictum that if you run away today, you will live to run away another day. Rama also has the mandatory sister, Pinky (who else will get raped?), and his love interest, Madhu (Sanober Kabir). Just the widhwa maa is missing. But the support cast makes up for this deficiency, if you even want to call it that.
The basti has its don Kanta Bhai (Sadashiv Amrapurkar), who intends selling it off to Karanjiya Seth (Khulbhushan Kharbhanda) for Rs. 75 crores. Doubting his intentions, Karanjiya hires Rama and his gang of cronies to put an end to the illegal businesses of Kanta that operate from the basti. They go about their business with aplomb razing to ground every bar, casino and brothel.
Rama's sister gets raped (finally!). But hey, she is a woman of substance. She not only hides her trauma, but also behaves as if nothing happened. No one gets to know about it - till she gets pregnant. Somewhere along the line Rama is killed, his father dies, and his li'l brother goes out for revenge. Whatever happened to the bookworm? I guess it finally turned into a butterfly.
In between his killing sprees, Satish finds ample time for romancing Priya (Shama Sikander) - till she gets killed. That makes him really mad, and he goes about his killings with a renewed burst of energy. He hacks to death anyone he sees, till he gets arrested. But, the hero being the hero, he kills the main bad guy Karanjiya while being taken to jail from the courthouse. He could have killed more people, except for the fact that he gets killed, too. Damn! Maybe we get a sequel where his soul's out for revenge? So, you see, everyone dies but for Madhu, who just becomes mentally unstable. Why didn't she get her fifteen minutes of fame?
The film uses an innovative state-of-the-art dubbing technology based on the recently propounded theory that states sound travels faster than light. So if you get mystified on hearing the dialogues before they get mouthed, you know that you did not pay enough attention in your Physics class. If you are stuck for an example of multitasking, Tarun Wadhwa is the man. The film seems to run into all directions all at once. And, if you want to understand why silence is golden, just listen to Faisal Khan's dialogue delivery.
One more thing. Whoever said Mithunda's genre of films is dead? He's has passed on the baton to Faisal Khan, and his legacy shall live on.