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Banjo Review: It’s a very well directed movie


A New York-based musician, Christina listens to the music of a banjo band from Mumbai, through a friend, Mikey, and decides to record songs with them for an upcoming competition. There starts the movie, where she first attempts to find them, makes music with them and goes through a lot of struggle in the process of it all. The banjo-band lead by Taraat, Grease, Paper and Vajya is not the only banjo-based band in Mumbai. Going through various emotional, comic and music based scenes, the final ending is the successful performance of the band at a music festival.


Ravi Jadhav is a director famous for his Marathi movies like Natasamrat, Balgandharv and Mitraa. This is his debut in the Hindi cinema.

What to anticipate:

The movie captures Mumbai’s lowest rung of the society in its true colours and spirits. The clustered slums, tapori language, water problem, builders wanting to acquire land, the rusty scrap yard near the seas and the lying waste around – the director paints a picturesque image of Mumbai’s slums and chawls. The names of the people from this area and their dreams have been given that simplicity too. Paper (cause he sells newspaper) dreams of owning a water tanker. Grease (since he is a car mechanic) dreams of living at a place where everything is white. At times, it does feel like the ABCD movie.

As it is a music-based movie, the music elements used in the movie are not bad. The placement of the song Raada is perfect. Dhol-Tasha beats cover it all along with the Ganpati festival. The role of Nargis is unclear. She is neither a composer nor a mixer and only sings few lines with the band. Also, her disappearance from the band’s ultimate performance in the end seems badly managed. And the banjo-based band lacks versatility; all they could play was a specific beat. The portrayal of banjo like that of a guitar and that of Riteish as a street-rockstar is commendable. Luke Kenny’s character as a musician opens up when he joins the band on stage at the end. Read Banjo’s music review here.

The jokes are well-written and well-placed too. The movie also showcases the common problems faced by Nargis like being stared at, indirectly teased and sultry talked to by almost everyone around.

The ending of the movie shall surprise you. Various elements inserted into the beginning of the movie as the anti, turn away and the breakup of band takes a new twist, though it was also anticipated. The death of Riteish’s banjo master is the emotional and musical stalemate that brings the band together.

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