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India Today’s review/ synopsis
Gitanjali Devi (Ileana D'Cruz) is a reluctant heiress to a Rajput kingdom who wants all the wealth with no responsibilities. Dressed in translucent chiffon saris and pearls, and sporting an immaculate hairdo, she is the only remotely interesting character in Baadshaho. But even a character inspired by the gorgeous Maharani Gayatri Devi has to take a backseat if you have Ajay Devgn in the midst. The actor (looking bored for most part) plays Gitanjali's fearless bodyguard Bhavani who is smitten with her and follows her decree. His mantra for life: Char din ki zindagi hai, aur aaj chautha din ha, yehi sochkar zindagi nikaal li. Viewers, on the other hand, will struggle to spend the coming two hours in the theatre.
When Rani Sahiba needs Bhavani's assistance to save her kingdom's undisclosed jewels from a politician reminiscent of Sanjay Gandhi, Bhavani steps in and ropes in an expert locksmith (Sanjay Mishra) and resourceful ruffian Dalia (Emraan Hashmi) for the job. Esha Gupta joins the plot to keep Dalia some company, though the excuse here is that she is indebted to Gitanjali. The quartet's foe arrives in the form of Major Seher Singh (Vidyut Jammwal) who the government has deputed to drive the heavily-armoured monster truck full of jewels from Rajasthan to Delhi. A duel begins between Bhavani and the Major. The proceedings are as lifeless as the desert landscape the film unfolds in.
Viewers will be forgiven for forgetting that Baadshaho is an Emergency-set drama for Luthria seems least interested in looking at the troubled state of civil liberties in the era. Instead, you will see a Life magazine cover featuring Gitanjali and bell-bottoms and sleeves to remind you this is the 1970s. As the chase begins, the film loses momentum. The plot twist can be called from afar, rendering the whole journey and the final destination entirely meaningless. The nonstop action is a distraction for a lack of narrative. Luthria's great truck robbery is a thriller without thrills.
The historical background
Is Baadshaho based on Indira Gandhi's raid?
Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi loot a truck carrying gold in Milan Luthria's Baadshaho. The film is set in the backdrop of 1975 Emergency
Baadshaho. Set in the backdrop of 1975 Emergency, the film revolves around a gang that robs a truck carrying gold from one city to another. It is believed that the action flick revolves around former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s orders to hunt for gold in Jaipur’s Jaigarh Fort in 1976. For those who don’t know, here’s a detailed account of what transpired during the six-month long crackdown resulting due to the Congress government’s fallout with the royal family of Jaipur.
At the height of Emergency, Indira Gandhi in 1976 ordered the Indian Army to search for hidden treasures in Jaipur’s Jaigarh Fort. It was believed that Raja Man Singh (I) had reportedly hidden treasures from his military conquests in the fort. Legends say that Man Singh was a defense minister in Mughal emperor Akbar’s court and had invaded Afghanistan, thereby winning the war. It is believed that the ruler had hidden a huge amount of wealth in the reservoir of the fort.
During the Emergency, Raja Man Singh (II) represented the royal family of Jaipur. The royal family did not have cordial relations with the Indira Gandhi government. The former PM used it as an opportunity to crack down on the dissidents and the income tax department carried out several raids on the fort. After they could not find anything, the government sent the Army to march to the fort and unearth the treasure.
However, the three-month long excavation campaign turned out to be unsuccessful and the army had to call off the drive. It is also alleged that the Delhi-Jaipur highway was shut for three days to make way for the military vehicles.
The raid at Jaigarh
See Jaipur State
Rajat Aroraa ...
Bhushan Kumar ...
Krishan Kumar ...
Milan Luthria ...
Hussain Shaikh (co-producer)
Ajay Devgn as Bhawani Singh
Ileana D'Cruz as Maharani ‘Gitanjali’ Devi
Esha Gupta as Sanjana
Vidyut Jammwal as Major Seher Singh
Sunny Leone as the village dancer
Priyanshu Chatterjee as ‘Sanjeev’
John Stewart Eduri
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan