Duration: 161 Minutes
India Release Date: 21-SEP-2018
Pick-D-Flick Rating: 2 on 5
A social movie about escalating electric bills.
Set in Tehri, the electricity-starved Uttarakhand in Northern India, Batti Gul Meter Chalu is directed by Sree Narayan Singh of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha fame. Film deals with electricity theft, power outages, inflated electricity bills and faulty meters that cripple the common man in India. This film marks the first collaboration between Shahid and director: Shree Narayan Singh, who is known for making films with a social message along with the added twist of humour. Film stars Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor and Yami Gautam in lead roles. S.K (Shahid Kapoor), Nauti (Shraddha Kapoor), and Tripathi (Divyendu Sharma) are childhood friends. S.K is a hypocrite, mean lawyer making money from out of court settlements. Nauti is an over the top fashion designer who thinks highly of herself.Things were breezy until Tripathi opens a small town Printing Press. Within months, he is charged with an Inflated elctricity bill of 1.5 Lakhs, which escalates to 54 Lakhs in the following months. With no where to go and complain, Tripathi commits suicide. S.K is set aback by the events and has a change of heart. He decides to fight out against SPTL , a Privatised Electricity Company responsible for the Inflated Bills. Whether or not he is able to sue the company forms the rest of the story. The first half has a painful pace. The film picks up post interval and is mostly a courtroom drama, where we see Yami Gautam make an entry as the lawyer representing the electricity supplier. Throughout the films two narrators introduce the story to us, inspired by true events, switching from a colour to black and white mode but they just end up adding length to the film (tedious 161 Odd minutes). All the songs in the film (mainly in second half) are purely for ornamental purposes. Background score and music of the film is random and jarring at most places which ads more dullness to the overall theme of the film. Shahid is in great form as a cheeky lawyer who can be petty one second and heroic the next. He is wasted and it feels that he has been forced to speak dialogues. All other principal actors are strictly OK on the acting front. Screenplay/Editing is consistently inconsistent. Shree Narayan Singh, who is known for stoking the activist in you through his films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, had set the intention to portray the pertinent issue, a fundamental right and a basic amenity, which is often denied to the common man in various parts of our country. Nevertheless, weak elements of this BRIGHT BULB (Screenplay / Editing / Length) flickers so often that at the end it just blows off. A complete lost opportunity.
Batti Gul Meter Chalu had all the potential to shine BRIGHT but Shree Narayan Singh, who gave us Toilet-Ek Prem Katha, fails to deliver the common man issue this time. A FLAWED film that can be considered – SKIP.
Ratings: 2 on 5
Performance: 2 on 5
Script: 1.5 on 5
Screenplay: 1.5 on 5
Music / Background Score: 1.5 on 5