The trailer for Riteish Deshmukh’s Banjo was released on Tuesday, 9 August. Coming on the back of Great Grand Masti, this marks Deshmukh’s return to ‘serious acting’ — it’s perhaps a little unfortunate that the filmmakers chose to release the trailer on the same day as Amitabh Bachchan’s Pink since that may presumably get the lion’s share of views (read the Firstpost trailer review.
Coming back to Banjo, however, this is a story about — as the title states — the musical instrument and those who play it. Or rather it is about the struggle of banjo players to be recognised as respectable musicians in their own right, just as any other instrumentalist is entitled to.
One such banjo player is Riteish Deshmukh; he is backed up by his band mate and buddy (played by Dharmesh Yelande). They make their living playing at Ganesh processions and the like, until they’re discovered by a record executive from abroad (Nargis Fakhri, with an accent).
She comes to the basti where our hero and his sidekicks live, and then Banjo takes a slight detour into the terriroty of that other film by its leading man — Great Grand Masti.
On seeing Fakhri’s character walk about near their home (and the camera at this point lingers for long moments on her legs and midriff), Deshmukh’s friends say ‘Kya maal hai‘, to which Deshmukh replies: ‘Maal nahin, bhabhi hai‘. Not to be outdone, his friends say: ‘Bhabhi maal hai‘.
Then there are some shots of Deshmukh and Fakhri dancing about and presumably falling in love, and then the tone shifts to a more Rockstar-like one (it isn’t lost on us that the latter film also starred Fakhri).
Fakhri’s boss, an elitist, isn’t too crazy about her idea of bringing a ‘raste ka‘ art form into the studio. Meanwhile, our earthy musicians are having a tough time adapting to the ways of the recording industry.