Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Sharman Joshi, Faruk Kabir, Atul Kulkarni, Suhasini Mulay
Director: Faruk Kabir
In "Allah Ke Banday", Vijay and Yakub are two young slum-kids who peddle drugs instead of going to school. When they rob a nearby jeweler, the local gangster demands their loot. A scuffle follows, and the gangster is killed.
The kids are sent off to a remand home where they spend the next 11 years learning harsh life lessons, many at the hands of a corrupt warden (played by Naseeruddin Shah).
Now grown men, on their release they hatch a plan to take over the slum by launching an attack on the new don with an army of children.
Unable to decide if it wants to be a hard-hitting, realistic film or a Sanjay Gupta-style filmi actioner, "Allah Ke Banday" is confused, and equally confusing. Written and directed by Faruk Kabir, the film suffers on account of its excesses.
An eardrum-shattering background score, uneven editing, and a plodding screenplay are the chief criminals here. Sharman Joshi, who stars as the grown up Vijay, is saddled with a silent, brooding character, while Faruk Kabir himself plays Yakub, the more showy role.
Both, unfortunately, don't make much of an impression. Expectedly, you can count on Naseeruddin Shah to show us how it's done. In a scene in the film's second half, an adult Vijay encounters the old warden, a frail decrepit man, struggling to dip his bread in tea.
It's the best scene in the film, and one that stands out for the sheer magnificence of Naseer's performance. The film, in the end, is well-intentioned but sloppy. I'm going with two out of five for "Allah Ke Banday".
Rating: 2 / 5
Randhir Mishra, Kolkata
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