In “ABCD: Any Body Can Dance”, Prabhudeva’s character teaches his young dancers the importance of understanding what it means to dance to impress and to dance to express. Say what you will about Remo D’Souza’s tribute to dance, Prabhudeva does touch upon a very critical thing there and how easy it is to lose your expression as you try to impress for more attention.

You could save your time by simply knowing that “Bholaa” is a long series of action sequences one after the another, all happening over a single night, as a moving truck encounters goons and gangs, due to the high value of its cargo. But let’s give this piece more structure and aim, than one finds in the Ajay Devgn directorial.

In “Bholaa”, Ajay Devgn plays the titular character, a convict released from jail after serving a 10-year sentence, on his way to reunite with his daughter who lives in an orphanage. The Devgn smoulder doesn’t leave Devgn and that’s pretty much all you’re getting from the expressions department.

On the other hand we have Diana, a police officer played by Tabu, who’s recently seized 900 kgs of cocaine and stashed it in a colonial-era police station in UP, which supposedly has walls that are difficult to break down. As this fateful night unfolds, this station is manned by a 55 year old constable played by Sanjay Mishra and four detained college students, who have to step up as drug lord, Ashwatthama (Deepak Dobriyal) and his followers converge on the location to get their product back.

A chance encounter with Diana puts a dent in Bholaa’s plans of returning to his daughter and making amends for lost time. At a farewell party, police officers drop unconscious after consuming spiked drinks, with only Diana standing in her senses who abstained from alcohol for she had antibiotics in her system. Challenged with getting these officers to a hospital as soon as possible, Diana convinces Bholaa to drive the truck. But a declared bounty on Diana and the police-officers, brings out deadly men, who arrive on bikes, tractors and other vehicles, as the truck tries to reach its destination.

The film is over-done to the t. It’s a classic example of quantity over quality, wherein endless high-octane action is expected to make-up for diverting from the purpose. As hundreds of men come out from the jungles that line the roads, Devgn dismantles bikes, exposes naked bones of the beefed-up men and defies gravity on multiple occasions. There’s so much of this, you grow numb to it, for your brain is not capable of producing more adrenaline. At that point, only Bholaa still has more adrenaline left in his reservoirs.

People will applaud you if you give them an action thriller that adds masala to their routine lives, that leaves them fascinated with how much a standard size truck is capable of withholding. But “Bholaa” has so much of this masala, you start waiting for a sober, realistic, calm, routine moment.

A few sequences stand out for their choreography but that’s pretty much all there is. The film is loud enough to drown out Tabu and pushy enough to have Deepak Dobriyal evoke cringe. It does more to impress the viewer than it does to express the emotions that are never given the steering wheel. Instead, “Bholaa” drives us, promising euphoria but you never reach that promised land because the journey is exhausting and numbs your senses.

“Bholaa” is now running in theatres.


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