Bandra promised a lot of things—the return of Ramaleela duo Arun Gopy and Dileep and the Malayalam debut of popular actress Tamannaah Bhatia—packaged in an action flick set in 1988 Bombay. Dileep takes on a new look as the thuggish but righteous Alen Alexander Dominic aka Ala in the film written by Udaykrishna.
His life takes a dramatic turn when he crosses paths with Bollywood superstar Tara Janaki (Tamannaah Bhatia). Their relationship brings him to Bombay where Ala comes face to face with villains of the Bombay underworld.
The film begins when a young aspiring director, Sakshi (Mamta Mohandas) stumbles upon the suicide of Bollywood icon Janaki in her search for a compelling story. As she investigates the truth behind the tragedy, Sakshi encounters Mirchi (Kalabhavan Shajohn), one of Ala’s old friends. It is Mirchi who narrates the story of Tara and Ala. Predictably, this story is made into a film by Sakshi, resulting in a ‘movie-within-a-movie’ scenario.
With a handful of good action sequences—the parallel fight sequence in the tunnel, in particular, is done really well—and big colourful dance numbers, Bandra is a decent film to watch on the big screen. It is the writing that disappoints by being unoriginal, dull and simply boring. The storyline, despite forcing ineffective plot twists, becomes predictable and leaves the audience wondering if they have seen this before.
The story is stretched beyond its limit in the second half as the film seems reluctant to end, moving from one potential ending to another. Too many subplots and eye-roll-worthy twists and shock elements drag the story to an underwhelming conclusion.
The acting performances from both Dileep and Tamannaah are good but not exceptional. It is worth adding that Dileep is at his best whenever there is a hint of humour to the larger-than-life heroism and swagger of Ala. Dino Morea is convincing as the menacing Bollywood villain dressed in stylish three-piece suits, if not a tad too typical.
It is ironic that a film that begins by stating that a compelling story is the most significant aspect of good cinema is let down by the very lack of it. Overall, a dull script, decent performances from the cast and enticing action and dance sequences make Bandra a forgettable but somewhat entertaining action flick.
Director: Arun Gopy
Cast: Dileep, Tamannaah Bhatia, Mamta Mohandas, Kalabhavan Shajohn