Critic’s Rating: [usr 1.5]
Baazaar Story: Rizwan Ahmed (Rohan Mehra) leaves Allahabad behind and with it, the small-town mentality, too. He moves to Mumbai, a city with soaring skyscrapers and dreams that fly even higher. His one wish is to work with his idol Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan), but the greedy and manipulative world of money, power and the stock market draws Rizwan in, a little too fast.

  • Saif Ali Khan as Nawaab
  • Radhika Apte as Gaurav’s Mother
  • Chitrangada Singh as Gayatri
  • Anupriya Goenka
  • Denzil Smith as Kishore Wadhwa
  • Mukesh Hariawala as Parekh
  • Rohan Mehra
Baazaar Review: Like many young Indians Rizwan Ahmed (Rohan Mehra), from Allahabad recently renamed as Prayaag Raj, wants to move to Bombay, which goes as Mumbai, not “to struggle but to settle” he tells us. He doesn’t want to make it in movies but crack the stock market and impress one of its most successful players Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan), a greedy and powerful Gujarati trader. Like Shakun Kothari he too has the hunger to prove that his small town credentials, absence of an IIM degree and limited English speaking skills don’t determine his business sense.Rizwan and Shakun are no match to the dynamic partnership essayed by Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s engaging Wolf of Wall Street. That has as much to do with Baazaar’s listless screenplay as with the characters less wild lifestyle.
It doesn’t take Rizwan long to turn his fortunes in Mumbai as he finds a job in a top broking firm, a girlfriend (Radhika Apte) and ultimately the opportunity to work with Shakun. His speedy rise is hard to buy and also a forewarning to how his descent will be quicker than his ascent. But for all of Rizwan’s self-belief and share bazaar sense, he is not the smartest reader of people.
Saif Ali Khan gets to play a shrewd businessman with money on his mind and no moral compass but it’s a performance that’s marred courtesy a Gujarati accent that makes sporadic appearances. It doesn’t help that Kothari is devoid of a personality that makes heads turn and is given many attempts to justify his wrongdoings. Rohan Mehra in his debut role has plenty of screen time but there’s only that much impression he can make with a long-drawn drama.
Baazaar turns to a song montage ever so often to rush through the change in relationship status. There are many earworms including one by Yo Yo Honey Singh. Equally intolerable are the laughable product placements. Apte as the glamorous colleague and amorous motivator Rizwan needs and relies on is often sidelined for the two men. But the most underwritten character is Manish Chaudhuri’s Rana Dasgupta, a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) official looking to nab Kothari for years with no success. Their rivalry is restricted to one exchange, for the writers Parveez Shaikh and Aseem Arora are too invested in fraud and betrayal.
It doesn’t bode well that Baazaar ends with a factual inaccuracy. Taking the audience for ignorant is not a smart business move. Baazaar, starring Saif Ali Khan and Rohan Mehra, is a drama that fails to shine due to its sketchy screenplay, says our review.