In Nawaz We Trust

Pop Culture

In Nawaz We Trust

Illustration: Akshita Monga


f late, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the actor single-handedly responsible for giving a face to a small-town everyman of varying degrees of ruthlessness, has been frequently filling in a void experienced by commercial films. These are high-budget star vehicles with very little actual acting quotient, in desperate need of salvaging. And Nawaz is their knight in shining armour. It’s a skill that the actor has mastered in effortless Siddiqui fashion, and has now become a failsafe tactic for mainstream filmmakers.

In his latest film, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, a gory comic-crime thriller set in the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh, Siddiqui plays the eponymous Babu, a contract killer, whose perfect track record has rendered him a sort of celebrity in the hitman circle. All’s going well for him, until he faces competition in the form of rival upstart hitman Banke (Jatin Goswami), who, as fate would have it, is also his biggest fan. Both the men have been hired to bump off three men. The duo strike a bet; whoever succeeds in murdering the three men first, wins and gets to collect the money for the job. The loser, on the other hand, has to bow out of the profession. Unfortunately for Babu, the stakes in the bet are higher than what he’d imagined, which sets off a series of plot twists that only weaken the film’s overarching intent.