Justice delayed is justice denied. This is the message Qaidi Band gives us repeatedly through the story of under trials, who wait the light of the day.
As a story, Qaidi Band doesn’t have much to offer. It’s a plain story about under trials, particularly about these seven under trials who are awaiting their freedom from the crimes some of them even haven’t committed. And so the film rests on performances and story telling.
The first half of the film is slow and you don’t really feel sympathetic towards these characters but as the film picks up, it wins your heart over. But still, out don’t feel sympathetic enough. These people are in jail for no fault of their own and even if they are at fault, they’ve served their time. They lead a life that you’d generally feel pity for. But here we’re deprived of the dynamics of life in jail. The climax of the film is too stretched and unneeded.
Music plays an important role in building the narrative and setting these people free. Amit Trivedi is a genius. But it is the lyrics by Kausar Munir and Faisal himself that take the cake, specially with I Am India.
This film marks the debut of Aadar Jain and Anya Singh, both of whom have to put in their heart and soul because it’s not a debut like Student of the Year. It’s a very far from glamorous debut and while Anya reaches heights, Aadar falters.
He does have a hint of his cousin Ranbir Kapoor in him but that’s not enough. His efforts seem sincere but maybe a few more workshops would have helped. And there is something very wrong with his character, Sanju. He has perfectly trimmed hair and beard, shaped eyebrows and wears graphic tshirts in jail. Being from the Kapoor khaandan, Jain does have a benchmark to reach. Just from the younger lot, with Ranbir Kapoor, sisters Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan, all of them who are established actors, will Aadar do justice to his family name? Maybe not so much!
Anya Singh’s Bindu is very much on point. Though she too has perfect eyebrows but that is explained by her profession as a parlour wali in the jail. It is her character who is actually de-glamorised. Making a debut as a YRF girl comes with benchmarks as well. The production house has launched actors like Anushka Sharma, Parineeti Chopra, Vaani Kapoor and Bhumi Pednekar – all of whom have made a name for themselves. So, like Aadar, even Anya has to prove herself. The question here is, does she? Unlike Aadar, she does! Of course, the final product is not as good as the debut of any of the above mentioned actresses, but she establishes herself as the true rockstar of the film.
Supporting actors Sachin Piglaonkar, Mikhail Yawalkar, Parvinder Singh and Peter Manual are poorly written and don’t really fit in their parts.
After Toilet Ek Prem Katha, I would again make a special mention for Shanoo Sharma for recognising talent.
All in all, Qaidi Band isn’t a brilliant film, but, it sure touches the heart!
If I had to rate the film, 3 film deal, Aadar and Anya have signed with YRF. Hope Aadar can do more justice to the other two!