Qaidi Band Review: Musical treat but poor storytelling
Freedom is precious and lucky are the ones who have it. Habib Faisal's 'Qaidi Band' is a passionate story of under trial prisoners, who are striving to get their cases heard in court.
Unlike convicted convicts they don't have the right to earn behind bars and often don't enjoy equal rights. Newbies Aadar Jain (Sanju) and Anya Singh, who plays Bindu are desperate to get a hearing date or bail, but their pleas are lost in the corrupt circles of the system.
On Independence Day, jailer Dhulia (Sachin Pilgaonkar) organises a programme for the Minister and auditions prisoners to form a band.
Peter Muxka Manuel on the drums, Prince Parvinder Singh plays the guitar and Mikhail Yawalkar as the lyricist make the band along with Jain and Singh as lead singers. Their rendition of I Am India leaves everyone impressed. In order to further his political agenda, the Minister instructs Dhulia to detain the band members so they can help him with the party's political propaganda using music. Desperation to breathe freely outside the confines of the prison walls makes the band break rules. Will they finally attain freedom or not form the rest of the story.
Amit Trivedi's music is the saving grace of this one. The track I Am India makes a soft corner in your heart after repeated listening.
However, the song Hulchul is the king's jewel of the entire album. The track narrates their plight and acts as a window to their freedom struggle. Beautiful lyrics and the mesmerising tune that will stay with you even after you exit the theatres. The first half of Qaidi Band is seamlessly shot and the narration almost keeps you hooked. It's a simple story, but the second half fails to keep the momentum going. It almost seems like the director lost sight of the film post the interval. The scenes lack conviction and powerful storytelling. Plenty of loopholes that cannot be ignored and half baked characters ruin the rest of the film.
Characters like Ram Kapoor, who plays a top notch criminal lawyer, is wasted in the film.
Till the end you are confused if the makers want to showcase Pilgaonkar as a strong or caricature jailer. Singh has all the makings of a rockstar. She impresses with her acting, emotions and dialogue delivery. Jain also makes an earnest effort. While their jodi didn't have the crackling chemistry one looks for, they try hard to hold the script together. Some clichéd lines and a predictable storyline showcased rather haphazardly is the only flaw of the film.