Batti Gul Meter Chalu | Full Movie | Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Divyendu Sharma,Yami Gautam |
Directed by Shree Narayan Singh
Produced by Bhushan Kumar
Shree Narayan Singh
Written by Vipul K Rawal (Story Concept)
Screenplay by Sidhartha Singh
Starring Shahid Kapoor
Music by Anu Malik
Cinematography Anshuman Mahaley
Edited by Shree Narayan Singh
Krti Pictures LLP
Distributed by Anand Pandit Motion Pictures
21 September 2018
Budget ₹490 million (US$7.1 million)
Box office ₹666.2 million (US$9.6 million)
Batti Gul Meter Chalu (transl. Lights off, meter on; Hindi pronunciation: [bət̪t̪iː gʊl miːʈəɾ tʃaːluː]) is a 2018 Indian social problem film directed by Shree Narayan Singh and produced by Bhushan Kumar, Nitin Chandrachud, Nishant Pitti and Krishan Kumar. The film tells the story of inflated electricity bills in rural India and stars Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Divyendu Sharma, and Yami Gautam.
Principal photography commenced in February 2018 in Tehri, Uttarakhand and was completed in July 2018. The film was released worldwide on 21 September 2018 to a mixed response.
S.K. (Shahid Kapoor), Nauti (Shraddha Kapoor), and Tripathi (Divyendu Sharma) are childhood friends based in Tehri, Uttarakhand. S.K is a hypocrite, mean lawyer making money from out of court settlements. Nauti is an over the top fashion designer who thinks highly of herself. Wanting to get married, she decides to date both her childhood friends, each for a week. Things turn sour as S.K catches Nauti and Tripathi kissing. Heartbroken, he starts taunting and avoiding them.
Tripathi's small town Printing Press, is charged with an inflated electricity bill of ₹150,000 (US$2,200), which escalates to ₹5.4 million (US$78,000) in the following months. He along with Nauti visit S.K for a solution, but instead, he insults them. With no where to go, Tripathi commits suicide. S.K is set aback by the events and has a change of heart. He decides to fight out against SPTL, the privatised electricity company responsible for the inflated bills. He has an advocate Gulnaar (Yami Gautam) representing SPTL as his opponent.
On the last sitting of case with S.K about to win, Tripathi resurfaces and dictates about his suicide attempt and his struggles regarding inflated bills. The Court clears Tripathi's bill and cancels SPTL's License. It also orders them to pay Tripathi ₹1 million (US$14,000), and others ₹50,000 (US$720) with similar complaints as a compensation. Tripathi is sentenced to six months of imprisonment for trying to dupe insurance company with his fake death. Gulnaar and S.K. are shown to be dating post the case.
The life of three friends takes a tragic turn due to an inflated electricity bill, which leads to a courtroom drama and social awakening.
Director Shree Narayan Singh’s Batti Gul Meter Chalu (BGMC) is a film that talks about a very pertinent issue, a fundamental right and a basic amenity, which is often denied to the common man in various parts of our country. But for all its good intentions, BGMC is also a fairly flawed film. The movie needed a tighter editing effort, because at five minutes short of 3 hours, the narrative becomes overbearing. The movie holds up a strong and scathing mirror to corruption and everything that is wrong with corporations and their governance. It is a story that needs to be told, undoubtedly, but the runtime just robs the movie of its impact.
The story kicks off in the hills of Uttarakhand, where SK is a wily lawyer who makes a living by blackmailing local businessmen who indulge in malpractices. Nauti is an aspiring fashion designer with her own boutique while Tripathi wants to start his own business. The common grouse in the town is the failing electrical grid, which is pretty much their way of life. Shree Narayan Singh has a knack of portraying the heartland of India with a flair and finesse, and after , he does that once again. The film has its special moments, like the camaraderie between the buddies, but the screenplay by Siddharth-Garima spends too much time establishing their interpersonal relationships, which slacken the narrative. The movie picks up pace once Tripathi’s business dream comes crashing down, as a corrupt power company sends him a humongous bill. It is then, that the drama really kicks in.
The second half of BGMC unfolds in the court, as Shahid Kapoor’s SK launches an all-out attack on the corrupt power company. This segment of the movie serves up heightened drama and in a sense, salvages the film’s dodgy first half. Shahid’s character’s transformation really works in favour of the actor. Once his SK becomes the honest lawyer with a mission, Shahid is able to blend a fine balance between the over-confident young man and the guy with a heart of gold. His monologue during the climax is superb. Shraddha Kapoor plays the peppy small town girl with panache. Divyendu shows restraint in the good guy role. Yami Gautam appears as a lawyer, only in the second half, but doesn’t leave much of an impact.
With a tighter runtime and more focus on the crux of the story, this social drama had the potential to shine bright. The cinematography by Anshuman Mahaley manages to capture the beauty of Uttarakhand’s hills very well. The movie also has a parallel track of two characters named Vikas and Kalyan, narrating the story, but the metaphor doesn’t quite click. BGMC loses power under the load of its heavy-duty screenplay.