Shree Narayan Singh directorial 'Batti Gul Meter Chalu' is a social movie that won't fancy modern metro city audiences who are unaware of the electricity issue from Uttrakhand, India. Well, initially we would take some extra liberty to criticize the film just for the overuse of 'Bal' and 'Thehrey' which the audiences found quite irritating and flawed. The makers have perfectly presented every character with the right Kumaoni and Garhwali dialect and some actors replicated the style of uttering dialogues the way it is spoken in the 'pahads' of Devbhoomi Uttrakhand.
The film begins with a staggering entry of our hero Sushil Kumar Pant aka SK roared by the crowd who cheer him for the 'teer kaman' contest. The arch goes through the fiery tyre to hit the bullseye and here is Shahid Kapoor lifted by his best buddies. Lalita Nautiyal / Nauti (Shraddha Kapoor) and Sundar Mohan Tripathi (Divyendu Sharma) who hug each other celebrating the priceless victory of their bestie. SK is a buoyant lawyer who blackmails small companies on launching a complaint in the consumer court and yes! That's what he does for his living, frauds. Best friend no. 2 Lalita Nautiyal is a fashion designer by profession who runs a boutique for her living whereas friend no. 3 Sundar Mohan Tripathi aka Divyendu Sharma is a modest entrepreneur who starts off his own printing company taking off a loan and setting up his office at a prime marketplace. The film leads to a love triangle angle which could have been avoided but the misunderstanding leads to some bittersweet confrontation and their lifelong friendship is affected. Side by side there is a bigger issue left unavoided as the electricity company sends a 54 lakhs bill to Sundar. While filing the complaint in the consumer court and being helpless Sundar Mohan commits suicides.
From there comes the lost friend back on level terms to take revenge from SPTL Pvt ltd and the film becomes even more gripping in the second half. Setting the tone of the film quite light-hearted as well as a bit intense in some parts, there are many laugh out loud moments in the second half and Shahid Kapoor manages to tickle our funny bone with his confrontation with the defence lawyer played by Yami Gautam. The first half may be 20 percent draggy but thanks to these picturesque locations that were an awe to the eye. The second half will leave you baffled asking questions to the social system of the places where electricity hasn't reached yet. This is real! Belonging to Uttrakhand India there are power cuts 6 to 8 times a day and some truthful facts are well dug and presented in Shahid Kapoor's voice and his climax monologue literally made many critics clap. Even being of 175 minutes long we do not get any loo break. The poetic climax including Shree Narayan Singh satirical take on Desh ka 'Vikas and Kalyan' was absolutely humorous.
Songs of the film kept us going and blended perfectly with the film's narrative. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's classic number 'Bewafa Ho Gaye Dekhte Dekhte' unwinds some scenic locations of Uttrakhand stitched with Shahid and Shraddha's chemistry during their dating phase. Arijit Singh's number 'Har Har Gange' is filled with emotions and Shahid slays the regretting act that depicting emotional scenes with finesse. 'Hard Hard' by Mika Singh and Nakash Aziz's 'Gold Tamba' are modern day foot tapping number that are good to groove along. Every song added a pahadi flavour to the film's narrative.
Siddharth Singh and Garima Wahal writing has done wonders by presenting some accurate facts and electricity crisis in rural parts of India especially from the highest dam of India located in Tehri Garhwal. Interesting fact remains that the Tehri Dam with the help of Tehri Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant generates electricity for the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh still affected by maximum number of power cuts. The concept story by Vipul K. Rawal needs an ovation.
The film is an eye-opener for many who haven't witnessed this issue. Shree Narayan Singh fresh screenplay serves entertainment with a closer to reality story that can be endured for long. Could have been chopped and precise but the film becomes a must watch for Shahid Kapoor's stellar act and fiery facts presented by the makers, making us walk down the lush green 'pahads' of Uttrakhand.