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Beeba Boys Is A Nonsensical Gangster Joke-Fest From Controversial Director Deepa Mehta

Making a film like Beeba Boys (it’s so convoluted and badly scripted) would be considered a joke in itself, as if the filmmaker has no clue of the gangster genre or how to construct a decent plot from such a treasure trove of material from the actual gang scene here but because it’s Mehta and she is supposed to know her cultural crap, it’s ok to do so on a $10 million plus budget ($4 million of which came from Telefilm Canada, the government funding agency).

By R. Paul Dhillon

Controversial Indo-Canadian director’s foray into gangster genre with Beeba Boys, which is the first big budget film on BC’s decades long Indo-Canadian gang scene, is a huge disappointment, not only that Mehta treats the story as a joke but it is probably the most boring Gang film I’ve ever seen!

Making a film like Beeba Boys (it’s so convoluted and badly scripted) would be considered a joke in itself, as if the filmmaker has no clue of the gangster genre or how to construct a decent plot from such a treasure trove of material from the actual gang scene here but because it’s Mehta and she is supposed to know her cultural crap, it’s ok to do so on a $10 million plus budget ($4 million of which came from Telefilm Canada, the government funding agency).

Mehta’s gangsters do everything from drug dealing, murder but still are Beeba enough to go to the Gurdwara and do langar sewa (service). It’s hard to make any sense of all this nonsense other than that these gangsters are just nice boys who have gotten into this criminal business to teach white people a lesson and live a lavish life from the proceeds of crime.

There is no point of view in the film towards what these criminals are doing and Mehta seems more interested in jokes and laughs than making any serious commentary on the gangster life or on the senseless deaths of more than 175 young Indo-Canadian men.

And despite Mehta’s denials that this is not notorious gangster Bindy Johal’s story – and it certainly isn’t the real one – but the character of Jeet Johar (Bollywood star Randeep Hooda playing a Canadian lad with an Indian accent) is definitely a caricature of Bindy Johal and the mafia Don comes across here as a murderous Robin Hood and not the ruthless crime boss that he was.

But this is mostly a farce and a joke and the gangsters dressed in the latest fashion are more like models than tough street hoods and are mostly laughable.

Having covered the gang scene as a journalist and reported on the bloody aftermath – this movie is basically a big “F… You” from Mehta to those who died and suffered as a result.

Sure you can do the story from the gangsters perspective like the Sopranos with all their murderous ways and amoral lifestyles intact but here Mehta does not build any sort of real believable characters or compelling storyline to justify the sheer idiocy of the whole exercise and she does not have high caliber actors to carry out her comical agenda.

And the actors (only Hollywood veteran Waris Ahluwalia shines as turban clad Manny) are also hamstrung with largely shoddy writing that they are not able to build strong characters.

Lead actor Hooda is basically drowned by his Indian accent and does not come across a believable Canadian lad and seems like just inserted there for star power.

There will definitely be more gang films from the BC gang scene that will tell more believable stories from the landscape that has awash in flood here in British Columbia but Beeba Boys definitely is no Boyz in the Hood!

R. Paul Dhillon is the Editor of the South Asian LINK (this newspaper) and is also a filmmaker, having made 9/11 themed Sweet Amerika starring Gulshan Grover. He is currently in pre-production on the romantic comedy The Fusion Generation. He has also written his own authentic gang film script B. Town Boyz (aka The Don of Surreypur), which is also expected to go into production soon.

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