Beeba Boys offers plenty that’s new to one of the oldest genres in cinema: the gangster film. The location: Vancouver, and the cast – flamboyantly dressed Indo-Canadian Sikhs – are all refreshing additions, but too much still remains stale.
The plot hinges on a familiar double-cross, and (shock horror) glamourises the criminal lifestyle, but even worse is the all-too-familiar misogyny. The film’s female characters are used, abused, fridged and devalued so much they may as well not exist.
The tone is proudly melodramatic, but as gangster Jeet (Hooda) says: “Being melodramatic is tied to my cultural identity” – here, it somehow feels apt.
Add in some horrible dialogue and weak acting and Beeba Boys threatens to teeter into catastrophe, but Deepa Mehta’s slick direction and control of the action does enough to save some dignity.
CAST: Randeep Hooda, Ali Momen, Sarah Allen, Waris Ahluwalia, Ali Kazmi
DIRECTOR: Deepa Mehta
WRITER: Deepa Mehta
SYNOPSIS: Beeba Boys: a ferocious, adrenaline-charged Indo-Canadian gang war, and a violent clash of culture and crime. Gang leader Jeet Johar and his young, loyal, and often brutal crew dress like peacocks, love attention, and openly compete with an old style Indo crime syndicate to take over the Vancouver drug and arms scene.