Friday, April 14, 2017


Jaan Nikaal Dee Is Bakwaas Ne

2 stars

Mini Review:

Set during the partition of India, this film chronicles the life inside a whorehouse set smack in the middle of the India-Pakistan border. The mistress of the house, Begum Jaan rules the home with love and an iron hand. Unfortunately Vidya Balan who plays the lead role cannot save the hopelessly predictable goings on inside the house, until the Border officials decide to force them to leave with the help of a crook. Such a terrible, bloated and tastelessly overdone copy of the Shabana Azmi starrer Mandi (1983).

One star for the earnest Vidya Balan 's appearing and disappearing unibrow and the other for Chunky Pandey's neck crackle.

Main Review:

Thesaurus dekho for words for prostitute!

Just because Begum Jaan runs a whorehouse, the women are made to behave how you’d expect women in the oldest profession be: they scream at each other, call each other crass names, wear clothes created by an over-enthusiastic art director, and pose as if were an audition to a high school play about a whorehouse.

Vogue! Vogue! Vogue!

In fact, the whole movie seems to be over staged. The idea they started with is interesting. The whorehouse falls right in the middle of the new India Pakistan border. The women have to evacuate, and Begum Jaan won’t leave her home. After all, she has the support of the local king. Her refusal to move gets both the representatives of India and Pakistan to survey the border markings really pissed off. The finally get a super bad mercenary Kabira to evict her.

Unfortunately for Begum Jaan, played earnestly by Vidya Balan, is just not enough. And after a while even she starts sounding ridiculous: I rescued each one of you from a fate worse than death and made you into prostitutes, so show some gratitude!

Since we see the women either yawn while they are with the clients or run out of the rooms when the clients behave like beasts, we understand why there is no gratitude from the girls.

Mandi Film Ki Gareeb Cousin

If this were a tribute to the 1983 cult classic Mandi, then they have done a shoddy job indeed. Mandi was clearly well thought out, well written and had fabulous performances. Even the traumatised runaway girl (Phoolmani played by Sreela Majumdar) could speak volumes with her eyes without saying a word. In this film everyone simply poses as if it were a fashion magazine spread where models go slumming. This is a poor country cousin pretending to be the real thing because they gave Vidya Balan a unibrow and light colored contact lenses.

Shakespeare Bhaiyya Kahin, 'Inner Weather Reflects Outer Weather', But This Film Ruins It

Let’s not even get into the weather! It’s Holi when everyone wants to look like a magazine spread, and it rains because the director does not know whether to show one of the prostitutes (Gauhar Khan) make love with the servant of the House (Pitobash) after they admit that they care for each other and the body is the body. Please don’t miss the moralising, the speechification: ‘Chaati kya hai? Maans hai’ (What are breasts, but meat) and so on by Gauhar Khan is unbearable rather than ‘acting’ with a chance of an award. Back to the weather, when the duo return to the House, the wind brings in dry leaves and twigs you see during Autumn.

I Went To Film School Syndrome

The two men responsible for drawing the border: one Hindu (Ashish Vidyarthi) and another Muslim (Rajit Kapoor) have been shot so oddly you wonder why the frame contains only half their face and the rest is a blur. Maybe because what they’re saying is trite and needless.

Kancha Cheena Ki Jai

You have barely recovered from seeing Naseeruddin Shah in a shiny brocade sherwani clearly made for Gabbar Singh or Dwayne Johnson when you suddenly find yourself apologising to all the casting directors of mythological TV shows. They don't get their casting wrong!

Imagine the relief when the salve comes in the form of a super bad mercenary Chunky Pandey who does his best to channelise his inner Kancha Cheena (Sanjay Dutt from the new Agnipath) and does a great job. But even he has not much to do but crack his skull as musclemen are wont to do while spouting dialog like, ‘Mere aadmi phir kuch bhi kar sakte hain.’

Partition Sankshipt Mein

They keep having to go back to from the whorehouse to their original idea, and everything the filmmaker does turns out to be howlarious. We see characters who are such pointless cardboard cutouts you can only shake your head in despair: three people discussing how the partition is going to affect them . One is a token Muslim, one Sikh, and you hope the third one does not turn out to be Anthony or Peter or John. You see the resulting divide between Hindus and Muslims treated so flimsily, you want to throw things at the screen. You see Hindu kids on one side crossing another bunch of kids (skull caps and all), each group staring at each other looking scared. Seriously?! To top it all, they take a classic song ‘Woh subah kabhi toh aayegi’ and remix it in what can be only called as a pseudo-caring version.

This is a sham of a film making a pretense to art. Buy or rent the DVD of Mandi instead.

No comments: