There is no need to ponder over how well Bijlee, Matru or Mandola performed because they all gave life to their characters, but when you know that Vishal Bhardwaj is the director of the film, you expect something “Dhan Te Na”.
While the film was zesty, it seems like Bhardwaj was so caught up in giving life to his characters that he forgot to infuse some in the plot of the film.
Like any of Bhardwaj’s earlier films, he has challenged himself and his team once again to make socio-political observations through the cinematic medium. In this film, he brings to his audience the issue of land grabbing that takes place rampantly, behind the garb of the Special Economic Zones Act. The story unfolds in a village in Haryana, where the farmers are hoodwinked into selling their land to the Government because their land comes under the Special Economic Zone.
To project this village drama, Bhardwaj puppeteers his actors into resembling the rural natives; obviously, our dear Anushka Sharma is made to stand out, rightfully so, giving Bollywood audiences an angry young woman to cope with for the first time. She abuses and with ferocious enthusiasm but the best part is that she relishes it, which makes for a refreshing change in the female protagonist in Indian cinema.
I think it was Bhardwaj’s plan to make sure that the feisty Bijlee overshadows her male co-star, because even though Imran’s furry look adds to the nuances of his character, he still whispers through his role. Shabana Azmi endows the film with much needed spark and zest; in fact, she portrays the role of a neta astoundingly well. On the other hand, Pankaj Kapur plays the corrupt zamindar meets industrialist so well that you can imagine Amitabh Bachchan twiddling his thumbs in nervousness on finally meeting a worthy competitor. However, it is time to put back my mournful guise.
A character I caught on with was Mao, who comes to save the village from capitalist degradation, but he didn’t get the stage for too long. Besides, Bhardwaj seems to have lost all his energies in building his characters, making a very weak political statement. So, it’s a yes from me but: “Dekho Magar Pyaar Se.”
MTV Rating: 2/5