The name intrigues for sure. The first time I heard snippets of the song when my roommates had the TV blaring on full volume, and very curiously as I peeked around to check the name of the movie, it said Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola. I declared… It’s not going to go down well! With a faltu name that kind, they had already alienated people like my parents, and aunts and uncles.
The first part of the movie is dheela, slow. If you happen to go on a day when you’ve gotten up at 5am, you find the AC comforting, the seatsvery plush and the environment very quiet, you catch up on the lost sleep. The best part? You still don’t miss the movie.In fact, the guy next to me slept 30 minuntes and he enjoyed the movie as much as I did – he didn’t miss anything.
Matru, played by Imran Khan, is supposed to be a revolutionary lawyer, who has come back to his Haryanvi village. Why? When? How? You have no clue and Vishal (Bharadwaj obviously) doesn’t bother with such nuances. Anyway, once back in the village, he works for Mandola (Pankaj Kapoor), a rich businessman who dreams of industries and factories in his village which is named after his family, and who is plagued by his fondness for the bottle. He wants the land of the farmers and Matroo wants exactly the opposite. Sounds familiar? I should think so! It is a story which comes from the era of 70s and 80s when rich zameedaars wanted to exploit poor farmers.
Only Matru and Mandola are an item like Jai-Veeru. As driver and maalik they are so thick – ravaging the countryside liquor shop with their limousine, and doing other very crazy drunken things..including their refrain “oye Bhen….Bhen…” and “Teri maa ka papad” which is by the way entertaining in the beginning.
So what’s new? Bijli, played by Anushka… is definitely not. She is supposed to be a tom boy, who holds her own and is supposed to get married to the minister’s (Shabana Azmi) son, which would fuel everybody’s need for power. And we all know the marriage can’t happen. So now we know Matroo, Bijli and Mandola, and that defines your knowledge till the time the movie ends.
Matru’s character is not well- defined, Bijli still remains a showpiece, Mandola is at his drunk best, Shabana, as always does full justice to her character, the heavy and authentic Haryanvi dialogue which is a bit funny and bit meaningless because it’s getting nowhere. If you manage to rouse from your sleep, you may laugh a few times in the second half, or chuckle, or giggle; depending on how much of it you understood.
So why are we reviewing this movie? Dear Celebrity story writer/screen play writer– please don’t go down the Ram Gopal Verma way. Authentic Haryanvi is entertaining provided you have a have a story to tell! VB – Vishal Bhardwaj has gotten so hung up on his success with Omkara that he seems to be creating similar settings over and over.
All in all…It didn’t go down too well. And I get to have the last word… I told you so!
Let’s give it 2 stars.