So often we have seen in the last couple of years that Bollywood has borrowed ideas from regional cinemas and has failed to do justice to the concept. This year itself we had OK Jaanu, remake disappointing the fans and now they can also add Begum Jaan to the list. With so less female-centric films being made in India, the expectations are always high a movie like Begum Jaan is announced. Add to that, Vidya Balan in the lead role along with Gohar Khan, Ila Arun and Pallavi Sharda and Srijit Mukherji had an outstanding cast to sell the idea.
The film is based on Rajkahini, Srijit Mukherji’s Bengali film and is based on the torturous days of partition. The tale revolves around a brothel or ‘kotha’ where a group of women are living together irrespective of their caste or religion. The twist is this brothel falls in the middle of the line drawn by British and becomes a point of conflict. The setting is nice and reminds you of the old days. Vidya Balan emerges as a powerful madam running the brothel.
Watch Begum Jaan trailer here:
Naseeruddin Shah has played a raja who is a ruthless predator and like always has done justice to his character. The male cast also includes powerful actors like Rajit Kapoor and Ashish Vidyarthi but both of them have been wasted by the director through some mediocre dialogues and stretched scenes. You must not have heard this too many times but Chunky Pandey is the bright point of this movie with his creepy acting and outstanding dialogue delivery.
The music is decent enough and won’t be forgotten easily. The climax of the film is full of drama and long speeches by the leading ladies but even that fails to save the film. Overall, it is a disappointing effort to create a period drama that fails to live up to the expectations and never takes off.
Cast: Vidya Balan, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajit Kapur, Gauahar Khan, Rajesh Sharma, Pitobash Tripathy, Vivek Mushran, Chunky Pandey, Naseerudin Shah, Pallavi Sharda, Ila Arun
Director: Srijit Mukherji
Rating: 2.5/5 stars