DIRECTOR: Chandra Prakash Dwivedi
CAST: Adil Hussain, Mona Singh, Mukesh Tiwari, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Rahul Singh, K K Raina, Sanjay Mishra
A film which has a fictional head of state who looks alarmingly like our current real-life PM? With Adil Hussain in the lead? And which promises to slam communalism and corruption in a humorous but sharp vein? What’s not to like?
Zed Plus turns out to be a mildly engaging but overall patchy attempt at political satire from the man who gave us the memorable Doordarshan serial Chanakya. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi still has the touch, but is not consistent, and a lot of the story-telling gets drowned in obviousness.
Aslam ( Hussain) is an aam aadmi who is turned, reluctantly, into a khaas aadmi. His wife (Mona Singh) is bewildered by the sudden turn of events which leads to the appearance of Z security around her humble home. It also leaves his jealous padosi (Tiwari) fuming.
But as we know, great power comes with great responsibility. That Aslam has a paramour on the side makes him human, and some of the push-and-pull of a man trying to please two women makes us smile. So does his getting stuck in a situation of his own making. But he loses his twinkle when he tries responsibility on for size. As does the film.
Too soon, it all becomes repetitve, and predictable. We are not really sure of what to make of the filmi PM (Kharbanda) who can only talk in English: is it mocking the point that our asli PM really only likes talking in his matribhashas? The logic stays fuzzy.
The analogy between the puncturewala Aslam, who fixes punctures for a living, and a politician who does ditto, is fresh to begin with, but stutters as it goes along. So does the play on padosi, neighbour and Pakistan.
The good news is that there are still people attempting a satirical look at power and pelf and politics, and seeing how the public and personal intersects. The bad news is that it is not effective enough.