It’s Dilli again. Minus Chandni Chowk and chaat, baraats and bhangra, lassi and ladkis. Not that there’s anything wrong with Delhi a few shades duller, but the film starts out on an interesting premise, and rolls onto the beaten track, riddled with characters and climaxes that are mediocre and mundane. Set in a ghostly abandoned mine, that has only an impoverished couple Bhanu (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) and Saroj(Saba Joshi), and a junked bull-dozer for company, the story revisits an age-old saga. Of land politics, poor suppressed by the rich, fight for love against power, Pajeros running over poverty lines, sweat of labour (with no dignity), cracked heels and a crumbling society. Bhanu’s inherited his father’s lowly legacy, of being the sole watch-guard to a mine (with a laathi for a weapon) that’s turned into barren land. His only ambition is maalik ka seva (or lets’ say ghulami) even if it’s at the cost of stripping his dignity and trading his soul. Talk about selling the soul, his maalik, Lakshmichand (Avatar Sahani), is a tyrannical, cold-hearted SOB (son of a *****) who won’t cringe before selling his daughter to another older SOB, or hiring contract killers, or raping a bechari nari. Throw in a stereo-typical corrupt cop, lovers on-the- run, a masked murderer and a bloody chain of events.
Dibyendu Bhattacharya convincingly plays a character who is deprived (of dignity and dimes), oppressed by the bullying boss and victimized by his ill-fate. His performance wins a vote of sympathy. Saba Joshi, fierce in flashes, is the only sight to the sore eyes in this dusty drama. Avatar Sahani, evokes rage with his brutality, mean streak, and blurred bare-butt scenes.
Director, Sidharth Srinivasan, packs in everything that an Amiri-Garibi story is made of, with cliched metaphors, tiring twists, gaalis and gore. There are moments where you empathize with the characters, and you’re waiting for the idea to germinate, but it gets ‘trampled’ along the way.
This one isn’t a ‘class’ apart.
It’s the clash of classes. A poor chowkidaar is exploited by his monstrous maalik, who believes in crushing anything lowly under his feet. This socio-economic drama attempts to expose the imbalance of paisa, power and privileges in our country.