Well done Abba: Well done Shyam Benegal, Well done Boman Irani!

Posted: March 28, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

A movie in the time of IPL, is almost like love in the time of war.. !
Unthinkable? No great movies get released for a month or more! What a blow IPL has given to the film industry.

And yet, in the midst of IPL, this Shyam Benegal film, “Well done Abba” released, and I overcame my film-withdrawal symptoms and landed up to see it.

I am glad for the likes of Shyam Benegal and Vishal Bhardwaj, for showing us a real ‘other India’. Away from the gloss of the city life, or the underbelly also (the so-called multiplex ‘life in a metro’ genre), away from the jazzy foreign locales of Chopras and Johars.

Bhardwaj is all about UP, and Benegal this time, takes us to small town Andhra Pradesh.

The film, in terms of story and treatment, is close to an “Office-Office” kind of television serial. Exposing the corruption all over, and the exploitation of the poor, via the various yojanas and all. In that respect, the story is not really such good film material, and might have been better delivered on the small screen.

But add to the story, the elements of viewing life in small town AP, and that adds an additional value element to the cinematic experience. And makes it worth the 2.5 hours.

You end up ‘feeling’ for the Muslim mother of 5 daughters, with the husband working in the city somewhere, and having to face the burden of getting the girls married. And who finds the match with an Arab sheikh to be a good one for the eldest. You also feel disgusted at seeing what you already know – the complete chain of corrupt apathy – which results in the poor not getting a basic requirement like water!

Boman Irani gets to play virtually a solo hero. He proves that he can carry a film on his shoulders. He gets into the skin of the Hyderabadi Muslim, with accent, mannerisms and all, completely.

Minisha Lamba’s is a spunky character and she delivers well. She’s done it again, after Yahaan, where she was a Kashmiri girl in similar circumstances. She needs to be seen in more glamorous roles too. I believe she has it in her, to deliver those as well.

But wonder about the creasy line that comes up on her cheeks, every time she grimaces?! Kind of funny..

The film is slow. No typical masala film elements. So a huge departure from routine stuff. Not everyone will like it. But a good break during IPL as you already have enough of glamour and glitz (Shilpa, Preity, Deepika + cheerleaders) there. So Well Done Abba is refreshing change then..

  1. Asfaq Tapia says:

    I liked the movie too. Its rather sad that movies like these don’t do well at the box office. Even if you look at Prince, the promos, the posters and the buzz pre-launch was all pretty good and yet that didn’t translate to footfalls. Its sad that movies in India mostly revolve around big names.

  2. #WellDoneAbba -I liked Minisha Lamba’s work in the movie. She is classy. Boman Irani clearly strives for perfection at anything he does.

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