Begum Jaan Movie Review : Vidya Balan in her full energetic avatar


begum jaan 2017

Begum Jaan Movie Review

Begum Jaan Movie Review

 

Star Cast:Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Naseeruddin Shah, Rajit Kapoor, Ashish Vidyarthi, Vivek Mushran, Chunky Pandey, Gauahar Khan, Pallavi Sharda

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutesGenre: Drama

Director: Srijit Mukherji

Rating: 2.5/5

 

National Award winning director, Srijit Mukerji’s hindi debut Begum Jaan is a mostly faithful remake of his own 2015 Bengali movie Rajkahini. 

Vidya Balan has time and again proved that she can transform herself to whichever character she is given. Her last few films may not have done well, but the actress does not shy away from experimenting. Her latest, Begum Jaan, has her playing a madam of a brothel located on the Indo-Pak border during the Partition era.

Story Line:

On the eve of Independence, the chairman of the Border Commission, Sir Cyril Radcliffe decides to divide one nation into three parts: East Pakistan, West Pakistan and India. Director Srijit Mukherji’s Bengali film Rajkahini featured a group of men and women living in a house situated right in the middle of East Pakistan and India’s Bengal. Now, Mukherji’s debut Hindi film Begum Jaan shifts this house to the Punjab-Pakistan border. What the administration doesn’t account for is the line running through the middle of Begum Jaan’s(Vidya Balan) brothel situated plonk on the border; with one half falling in India and the other in Pakistan.

Begum Jaan– A hookah-snorting, razor-tongued woman with authoritarian air, she is the master of her fate. From Gujarati to Bengali to Awadhi, her brothel has women of every cast, language and religion. Some are riot victims, some are simply thrown out of their houses and some failed in love. Begum knows all their secrets and saves them from being homeless. New and younger girls are anyway sought in her business.

It’s going to be a fight between two genders with traitors from both sides crossing the fences. From ageing king to meek farmers, men treat women as mere commodity. Begum is not willing to take things lying down and thus she fights each of these men.

Gauhar Khan plays the madam’s helper, who is in love with the in-house entertainer Surjeet (Pitobash Tiwary); Pallavi Sharda’s Gulabo lusts for the saintly teacher (Vivek Mushran) who has a thing for Begum Jaan; Mishti is the young rape victim whom Begum Jaan shelters.

Representatives of India and Pakistan (played by Rajit Kapur and Ashish Vidyarthi) are unable to shake Begum Jaan’s position. Ignoring the swell of refugees crossing the border on both sides, Begum Jaan rebels against a decision she had nothing to do with, stays glued to her porch, and shouts down the unwelcome visitors. It is left to the movie’s best character, mercenary for hire Kabir (Chunky Pandey), to finish off what they started.

The climax is full of fire and faux brimstone and lots of speechifying, as the ladies of easy virtue become a gun-toting ‘fauj’.

My Take:

It’s a good period and story to revisit because even 70-years after Partition, anything around it still piques interest. Then again, here the narrative deals less with the horror of the divide and serves more as an ode to the spiritedness of Begum; widowed in her childhood and sold to a brothel.

 

Begum Jaan Movie Rating
begum jaan 2017

Movie title: Begum Jaan

Movie description: National Award winning director, Srijit Mukerji’s hindi debut Begum Jaan is a mostly faithful remake of his own 2015 Bengali movie Rajkahini.

Date published: 2017-04-14

Director(s): Srijit Mukherji

Actor(s): Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Chunky Pandey, Gauhar Khan

Genre: Drama

  • Rating
2.5

Summary

It’s a good period and story to revisit because even 70-years after Partition, anything around it still piques interest. Then again, here the narrative deals less with the horror of the divide and serves more as an ode to the spiritedness of Begum; widowed in her childhood and sold to a brothel.

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User Rating 3.33 (3 votes)

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