Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Barah Aana

Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 20th Mar ‘09
Time : 97 minutes
Director & Co-writer : Raja Menon; Co-Writer : Raj Kumar Gupta: Music : Shri
Starring : Arjun Mathur, Naseeruddin Shah, Vijay Raaz, Violante Placido, Benjamin Gilani, Jayati Bhatia, Tannishtha Chatterjee

A strange friendship between a waiter (Arjun Mathur), a security guard (Vijay Raaz) and a driver (Naseeruddin Shah), all of whom live in a sprawling slum and have very different motives in life, is the focus of this film

Arjun dreams of a better life, dreams of a foreigner who is friendly with him in the coffee shop he waits in and thus ignores the outspoken affections of Tannishtha, who lives in the same slum and is his landlord’s daughter.

Naseeruddin Shah has been hard done by his family members and now is content to while his days away in silence, rarely speaking, even when the mistress of the house he drives for, hurls unprompted & unjustified abuse at him. He is happy to be amongst the world’s living dead, pun intended.

The show stealer of the film is Vijay Raaz, who is underconfident, bumbling, a bit of an idiot, struggling to make ends meet and is trying desperately to make sure he is able to send to his village the Rs 5000 needed to make his son alright. One slap, though, changes all this and its lovely to watch the ‘new’ Vijay Raaz, authoritative, full of beans and how this rubs off on his cohorts. And how the three of them cope with the twists and turns that life throws at them

Contrary to what some rich people like to believe, the poor still do find ways to have fun, so there are plenty of light hearted moments. Even some of the tragic moments are shown in a ‘funny’ way, Vijay Raaz again coming to the fore. Either when he is being made to climb up and down three stories in a power struggle between the self-important secretary of the society and the unrepentant owner of an wrongly parked car or when he bemoans the lack of humanity amongst the society dwellers and their inability to lend him the money he needs for his son’s medicines, despite their spending more on necessities like pizza’s etc and despite his having gone out of the way to care for some of them in their hour of need.

The film moves along at a nice clip, has enough sub-plots to keep you interested and they all come together neatly and tie up towards the end. It is full of little insights – someone has observed with minute detail how most of us mistreat, abuse and humiliate our servants on a routine basis, the kind of non-issues we blow up to find a reason to perhaps vent our frustrations on these helpless souls who usually have nowhere to go. And I think, the fact that this film gets this message through without making moralizing or preaching, and still makes sure you leave the movie hall chuckling, is what makes this a very good film…

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