13 January 2013 | rangdetumpy
A political satire with absurdly amusing characters...
With Vishal Bhardwaj behind the camera one can expect something new in the offering. This time Bhardwaj goes the quirky humor path with a socially relevant subject. Even though Indian politics & old lunatic politicians could be the maximum source of entertainment, for some reasons they are not utilized to the fullest. Bhardwaj-Chaubey's script is one such rare political satire that deals with land scam – a perennial problem pan India.
The film begins with a weirdly catchy shot with a limousine being parked in a farmland in front of the local wine shop. The limousine accelerated to bump into the stall as we get introduced to Harry Mandola, the millionaire & his affinity towards "Gulabo beer". He personifies "Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde" being the Good Samaritan when he is drunk but during his steady state he is an authoritative, manipulative businessman who is planning to take away the land of the farmers for personal gain. To add to it there is the corrupt minister with her sinister ambitions to climb the ladder of politics through tactful alliance with Mr Mandola. All plans goes awry as Mandola under his uncontrolled drunk state forced the farmers to start a revolution against him.
Vishal Bhardwaj takes a different route from his usual dark psychological themes and tries to explore the capitalist exploitation of the affluent & the wrong usage of power. Mao Tse Tung is symbolically webbed into the narrative hinting on communistic ideology as the shadowy "Mao" helps the farmers in their fight to get their land back. Bhardwaj-Chaubey's script is wacky,zany at times surreal that doesn't become overtly didactic. There are ample sequences (especially in 1st half) which have the mark of genius Bhardwaj. The scene where Mandola & Matru are trying to pull a Well away from their path in a drunken state reflects the existential struggle of the farmers of the society. They provide us with the ingredients to survive but we tend to ignore their significance, while the politicians are up to their own games. The serious subject has been absurdly camouflaged with utter sincerity. The dark humors are well placed. One of the finest sequences involves the gathering of the politicians as they take up their wine glass & lustfully shouts "Kursiyan" (chairs of political power) instead of "Cheers". From Zulu tribe to UFO, Bhardwaj incorporated everything that can add in to the madness- with master touch being the creation of Gulabi Bhains (Pink Buffalo) which plays a crucial role in the film. The dialogs are exemplary with unique twisted take on common proverbs. Sample this "tumhare ghar mein Mao Lenin nehi hai kya". Karthik Vijay's cinematography helps in portraying a real & surreal world which gets blended by perfect editing of veteran A Sreekhar Prasad. Vishal Bhardwaj music is always different and here also his music gels with the mood. Gulzar seems to have enjoyed a lot penning those quirky lyrics. Seldom has he got the scope to write such interesting lines like "oye Dolli Dolli Dolli, meri vitamin Ki goli". I am sure he must have been bored to death writing the typical romantic songs for JTHJ and with MKBKM he embraced air of freshness.
The pillar of the film, veteran Pankaj Kapoor as Harry Mandola, is rocking. He effortlessly slips into the role and took "Split personality" in Bollywood to another level. He again showed his versatility and proved why he is considered amongst the top actors of our country. Imran khan was easy on eyes and tried his best to do justice to the complicated role of Hukum Singh Matru. Hopefully his acting prowess will get noticed with this one. The role of bubbly Bijli is tailor-made for Anushka Sharma and she didn't miss doing justice to the confused daughter of rich father suffering from "Meena Kumari Complex"(as coined by Matru). Shabana Azmi made her presence felt with her lecherous act of climbing the ladder of success. Another fine acting talent of Indian cinema, she showed her spontaneity in the sequence with her son where she is explaining her motive behind the thirst for "power". Arya Babbar surprisingly leaves impression as Azmi's stupid yet calculative son "Badal" who is trigger to Azmi's success.Navneet Nissan makes her presence felt in the small insignificant cameo.By the way what was Ranbir Shourey doing in that once scene? Lastly, the smile of the "Gulabi bhains" is addictive..Did I mention that I am also hallucinating like Mr Mandola?
On the whole the Bhardwaj should be credited for depicting a clash between communist & bourgeoisie and also dealing with a grave issue like land-scam. Probably this time he wanted to reach a wider audience which can be felt in the 2nd half when things becomes over simplistic & bromide for the entertainment of regular cine-goers. The climax is disappointing by Bhardwaj standards when one looks back & checks his uncompromising brilliant masterpieces like Maqbool,Kaminey,Blue Umbrella,Omakar. Nevertheless even a strictly decent Bhardwaj film is better than most of the Hindi films being churned out recently. Like one can't expect Messi to score in every match it is difficult to expect brilliancy from each & every film by any director. Having said that I feel a Vishal Bhardwaj,Anurag Kashyap,Dibakar Banerjee film should never be missed as they bring something new to the platter.And repeating myself, even a not-so-great film by any of them is better than most of the other Hindi films.
Give MKBKM a chance. There are enough moments that have the stamp of VB. Icing on the cake is the presence of ever reliable Pankaj Kapoor.