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Begum Jaan Movie Review

Begum Jaan Movie Review

Direction: Srijit Mukherji

Cast: Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Gauahar Khan, Pitobash Tripathy, Pallavi Sharda, Chunky Pandey, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajit Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah

 Begum Jaan Review Rating 3/5 Three stars out of 5

 

“Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose”

Kris Kristofferson

Begum Jaan is a period drama, which even though I have watched in Bangla holds my attention only because of a whip cracking crisp performance by the lead actor Vidya Balan. Yet again as in Kahani as in  Dirty Picture as in many a film before that Vidya raises the acting bar so high that the 11 or so other women in the film ‘shrill’ in performance, more on that later. That apart a partition story with a very strong narrative is always an engaging watch because for all of us, especially in the North of India, have a partition story in the family and we relate to the tragedy of the movement at some level.

Begum Jaan Story:

Begum Jaan played by Vidya Balan is the madam of a brothel situated on the border between India and Pakistan. She is the queen bee who hold sway over the women in her bordello as much as she is the current favourite of the local king played by Naseeruddin Shah

All is going along like a well-oiled machine until the British on the eve of Independence appoints Sir Cyril Radcliffe the chairman of the Border Commission to divide India and Pakistan. This line runs clean through the middle of Begum Jaan’s brothel and that is when all hell breaks loose for Indian Pakistani and British authorities.  Begum fights tooth, feisty nail and loaded gun to protect her home and the girls under her care and the authorities try every trick in the book to oust her from the property. How it ends I’m not telling here but you go watch in the theatre.

 My first concern how does Begum Jaan differ from Director Srijit Mukherji's Bangla period film 'Rajkahini' made in 2015.Is it a replica, no the story line though it’s the same is essentially different because 'Rajkahini' was set on the eastern border, where East Pakistan was being separated from West Bengal and Begum Jaan is set in Punjab. That apart the lead actors Rituparna Sengupta in the Bangla version and Vidya Balan in Begum Jaan bring different energies to the role and that is why both are interesting watches.

Begum Jaan Acting

Vidya Balan rules this film, there is not a single frame in the whole film where she is found wanting.  Her dialogue delivery is the level that will make grown men shudder… Gabbar in a brand new avatar.  It is this power that actually liberates her act and takes it to a different level. Lest I get carried away here I would like to mention here that her second in command here Gauahar Khan too deserves special mention for picking up the gauntlet and delivering a feisty performance as well.  However, I would like to mention here that like all the rest of our cast and their characters are stereotypical except for Chunky Pandey who really makes the watch worthwhile while he is on screen. 

Story  Direction

If you can write a script that is laden to the rafters with raunchy dialogues and doubles ententes and still not let it look vulgar and in the face, you have arrived, unto that end begum Jaan has made it. Least I forget ever time there was a dialogue of this nature mouthed by Vidya a hall full of people around me whistled and cat called. This film is entertainment, entertainment, no the third entertainment is missing and rightly so as it would have ended up with Begum Jaan oozing context and be lowered to a masala flick. Not that Begum Jaan is as masala and melodramatic as a film of this nature gets but director Srijit Mukherji does manage to hold it all together quite well.

 What is also interesting to watch in Begum Jaan is the director very ably drawing a parallel to present day India where we a society choose two extreme viewpoints that do not include a vast majority of the country who do not want to take sides, so to speak.

To sum it up I’d give the film one star for the energy and drama on screen and one star for the dialogues. It is these two factors that will get the audience to the theatres. One star I reserve for Vidya Balan superb strong centred act that once again brings the film alive and carries it on her shoulders.

My Begum Jaan movie review rating 3/5 three stars on five

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  • Begum Jaan Movie Review

    Begum Jaan Movie Review

    Direction: Srijit Mukherji

    Cast: Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Gauahar Khan, Pitobash Tripathy, Pallavi Sharda, Chunky Pandey, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajit Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah

     Begum Jaan Review Rating 3/5 Three stars out of 5

     

    “Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose”

    Kris Kristofferson

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Begum Jaan Movie Review

Critics Rating: 
3
REVISED ?
Avg. Readers Rating: 
0
Cast: 
Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Gauahar Khan, Pitobash Tripathy, Pallavi Sharda, Chunky Pandey, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajit Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah
Direction: 
Srijit Mukherji
Genre: 
period drama
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