After hard-hitting movies like Chandni Bar, Madhur Bhandarkar is back with a movie that is different in every sense of the word. Not only different, it is also stupid. So stupid in fact that even the attempts at acting made by the actors in it pales in comparison.
But fullhyd.com reviewers have never held sad acting against any movie. Over time, we have come to realize the obviousness of the truth - there just isn't enough disk space in this world for us to vent our angst. And we have made our peace with it, thank you. What we do have a bone with is the creative license our filmmakers abuse in the name of art-house cinema. More on this a little later.
The movie is about the life of the so-called socialites through the eyes of Madhavi Sharma (Konkana Sen Sharma), a page 3 columnist. It does not hesitate in calling a spade a spade. It tells you exactly how artificial their lives are, how sick their indulgences are, and how insecure their social status is. It tells you how newspapers auction off page 3 to the highest bidder, and how they create and destroy celebrities. And, it is only for this blatant honesty that the movie gets a rating of one.
There is not much story. Madhavi shares her flat with Pearl (Sandhya Mridul), an air-hostess who finally marries a millionaire more than twice her age, and Gayatri (Tara Sharma), a woman struggling to get her first break in Bollywood who does not hesitate to use the casting couch. Madhavi's boyfriend, Tarun, has no qualms over doing sexual favors to either men or women to become a successful model. There are also Priya (Kunika) and Puspha (Maya Alagh) - socialites who love the company of men half their age.
Among them is Anjali Thapar, wife of Romesh Thapar, an industrialist. Unlike her peers, she runs a children's home. Madhavi develops a deep bond with her. When Anjali dies, Madhavi decides that she has had enough of page 3, and moves on to crime beat as an assistant to Vinayak Manve (Atul Kulkarni). It is here that she unearths the most depraved of all the doings of rich men - child abuse. And this is what makes you question Madhur Bhandarkar's sensibilities.
Yes, child abuse is a serious problem that we Indians have to stop brushing under the carpet. It is much more widespread than we are willing to imagine, and it is sickening. But there are ways to depict the issue. We are not sure why Bhandarkar would choose to show us a bunch of naked little boys sitting on the laps of naked men.
Could you even fathom the emotional trauma those kids would have had to endure when they were stripped on the sets in front of so many people, many of them in various stages of undress? This, itself, constitutes child abuse. Just what were the censors doing when this movie came to them? Just what is the law doing?
Not very long ago, Brooke Shields had a scene in which she had to go topless. Since she was under-aged at the time, a body-double was used. But this is India. Anyone who makes a non-commercial movie can get away with anything. And that is ghoulishly depressing.