Complete movie review of ‘Begum Jaan’
Star Cast: Vidya Balan, Ila Arun, Gauahar Khan, Pitobash Tripathy, Pallavi Sharda, Chunky Pandey, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajit Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah
Director: Srijit Mukherji
Producer: Vishesh Films
Music: Anu Malik, Khayyam
‘Begum Jaan’ set in the backdrop of late Indian Independence period of 1948. Vidya Balan plays the lead role of a brothel’s madam. It is Hindi remake of the Bengali film ‘Rajkahini’ (2015). ‘Begum Jaan’ is loosely based on Shyam Benegal’s 1986 movie ‘Mandi’.
Story of the movie:
On the eve of Independence, the chairman of the Border Commission, Sir Cyril Radcliffe decides to divide India and Pakistan into equitable halves. 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.
But Begum Jan does not want to follow this order at all. Then in the story, the pressure of the government machinery and many conspiracies are shown. Along with Begum Jan, this brothel has 10 more women, as well as 2 men. Along with the story of Begum Jan and the struggle of these 12 people, the film also The film also highlights the major issue of today’s life.
Direction of the film:
The film’s direction is good, as well as cinematography, shots with drone cameras, dialogues are awesome. With firing the fire scenes are also very awesome. Screenplay could be better for the story. With ‘Begum Jaan’, one has to agree that Srijit Mukherji seems hell bent on melodrama. The screeching conversations between Begum’s girls are surely a hint of that.
One Mukherji’s most powerfully captured scene is where Begum repeatedly slaps Shabnam, a young girl who is in trauma after being raped and abandoned in a brothel by her father until, she finally has a breakdown.
Vidya Balan plays the role of Begum Jan very well. She tries hard to save this film with a powerful performance. No doubt she does her job fair and square but it is the script that fails her. As the hookah-smoking, swearing at the word go and with a lionesses of a stare, Balan does a great job.
Amongst the supporting cast, Gauahar Khan, Pitobash, Pallavi Sharda and Vivek Mushrah make an impact. Chunky Pandey is superb as Kabir, the villain. Pandey as a cold-blooded contract killer will remain in your memory for some time.
Naseeruddin Shah is very effective in his two-scene cameo, especially the scene where he places a creepy request to Begum Jaan.
Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajit Kapoor and Rajesh Sharma, are dependable actors who never fail to pull off what’s expected of them and that’s exactly what they do here.
Music of the film:
The music of the movie is good. In the film Babul Mora Nahar ..named song is also good.
The film is watchable but only once. The major hiccup in the film is its poor execution and the whole set up looks fabricated. Maybe a better director would have made this film much more bearable. Watch ‘Begum Jaan’ for Vidya Balan’s impressive performance but don’t expect it to be a masterpiece!