Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shoaib Mansoor's 'Bol' is plain bad

There was a bit of high expectation because the uncritical reviewers were a dewy-eyed about this film. It has turned out to be dismal, and the message of social malaise was being reinforced with a sledgehammer. It is interesting that the protagonist's family is a Mohajir and one, right from Uttar Praadesh. The head of the family, a hakim-turned moulvi-turned-begetter-of-a-girl-child in a tawaif's family, undergoes dramatic changes n his status from that of tyrant father to a honest man to an apparently flagrant philanderer. The ghastly end is almsot inexorable. It seems as though that it is the Uttar Pradesh Muslim who is stuck in an imaginary world of false vales while the Punjabi Muslim gets on with the world, with all the perversions jostling with essential goodness.

The tragedy of the eunuch son was an unnecessary gory detail, an excess which does not add to the vaalue of the film.

It was perhaps necessary for Mansoot to have restorted to such unsubtle story-telling to drive home the point.

The dialogues are laced with irony, when Meena, the tawaif, tells the Moulvi that she has mastered her Urdu through watching 'Pakeezah' and 'Umrao Jaan' numbers of times, and says one should be born a tawaif in Lucknow. Otherwise it is better to be born into a family of decent folk. But the chap who sings the glory of a girl-child does so because he comes from the tawaif community where the girl is seen as an earning member, in contrast to the Maulvi who in his own perverse way feels that girls are a curse.

The director provides escape route for one of the girls who falls in love with the Punjabi Shia boy and takes to pop singing. And after the gory end, the remainng women find their vocation and fortune in selling food and ending up as restaurateurs. Though as unrealistic as the grim tale, these touches of hope give the film some breathing space.

The acting was quite good. Humaima Mallick gives her best though she does not fully succeed. Iman Ali as the twif Meena gives a whiff of her screen presence and acting talent.

1 comment:

Yasser said...

Ja kay cholay bech! Writing reviews of such sophisticated movies isn't your thing.

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