Bandook – Depicting the only Girl & Guns in full thunder !!!
Film: Bandook – Film Review
Producer: Aditya Om and Others
Directed: Aditya Om
Cast: Aditya Om, Manisha Kelkar, Arshad Khan, &Ashish Kotwaal.
Bandook as the title suggests is all about Bandook , Bandook & Bandook… and mind well not for the heck of it, as it appears, but there’s a whole lot of psychological aspect of violence which is at stake. Maybe the scene may not be as dark and grim as it is made out to be, or can be even worse, but in either case an attempt that is made to create an awareness of sorts is very much noticeable!
Aditya Om, who has directed this political crime thriller, is an actor first who has a body of work down south in Telugu Cinema. He may not be a Prakash Jha, to attempt a genre which is generally not an easy outing for any film maker, but it goes to the credit of this young courageous actor to choose a film of this order as his debut vehicle, calls for some level of confidence and guts. Deteriorating law and order situation in North India during mid nineties and the emergence of a new political order seems to have played heavily on Aditya’s mind, to incite him to attempt such a hard hitting issue.
The story as it unfolds shows the journey of Bhola Kevat (Aditya Om) from an ordinary boatman’s son, to the arena of political power. There are certain scenes in the film which are very deftly executed, especially when Bhola wants to become a shooter and his mentor Lochan Singh Yadav (Arshad Khan), who has given a really hard hitting performance, asks to shoot someone for the first time and how it scares the daylight out of Bhola. Seems Aditya has done lot of research, because killing someone is not an easy task and for the first timer and even a seasoned killer for that matter, it takes shit out of you. Having been shot on a shoe string budget you don’t expect that technical gloss and finesse, but once you sit through the film, it starts hanging on you. Sometimes you start wondering as to whether you are on a pilgrimage, when you see the holy Ganga and lakhs of devotees lined up the Ganges, or you are on a waterfront where Guns are blazing and blood is flowing.
But like it is said that political power grows out of the Barrel of a Gun, and so is the case with Bandook it seems. Aditya who is also the writer and director has portrayed the central character of Bhola, the way he has conceived. Bhola wants to be a shooter, but is soft at heart. He does not rape woman, does not kill them, is aptly conveyed, the way he treats the victim of abuse and protects her. Manisha Kelkar as Kajri has done a wonderful job of enacting a deaf and mute character whose pain and helplessness is there to see. Bholas love, friendship, loyalty is all tested in a ruthless world of deceit and violence. Special mention to Arshad Khan as Lochan Singh and Ashish Kotwaal as the political don Hari Om Tripathi who has everyone at his feet like a master puppeteer at work, have delivered in Toto. Musical score by Nikhil Kamat is very much topical, representing every festival and happening in the badland. Background score is bare minimum, what with guns blazing all around. Shooting on the actual locations of interiors of Bihar and Ghats of Ganga in Benaras and Allahabad lends the rustic look and authenticity.
There are quite a few flaws in the film, but what strikes you most is the reality of the situation, which Aditya Om tries to project through his film, thereby creating an awareness that gun mafia is still part of the system in certain belts of our motherland, which is used as a might to achieve wealth and power and the human values are just not there. There are no sexy females, no item numbers, no graphic rape scenes, but yet the film leaves an impact. The film is replete with choicest expletives and cuss words at every point which could have been toned down.
The film does not highlight or ridicule anything, but tries to present viewer’s point of view perspective. Just go and watch the film for the only Girl in the film and loads of Guns in full thunder!!!