'Rajjo' falls flat (IANS Movie Review, Rating: *1/2)

Film: "Rajjo"; Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Paras Arora, Prakash Raj and Mahesh Manjrekar; Director: Vishwas Patil; Rating: *1/2

Films about prostitutes, with or without a heart of gold, have fascinated filmmakers and viewers from the time Nargis and Meena Kumari did "Adalat" and "Pakeezah", respectively.

Then there was Sharmila Tagore carrying the concept of the pristine prostitute to the peaks of sublimity in Shakti Samanta's "Amar Prem".

With time, the concept of the prostitute with a halo has lost its sheen. Virginity and sexual sacrifices are no longer the sacrosanct commodities they once used to be.

"Rajjo" tries hard to create empathy - or is it sympathy - for the prostitute on the path of rehabilitation. Years ago, we had Anil Dhawan trying to give a home and a sense of security to call girl Rehana Sultan in "Chetna". In "Rajjo", we have a newcomer Paras Arora trying very hard to look like the guy that the distressed prostitute can depend on. The older woman's sexual seduction was far more sincerely done recently in "B.A. Pass".

"Rajjo" is a losing battle all the way. Not only does the callow youngster (said to be 21 in the script but looks 16) seem ill-equipped to give "Rajjo" a new life, the script itself seems in desperate search of a life. It meanders from an intended plot of self-righteous nobility to a domain of absolute absurdity and crudity.

The dialogues that flow from mouths which seem constructed for deception during times of drama seem to sound like graffiti on toilet walls.

Writer-director Vishwas Patil means well. Maybe just as well as B.R. Chopra when he cast Vyjayanthimala as the rehabilitated nautch girl in "Sadhna". But Vyjayanthimala could dance. Kangana can't.

Lamentably, good intentions don't translate into good cinema. Dialogues comparing women to commodities that are meant to be scathing attacks on the position accorded to women in our society, come out sounding cheesy. The editing and choreography don't support Kangana's character in any way.

Instead, they drive the narrative around the bend creating a kind of chaotic universe where actors drop in, say their allotted lines quickly and leave without getting involved in the mess.

The actors, even tried-and-tested ones like Mahesh Manjrekar and Prakash Raj seem to be screaming to get attention.

The only technician who seems to take his job seriously is cinematographer Binod Pradhan, who shoots the messy material with sincerity. But what can a world class cinematographer shoot in a film that's hellbent on shooting itself in its leg?

The fallen woman has never before fallen with such a thundering thud.

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Yahoo Cricket

Latest News

  • 'Playing It Cool' - Predictable fare, muted by censor board

    Film: "Playing It Cool"; Cast: Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Anthony Mackie, Topher Grace, Aubery Plaza, Luke Wilson, Martin Starr, Philip Baker Hall and Ioan Gruffudd; Director: Justin Reardon; Rating: **1/2 …

  • It's a boy for Soundarya Rajinikanth

    Chennai, May 7 (IANS) Filmmaker Soundarya Rajinikanth, daughter of superstar Rajinikanth, delivered a baby boy at a private hospital here. "The baby was born late on Wednesday night at Apollo hospital. Both -- the baby and the mother -- are absolutely fine," a source close to Rajinikanth told IANS. Soundarya married Ashwin Ramkumar, an industrialist, in 2010. …

  • Man pleads not guilty in Sandra Bullock stalking case
    Man pleads not guilty in Sandra Bullock stalking case

    By Robert Mezan LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The man accused of breaking into Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock's Los Angeles home entered a not guilty plea to more than two dozen charges in a Los Angeles court on Wednesday.  Joshua Corbett was charged with stalking, first-degree burglary, possession of a machine gun and possession of an assault weapon, among other things. The judge set a pre-trial hearing for June 8.     Police found an arsenal of weapons at Corbett's Montrose, California, …

  • Fox says U.S. cable customers like bundles, pay-TV strong
    Fox says U.S. cable customers like bundles, pay-TV strong

    Twenty-First Century Fox President Chase Carey said on Wednesday "a vast majority of customers want a bundle of channels" rather than to cherry pick networks, an option cable providers are increasingly offering in the face of declining subscriptions. Carey, who is also co-chief operating officer, made the remarks during a quarterly earnings call after Fox posted a 1.2 percent rise in adjusted revenue, helped by growth in its cable network business and the box office success of "Taken 3" and …

  • Zac Brown Band beats Groban to take top spot on Billboard 200
    Zac Brown Band beats Groban to take top spot on Billboard 200

    By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country group Zac Brown Band scored a third chart-topping album on the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, beating singer Josh Groban to the coveted top spot. "Jekyll + Hyde," the fourth album by the Atlanta-based band, sold 214,000 albums, 115,000 songs and was streamed online 3.9 million times, totalling 228,000 units according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan. Groban came in at No. ... …

  • Kristen Wiig on mental health, comedy and 'Ghostbusters'
    Kristen Wiig on mental health, comedy and 'Ghostbusters'

    By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As a prominent cast member of "Saturday Night Live" for a decade, Kristen Wiig played characters from political figures to pop stars, but in her latest film, the comedian taps into a more complex and serious side of life. In "Welcome to Me," opening in U.S. theatres and video-on-demand on Friday, Wiig plays Alice Kleig, a secluded woman with borderline personality disorder who wins the lottery and secures herself a televised talk show. Wiig talked to …

  • British TV spy series 'Spooks' gets silver screen makeover

    The agents of Britain's MI5 hit the silver screen this week in a film adaptation of popular British television spy drama "Spooks". "Spooks: The Greater Good" stars some of the original drama cast, such as Peter Firth, as well as new faces including "Game of Thrones" actor Kit Harington. The BBC series, which ran from 2002 to 2011, won many fans as well as numerous awards and Harington says the film stays true to the spirit of the spy show. "I think 'Spooks' always wanted to be a film. …

  • Tunisian Mabkhout wins 'Arab Booker' for first novel

    (Reuters) - Tunisian university administrator Shukri Mabkhout's first novel "The Italian", which its author says was inspired by the events of the Arab Spring, was named the winner on Wednesday of the eighth annual 'Arab Booker' prize for fiction. The prize is supported by the Booker Prize Foundation in London and is funded by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. It never lets go of the reader who willingly follows its intriguing characters on their converging and diverging journeys …

Loading...