Very few filmmakers even dare to make the kind of films that Vishal Bhardwaj is known for. Dark, rustic, delectable with hardly any commercial value (his most acclaimed work Omkara, a film that won several awards, was a commercial failure). Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is yet another film that has the multi-talented director’s unmistakable stamp over every frame.
Starring Imran Khan, Anushka Sharma, Pankaj Kapoor, Shabana Azmi and Arya Babbar, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola has Bhardwaj playing five roles – director, producer, music composer, singer and writer!
Story: The movie is set in the rustic surroundings of Mandola, a small village in Haryana. It’s about Harry Mandola (Pankaj Kapoor), a wealthy businessman and an alcohol addict. His driver-cum-friend Matru (Imran Khan), a lawyer who returns to his village to take up his family profession of serving the Mandol a family, is in love with Bijlee (Anushka Sharma), who is engaged to Badal (Arya Babbar), son of a powerful politician Chaudhari Devi (Shabana Azmi). Filled with twists, turns and absolute madness, the film is a tale on the lives of Matru, Bijlee and Mandola.
Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola Review
Unlike some of Vishal’s previous few films, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is entertaining, well-paced and has a few hilarious sequences. It’s a romantic comedy, political satire, musical, sometimes a documentary on alcohol consumption.. all mixed into one 2 hour 20 min package. Oh and there is a bit of chemical locha too, as Harry Mandola can see a pink buffalo (Gulabi Bhains) as soon as he decides to quit drinking.
While the film is quite ‘hatke’, imaginative and has Bhardwaj’s distinctly different way of story-telling as it’s plus points, the problem with Matru lies in it’s script – the film suffers from being way too predictable, goes absolutely haywire post-interval and the dialogue sometimes spoken in local dialect is a little too difficult to follow.
It’s fascinating how Bhardwaj manages to extract brilliant performances out of his actors. Someone like Imran Khan, who is not known for his on-screen histrionics, delivers his best performance to date. But Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola belongs to Pankaj Kapoor, who proves yet again that he is one of the very best actors in the country. He is simply brilliant as Mandola, a man suffering from alcoholic disorder. Anushka Sharma does well. Arya Babbar is good. Shabana Azmi is effective in a negative role.
The music, composed by Bhardwaj, goes well with the film. The camera work is impressive.
Overall, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mondala is Bhardwaj’s most commercial film to date. It isn’t his best work, far from it. But the film has his moments, the north Indian audience will understand and enjoy it a little more. Pankaj Kapoor’s flawless performance itself is worth the price of your ticket.
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