A long, grim single track film

Producer: Shoman Productions, Geo Films
Director: Shoaib Mansoor
Cast: Humaima Malick, Atif Aslam, Iman Ali, Mahira Khan, Shafqat
Cheema, Manzar Sehbai, Zaib Rehman, AMR Kashmiri, Sagar

 MUMBAI : Shoaib Mansoor, who earlier made a much acclaimed and topical film Khuda Ke Liye, comes up with another controversial film dealing with blindly following religion, and interpreting it to one’s own circumstances combined with traditions imbibed through generations.

The result is a long, grim, single track film that few in its target audience would identify with while others would not care at all.

Manzar Sehbai is a hakeem in Lahore, a profession he inherited from his ancestors. However, he falls on bad days as his clientele migrates to qualified medical practitioners. To make things more difficult, he begets a line up of daughters in quest of a male heir. With seven daughters, he finally gets a son but soon realises that the child is a eunuch.

Manzar Sehbai attributes everything to the Almighty’s wish but this one he is not able to live with. He is full of contradictions and goes
by the written word in the holy books rather than logically apply them; hence he would rather kill the child than hand it over to the eunuch community. While his wife and daughters, confined within boundaries of the house, are terrorised by him, the eldest one, Humaima Malick, sometimes gathers the courage to stand up to him when things become too much, only to get thrashed by him. The ordeal continues as Manzar Sehbai goes on committing blunders as well as murder in his blind beliefs, to the detriment and ruination of his family.

Bol may seem to go overboard in its content and even if it paints a true picture of some section of society, the total effect is morbid. Nothing in what you see on screen is pleasant or positive except, maybe, a song or two purely as a distraction, even though most lack popular appeal. Despite a long story to be told, the director takes a slow, indulgent approach keeping things depressingly realistic. Dialogue is filled with due sarcasm, taking a dig at blind faith and its perpetuators.

A film with such a theme is all about performances: Humaima Malick, the protagonist, fully justifies her casting, having been chosen from the small screen for her film debut. Manzar Sehbai portrays the sinister character with conviction. Atif Aslam, Zaib Rehman, AMR Kashmiri and Mahira Khan are apt. In brief roles, Iman Ali and Shafqat Cheema impress.

At best, Bol can be viewed for academic interest; it can be no one’s idea of entertainment. The producers’ more powerful and universally-appreciated film Khuda Ke Liye did not touch even one crore mark at the Indian box office. Bol faces a bigger challenge: to see through the weekend.

The ups and downs in the film are tame


Producer: S Creative Steps
Director: Pammi Somal
Cast: Kirron Kher, Kanwaljeet Singh, Jackie Shroff, Divya Dutta, Anju
Mahendru, Sachin Sharma, Viraf Patel, Nimisha Goswami, Urvashi Gandhi,
Simran Vaid

MUMBAI : Mummy Punjabi is representative of upper middle class Punjabi families in a city like Chandigarh; it tells of the way of life, aims and
ambitions that are common to all such families across the communities in Punjab.

The man and the woman of the house have charted out their domain whereby the woman dominates the household decisions and the man’s lot is to provide financial security. The mindset is male-oriented as the woman has decided what kind of bahus she wants for her sons while the daughter of the house hardly figures in plan of things.

Kirron Kher is one such Punjabi housewife in Chandigarh who does everything that a modern woman is supposed to do; go for morning walks
with her two regular friends, gossip, want to be loved, respected wished by all and sundry, and act as an agony aunt on chats. Her ego and self-belief get a regular boost from Jackie Shroff, a college mate who has remained unmarried because he loved her.

Mummy Punjabi has worked out what kind of bahus she wants for her two sons, a doctor and a restaurateur. The doctor will marry an NRI girl, preferably also a doctor, while the other one will marry a traditional homely kind who will cook and run the house. The bahus are chosen accordingly till Kirron Kher realises that things – as well as bahus – are not what they seem to be. She gets more than she had bargained for as all her three children finally settle abroad, leaving her to live her life with her husband and, later, alone when he also passes away. She eventually finds purpose in living a normal life and making the
most of her remaining years.

The problem with Mummy Punjabi is that it is more like a family video than a feature film and, hence, also limits itself to very few characters. The ups and downs are few and far in between and rather tame. Music, with much Punjabi flavour, is little help. Kirron Kher and Divya Dutta do well while others are okay.

Mummy Punjabi has no prospects at box office.

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