Parched...Dry run at box office

MUMBAI: Leena Yadav’s Parched debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015. Ever since, it has been on the festival circuit extensively till its theatrical release this week.

Parched is about the state of women in the hinterland. The injustice meted out to women is a part of all societies; while the urban tales do not usually come out, rural stories abound but taken as a way of life till, a film or a story is made on it.

Parched is about three women in arid Rajasthan, each having her own woes, mainly men-inflicted.These women find solace on the shoulders of each other. The women eventually gather courage to chart their own lives instead of submission.

Tannishtha Chatterjee is playing a widow with a son of marriageable age. However, the lad is unwilling. Radhika Apte, Tannishtha’s confidante, is not better off either as she is labelled a ‘baanjh’ by her alcoholic husband and subjected to a regular dose of beating. Sharing her pain with Tannishtha is the only solace in her life.

Surveen Chawla is playing a prostitute. Seemingly liberated, she too has her own problems as she is losing out on business to her younger rivals while also bearing the brunt of the anger of her pimp and others. Surveen has this idea that why all the foul words in Hindi are addressed to women and why can’t they be reversed and used for men?

Nobody is aware of the desires of women; they seek care, love and, also, sex. Tannishtha has but some solace in a secret admirer who keeps calling her on phone. And, there is this sage like figure, Adil Hussain, who helps Radhika experience a fulfilling life while also assisting her get rid of the social stigma of ‘baanjh’.

Parched has worthy contribution from all actors. Leena Yadav has rightly chosen a subject that needs a bold approach and executed it well. Her handling of the subject is deft. The cinematography by the American, Russel Carpenter, captures the surroundings well while also justifying the essence of the film. Editing, also entrusted to a foreign technician, Kevin Tent, keeps the process taut.

This women-centric film is for performers. Tannishtha, Radhika and Surveen do full justice to their roles, while Surveen excels.

Parched, having already made it to about a dozen film festivals, is one for the laurels while commercially it would appeal to a few at the high-end multiplexes.

Producers: Ajay Devgn, AssemBajaaj.

Director: LeenaYadav.

Cast: RadhikaApte, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Surveen Chawla, Laher Khan, Adil Hussain, Riddhi Sen.

Days Of Tafree: In Class; Out Of Class….Lacks class!

Days Of Tafree: In Class-Out Of Class is a youth oriented film with a college background. It is a remake of the Gujarati film, Chhello Divas: A New Beginning (2015).

Though many Hindi films have been adapted from Gujarati stage plays, the recent ones being OMG: Oh! My God (2012: Kanji Virudh Kanji), Waqt: Race Against Time (2005: Aavjo Vahla Fari Malishu), Super Nani  (2014: Baa ae Mari Boundary) and Aankhen (2002: Andhalo Pato), instances of Gujarati film remake in Hindi are rare if not non-existent.

The film is about a group of college friends whose behavior in class and on the campus is unlike that of other college boys you would see in real life or in films. They hoot behind the teacher’s back, they talk filthy language as if it was the new in-thing. They are loud and always chasing girls and lady instructors. And, the bunch also has one Big Moose kind of brainless hulk which also makes the boys feel invincible.

The pranks of these boys are supposed to arouse laughter. What really happens through the film is that only those on screen keep laughing failing to take the audience along. The film also makes jokes on physical deformities which is rather rude.

The film is a flashback into the college life of one of the boys. There is no drama or conclusion as there is no story in the film. The music is loud in keeping with the tone of the film but non-appealing. Direction is amateurish and the editing is poor. The performances are over the top.

Days OfTafree: In Class Out Of Class is poor in all respects.

Producers: Anand Pandit and Rashmi Sharma

Director: Krishnadev Yagnik

Cast: Nimisha MehtaAnsh BagriSanchay GoswamiSarabjeet Bindra, Anuradha Mukharjee

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