B.A. Pass is part pulp erotica and part realistic drama. It succeeds as a pulpy erotic drama where we see Mukesh (Shadab Kamal) get seduced by Sarika (Shilpa Shukla). It soon spirals into the chronicles of a gigolo which is compelling to watch. For the first 45 minutes, we see well-written and executed shades of grey. There is a particularly interesting scene, which involves a housewife with her afternoon delight and a TV serial discussion.
After one hour, we see the hope of the story heading in a new direction. Deepti Naval comes in and we get another good scene. Then comes a U-turn. The director decides to make it a film we have all seen before. Anything passes for a story these days, if it’s either “masala” or “reality”. It’s frustrating to see filmmakers with talent chose a path that has been walked before when they are capable of doing so much more. It makes less sense when we see it happen in a film like this one where, presumably you have no boundaries.
There is a sub-plot with Mukesh and his chess-playing friend which gets the worst climax possible. It is supposed to make us feel bad for the character and lament at the state of humanity. It is nothing more than an easy way out as far as the storytellers are concerned. You cannot offer us mediocrity under the guise of “aisa hi hota hai”. A film like this does not deserve a hackneyed conclusion.
The relationship between Mukesh and Sarika turns awry. The endless plot possibilities remain unexplored. The actors are always in top form. Shilpa Shukla is absolutely sensational. She has been seen in Chak De! India (2007) before and it would be great to see more of this talented actress. In a better film that deserves her acting virtuoso. Shadab Kamal is earnest and sincere in his protrayal of Mukesh. He handles the sex scenes with an assured maturity, acting with his eyes. Rajesh Sharma (Titu mama from Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana) is given a role that isn’t for comic relief. He plays the angry husband. This would have been another fascinating prospect. Yet, we see him become a villain. An unconvincing one at that.
A film about controversial topics like sex or even crime for that matter, do not necessarily need to be dire always. I wasn’t expecting the film to go the Magic Mike (2012) way where we see a quasi-comedy about a gigolo. But then again, such people don’t always need to be bad or be subjected to terrible fates. You can be a good person and be sexually active, you know? It’s what a lot of people are. A character can have more dimensions than two.
During the final half hour, the film does everything it can to ruin what it has set up before. Instead of expanding on the friend’s character, I wish we had seen more of Deepti Naval’s character or even had the husband’s character offer another side to the plot. Sadly, the film goes in a different direction, which only culminates with a dead end.view less