It’s time to rejoice, Madhuri Dixit is back, after a long gap of 6 years, after the disastrous ‘Aaja Nachle’. But, I think my expectations were too high, because Madhuri left me underwhelmed. She is the weakest, and most out of place actor in an otherwise superlative follow up to ‘Ishqiya’.
The adventures of Khalujan(Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban(Arshad Warsi) continue, as Khalujan lands up at Mahmudabad where Begum Para(Madhuri Dixit) is holding a mushaira competition, to choose her husband. Babban also lands up there, searching for Khalujan who has been absconding. There is also Jaan Mohammed(Vijay Raaz - howlarious) who is hell bent in making begum Para her bride, and can go to any lengths to make it happen.
The film is rich in Urdu, poetry and a milieu that has not been seen on the big screen in a long time. Thanks to the subtitles attached I could relish the beautiful and poetic language otherwise some of the dialogues would have gone over my head.
The beauty of the film lies in the dialogues. Just for that, I could watch the film again. Take a bow Vishal Bhardwaj and Abhishek Chaubey, for having the balls to bring back the Urdu language back on screen. Remember the times when the censor certificate used to read as Hindi/Urdu for some films. This is that kind of film.
Arshad Warsi is a scene stealer, and gets the best comic lines in the film. He is the only mass connect in an otherwise almost art house film. It’s good to see Naseeruddin Shah in a role that we want to see him more often. What a relief to see this performance after getting scarred by ‘Jackpot’. Huma Qureshi is one up as the namkeen Muniya. It might sound blasphemous for some but, she is better than Madhuri in the film. Madhuri Dixit gets the most undercooked role in the film which she performs to the best of her abilities. Rekha Bhardwaj’s voice on her is another disappointment. Even the two songs that is featured on her were not satisfying. Time to go back to ‘que sera sera’, her last best dance number.
Finally, it is Abhsishek Chaubey as a writer director who excels and takes a leaps from his first film with the able support of Setu. His cinematography brings sukoon to the heart and soul. But, this film would have not peaked without the dialogues of Vishal Bhardwaj. He fails as a music director though. The other songs used in the film are more soothing than the OST.
Word of mouth - a rich cinematic experience that’s quirky, has the best of dialogues and is visually soothing. Lilah!
Rating – **** (First Class)
Ticket meter – Worth a visit to the theatre
P.S. – there is strong undercurrent of… I am not telling.view less