Matru, Bijli and Mandola are three people. Mandola is also the village of which Mr. Mandola is the leading citizen. He is hugely rich and wants to get richer. Bijli is his spoilt daughter with a heart of gold and as her friend Matru puts it, a 'Meena Kumari' complex. She also has some sexy tattoos and hangs out at the village pond wearing very short shorts and a skimpy top. Matru is a lawyer with a communist bent of mind who has come back to Mandola to start a revolution. He also works as Mandola's chauffeur though his main duty is to stop Mandola from getting drunk on his beloved Gulabo beer.
Bijli is going to marry Badal, the son of a corrupt politician. As CM, she will approve of Mandola's SEZ which will come up by usurping the farmers' land. But, Bijli is sensitive, and her best friend Matru helps the villagers and Mandola can behave erratically when he drinks. What happens next? Watch the movie to find out.
Yes, I recommend this movie as a pretty entertaining watch. I can't decide yet whether it is a fairytale with a realistic backdrop or a real gritty story about farmers with a fairy tale treatment to it. Either which way, there is an over the top-ness to the movie that works in its favour if you embrace it.
A big brass band accompanies a lot of the crucial action and an African tribe gets transplanted in to the Haryana fields like cheerleaders. The village farmers are the bunch around whom the action is set. The sense of drama is pretty huge here and the best way to enjoy the movie is to give in to the crazy elements of the movie and not try to wonder how it can swing suddenly from the serious and sentimental to the absurd and comic.
The star cast of the movie has had a ball acting in it. The senior actors specially are positively licking their lips; from the way that Pankaj Kapur skips over beer bottles lined up on his steps to the way that Shabana Azmi (As the CM) plays footsie with Mandola under the table. The younger lot is more serious. Imran tries but doesn't really pull off the drunken sequences with Pankaj Kapur too well. Maybe he is too deadpan for it. But as a revolutionary trying to help the farmers he is sincere. Anoushka plays her nirmal cheery self with ease, which is getting a wee bit tiring. She is a good actress and needs to do something different. Arya Babbar as the spoilt son is too much of a caricature most of the times but does manage to show a menacing spark of nastiness at times.
A lot of the dialogues are in Haryanvi and some of them passed me by but there are a few great laughs throughout the film to keep up with the crazy bends in the story. There is one place where Mandola speaks of his dream for his village as an urban hub, which is fabulous and gave me goose bumps.
I love Vishal Bhardawaj's music and this is no exception though I have liked his earlier works more. The use of African beats is unusual. What also stood out for me is the background score that sets the mood of the movie very well.
In short, Matru.. is a fun watchable movie which has a message in it somewhere but I don't think it wants you to take that part of it too seriously. The main thing to take away from it is a simple homily. The next time you feel fat, don't wear pink.