Small films more oftne than not do not find eyeballs in the huge mela of big budget nonsense that gets out every friday. What results thus is that real gems get weeded out even before they get a fair chance at appealing to an audeince. Yeh Hai Bakrapur is sadly one such movie, low on noise, struggling to grab attention on a weekend flooded with smaller films sandwiched between bigger ones. Empty theatre seats notwithstanding, YHB is a delightfully scathing satire on blind faith and the inherent absurdity of life in rural ?Inida.
On the lines of Peepli live and Well Done Abba, YHB is the story of a goat, called Shah Rukh Khan, which inexplicably aquires divine status and needs to be anointed the saviour of the village. Through this incredulous madness the director fleshes out characters who live in two worlds at the same time- the reality of abject poverty and the ignorant one where they escape into from their real miseries. The ending is not happy, but of course, yet the journey to there is hillarious and stinging in its criticism of how we value life as a people.
There are top notch performances from everyone in the film, every actor seamlessly blending in to the weirdness of a plot with a goat for a hero. Theatre actors in particular shine, absurdity being their forte. The humor is staid in comparison to the boisterous Wlecome to Sajjanpur, and as a sum total the story is thin. Yet what debutant director Janaki achieves is to give us a well crafted well intentioned satire. Not to forget the achievement of having a non woman centric film come out of a woman director in this middle of the road cinema genre.
Rusticmusic, bizzare situation and the comedy of errors within, this film has a lot going for it. It is sad again, that despite its strenghts, YHB wil suffer from a lack of audiences. For those who do care though, go see this in the theatres, after Ankhon Dekhi this year, this is another gem that deserves our whole hearted support.view less