Sunday, January 13, 2013

MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA Review: Bhardwaj's Off-beat Genius

It was enough to see the promos featuring a smiling pink buffalo, Gulabi Bhains, prior to a Talaash screening to convince us we needed to watch Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola. Seeing Vishal Bhardwaj's name appended to it convinced us further...
Though the plot has been analyzed and sometimes criticized by first-time viewers across the press expecting a mainstream movie with a dash of quirkiness or originality from Vishal Bhardwaj, I have to say I find most critics who were disappointed with Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola have missed its point. In my very humble opinion, the movie's disjointedness and wackiness was written on purpose. One scene jumps to the next, the absurd creeps up every other scene and the plot includes a critical view of Indian village society while at the same time providing funny cracks. The film might not have the duality of Kaminey or the straightforward drama of Omkara; it might at times seem like Bhardwaj wrote a set of unfinished brilliant sketches for a set of characters he fleshed out in advance; but ultimately, the film follows a thread of veiled, surrealistic but effective critique of India that can absolutely not be brushed off.

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