Utpal Borpujari

November 2, 2010

DVD review: Well Done Abba

By Utpal Borpujari

Shyam Benegal, the master social commentator in Indian cinema, has of late taken the route of humour and satire to tell his stories. Like his Welcome to Sajjanpur, his latest film Well Done Abba too belongs to the satiric genre.

The film, which did not do too well when it was released in theatres sometime back, has all the subtle touches of a Benegal movie, making it an enjoyable fare that at the same time ruthlessly exposes the rot in the system.

Well Done Abba is the story of Armaan Ali, a driver working with a senior executive in Mumbai, who goes home on leave to find a suitable match for his daughter and simply vanishes for three months. When he returns, his boss wants to sack him, but Ali has a story to tell him – the story of how his decision to avail of a government scheme to dig a well in his land goes haywire due to corrupt officials, and how he gets back at them with the help of his daughter.

The film boasts of some fine acting by Boman Irani in the double role of the honest Ali and his crooked twin brother, Rajit Kapoor as the honest police official who is harassed by his wife for being, well, honest, Minissha Lamba. It is definitely not the best of Benegal’s works, but even then, it is much better than most of the films that come out every year in India.

Well Done Abba; dir: Shyam Benegal; Rs 299, Big Home Video

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 31-10-2010)


October 6, 2010

DVD Review: 3 Idiots

By Utpal Borpujari

It is a movie that has been much talked about, having created Box Office history and stirring a debate on the education system of our country. In fact, there will be very few among regular Hindi film viewers who would not have had watched this cracker of a film from Raj Kumar Hirani. Even then, the collector’s edition DVD of the film is a worthwhile edition to one’s home video library.

For one, the package comes with an additional DVD that has the making-of-the-film story. It is as interesting a watch as the movie itself, and helps the viewer understand the whole idea behind this hugely-popular movie and also takes one into the mind of the director who created the Munnabhai series earlier. For another, it has a comic book, based on characters from the movie, and a sticker booklet too, both obviously aimed at attracting the younger viewers.

Winner of the National Award for the Best Movie Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the recently-announced 57th National Film Awards, this film is a perfect example of how a social issue can be taken up successfully in mainstream format, combining the best of both worlds.

3 Idiots; dir Raj Kumar Hirani, Big Home Video; Rs 499

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 03-10-2010)


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