“Well Done Abba”
But I’d say Good Work. Those who love the off-beat cinema, “Well Done Abba” is a good movie from the film-maker but not his best. I shall start off my review differently by citing them in points
Minisha Lamba’s acting – slightly improved from her previous performances. She could perform better though.
Shyam Benegal’s direction – going better. Detailing he has done to his characters is excellent including the way they were made to portray them. Hats off to director for making a script / adaptations from various stories and linking them together, linking them well… has a realistic feel
Shantanu Moitra’s Music – his experience in jingles n the soft subtle music really works well with the movie. (I liked Sandesha sandesha and Pani ko taraste songs. The Wedding song by Ila Arun with those western beats n mix will surely find its place in North Indian marriage Processions / ‘baraats’)
Boman Irani’s acting – There wasn’t much of a stand out performance as for an actor but has an earnest portrayal of both characters he handles. But at times it was more like he was merely acting to the direction rather than giving life to the character. There are times when he did some scenes well though – Like the expressions he makes for the passport photo-shoot, reaction he has when he finds out Samir Dattani is an orphan and his religion is unknown.
Story line – Seemed slightly feeble.
Comedy – There are many light moments well placed in the movie that may cause rib tickling: P.
Cinema’s Message to Society – If Benegal had focused his script more on one or two subjects rather than grazing through many of the problems or situations in our society, it’d have been better. The story has its focuses on Water issues, the problems faced by illiterates in villages, the nature & flaws of government policies and the officials involved – the bribery in the system and the modes to reclaim them, education of the girl child, of how women politicians turn out to be mere puppets in the hands of others (citing e.g. of the Panchayat President), off women being ‘sold’ to Sheikhs. It also points out on how relationships should be maintained (relation build up of the two Ali brothers), of being patient ( Boman Irani while portraying Arman Ali never reacts in anger, but has his way to respond to them innocently.)
The idea of “stolen well” – The script is not that clear of how the idea of a stolen well is brought up by them. (or that I didn’t understand)
Lingo – The Hyderabadi lingo throughout slightly reduces the entertainment factor. Not many will like the style.
Pace of Movie – it starts slow. Even though it build up pace, somewhere the continuity seemed missing. (I felt so). Audience needs to be slightly patient till the end of first half
Sonali Kulkarni & Rajat Kapoor – Of these Sonali Kulkarni’s role was wasted. Felt hers was a silly role of that of a newly wedded wife. Rajat Kapoor is not given enough importance as for his character by the director.
A curter product to the viewers might have left a better impact. “Well Done Abba” is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you drink it slowly, you may like it too…
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