Begum Jaan | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 06, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 06, 2017

Begum Jaan

Director: Srijit Mukherji  

Cast:  Vidya Balan, IIa Arun, Naseeruddin Shah, Rajit Kapoor, Ashish Vidyarthi, Chunky Pandey

Strength: Acting, Cinematography, Music

Weakness: Overly dramatic

Runtime: 120min

Rating: 6/10

PLOT: “Begum Jaan” is a story set during the time of Indian independence. It's a story of a brothel which is run by Begum Jaan (Vidya Balan). The prostitutes of the brothel are protected by Begum Jaan in a love-and-hate type of relationship. One day, two officers (Ashish Vidyarthi and Rajit Kapoor) from Indian and Pakistan government comes up with an official order stating that the border line of India-Pakistan has to go through Begum Jaan's brothel. She and her associates would have to evacuate the brothel as a check-post is planned at the same place. This provokes Begum Jaan as she decides to

not evacuate her place and this leads to series of confined events.

REVIEW: “Begum Jaan” is Srijit Mukherji's remake of his own 2015 Bangla movie “Rajkahini” which had Rituparna Sengupta in the title role. The Hindi version brings a lot of promise with exclusive setup and a multi-layered storyline. The location choices helped Mukherji in setting up the right surroundings. No houses can be seen even in the long shots which gave Begum's brothel a weird balance of tranquility and disturbance in the atmosphere. 

Vidya Balan is a powerhouse performer and remains the same throughout the movie. She was strong, infuriated and managed to pull off such a difficult role with comfort. Chunky Pandey looked frightening and played his wicked role perfectly. The other actors did a great job with their supporting roles. As far as songs go, “Aazaadiyan” by Sonu Nigam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan followed by a remake version of “Woh Subah” by Arijit and Shreya was harmonic and went well with the effusion of the movie. The movie's ferocious display may appeal to some, but the majority might be put off by it. Despite that, watching this movie is sure to make a tormenting tremor last within everyone, for quite a while at that.

Reviewed by Sheikh Sayem Ahmed

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