Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola – Review
Star cast: Pankaj Kapur, Imran Khan,Anushka Sharma, Arya Babbar, Shabana Azmi.
What’s Good: The funny bits; the Haryanvi setting; Gulabo’s appearances; Pankaj Kapur’s act.
What’s Bad: The slow first half; the undecipherable parts of Pankaj Kapur’s speech; Imran Khan’s lack of rustic charm.
Loo break: A few before the interval.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for a nice dose of rustic comedy!
What would you do if you were cornered by a pink buffalo that grins at you? When you’re tipsy? At your daughter’s wedding? Our man here – Harry Mandola – is expected to take the bull by the horns, quite literally!
Harry Mandola (Pankaj Kapur) is a wealthy businessman who’s looking forward to getting the villagers of Mandola to hand over their land to the government so that he can, in turn, buy the land from them and build a car factory. But Harry’s weakness is his drinking habit. Once he downs some juice, he does a Mr-Hyde-to-Dr-Jekyll transforming from a ruthless industrialist to a Robinhood type figure who incites the villagers against himself! To prevent himself from doing so, he has hired Matru (Imran Khan), who’s indebted to Harry after his (Matru’s) grandfather took a loan for his education.
Goading Harry on his quite unsuccessful road to sobriety is the greedy politician Chaudhari Devi (Shabana Azmi). Devi prays for untimely rains to destroy the farmers’ crops while planning to get her dim son Baadal (Arya Babbar) hitched to Harry’s daughter Bijlee (Anushka Sharma). A wild child, Bijlee is more than happy to marry Baadal, considering he can take care of all her luxuries with utmost ease.
While he tries to kick the bottle, Harry’s withdrawal symptoms include seeing a pink buffalo, Gulabo. To add to his troubles, there’s a faceless rebel ‘Mao’ who is guiding the villagers to stand up to Harry and the politicians very tacitly. And Bijlee realizes that Baadal just isn’t cut out to be her husband.
How the entire troupe get to the bottom of this problem plays out next.If you’re a Vishal Bhardwaj fan, be prepared for a fare that’s different from his dark, moody style. The fun and songs should keep you going though.