In the wake of having stayed with the Censor Board for long on account of its strong subject of a relationship between a teacher and his underage student, Haraamkhor at last has some hope as it releases this week. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shweta Tripathi in the lead, and is directed by Shlok Sharma. Here’s our review of the movie.
What’s it about
Sandhya (Shweta Tripathi) is a ninth class student, living in a far flung town with her cop father. Her mom has relinquished her before, while her dad is having his very own extramarital affairs, abandoning her to her own devices. In this feeling of loneliness, she carries out a sexual relationship with her very wedded teacher Shyam sir (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Withering under the guilt of this relationship while also hesitant to acknowledge the new lady in her dad’s life, Sandhya keeps in committing more errors. On a parallel track, there is her class fellow Kamal who really likes her. He and his best friend Mintoo play vindictive traps on their teacher when they presume he is having an extramarital affair with the girl he loves.
He has played a criminal, a serial killer and an abusive phantom, however this could be Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s creepiest part of his career. Any character who manipulates an underage girl to engage in sexual relations with him is not somebody who can impress us. It is the preeminent quality and calibre of this fine actor that he can make us chuckle as well as feel disturbed about his actions. He has no second thoughts about manhandling his wife or beating his students, particularly the girls gravely, and that makes him one of the most awful protagonist to have ever graced Indian silver screen. But you can’t miss the inherent humour in his performance, particularly in the scene where he is desperately trying to persuade his wife to stay, after she gets the knoowledge of his affair. In any case, the film belongs to Shweta Tripathi. In what supposed to be her debut motion picture, Tripathi proves once again, after Masaan, that she is a talent to keep an eye out for. She acquires the perfect measure of anguish, depression, disobedience and fun loving nature that her flawed character needs. Shlok Sharma has taken a gritty subject, that will resonate well with the audience who read papers and are dismayed by the outrages focused on the kids by people who are supposed to take care of them. The interval scene is a standout amongst the most uncomfortable scenes I have seen in a film as of late. Another praise is reserved for Mukesh Chhabra, the casting virtuoso for reserving in some natural talent to fill in the supporting roles. Be it Trishala Adhikari who plays Shyam’s suspicious spouse or the children who play Kamal, Mintoo or Shaktimaan-aping tot, all have been splendidly cast.
What’s most certainly not
While the subject and the performances are to be commended, the film experiences pacing and story glitches. We have no idea with reference to when Sandhya is actually attracted to the unpleasant Shyam sir. Is it safe to say that it was the from the day she spies him having sex with his wife and later tries to touch her improperly? Or before that? The film offers no appropriate response to this. In this manner, we realize that Shyam’s activities are frightening, yet we can’t exonerate Sandhya either, in spite of the motion picture needing us to, in light of the fact that she drives him on. Also we are dumbfounded concerning how Shyam’s wife comes to know about their affair, and why does she return back to him. The parallel track including Kamal and Mintoo tries to make us uncomfortable with how the children carry on (peeping into a young lady’s bathroom, having unlikely thoughts regarding marriage and sex) however needs meat in their story. The climax where these two tracks meet is a gigantic wreckage. It looks as though the makers did not understand how to end this, so they gave it a constrained hard-hitting conclusion. It was similar issues that hampered a year ago’s festival pleaser Chauranga.
Also Read : Movie Review – Dear Zindagi
What to do
Haraamkhor is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea on account of its gritty subject. However it is not exactly an incredible piece of art either, despite the fact that it could be one. However, because of the spectacular performance of Nawazuddin, Tripathi and the children, Haraamkhor can be an uncomfortable one-time watch.