Jai Ho! Democracy: Satire sans sting

Annu Kapoor in the movie

Annu Kapoor in the movie  

The functioning of our democratic institutions provides enough fodder for a satirist and who is better equipped than veteran theatre practitioner and film writer Ranjit Kapoor to milk it? However, for the second time, after Chintuji, he fails to grasp the intricacies of the medium. What could have sounded a laugh riot on paper ends up as ridiculous on the big screen. Of course the intentions are right and the situations spot on but apart from a few stinging comments on the polity, it fails to grow into a cogent commentary on the state of affairs.

When a hen accidentally gets into the no man’s land on Indo-Pak border, it leads to tension on LOC. The news channels go into an overdrive to feed their hunger for breaking news. A Parliamentary committee is constituted to decide the future course of action. It has self seeking members of different hues. The committee's procrastination on the issue at hand reminds of the current state of affairs after the farmer’s suicide at Jantar Mantar. The hen becomes a metaphor for the disputes that India and Pakistan have.

Jai Ho! Democracy
Director:Ranjit Kapoor
Cast:Annu Kapoor, Om Puri, Satish Kaushik, Adil Hussain, Seema Biswas, Amir Bashir
Bottomline:You can walk out after the question hour!

Grusha Kapoor’s turn as a Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh is a hoot. So is Annu Kapoor’s performance as the South Indian head of the committee. He shows how stereotypes can be made entertaining as well through a heart felt performance. However, the rest of the cast fails to shine largely because of the lack of explosive material. Adil Hussain who plays a retired Assamese Major tries to bring the regional dialect into play but the over the top tone doesn’t warrant such subtleties. It tries to underline the cuss words that Harpool Chaudhary (Satish Kaushik) uses as part of his cultural moorings. It sounds funny once but after that becomes a liability. In the meantime the drama on the border turns into a predictable melodrama. Seema Biswas is unusually off key and Om Puri is simply wasted. There are times when you feel that they are getting into some kind of zone like the scene where the seasoned politician Pandeyji (Om Puri) is made to apologise. But it doesn’t go anywhere and the chaos gets reduced to cacophony.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 12:01:46 PM |

Next Story