Monday, January 14, 2008

‘Halla Bol’: A revolutionary revelation

-By Swetha Amit
Great heights reached, often result in a crash landing especially when one gets lost in that starry space. No matter how high things are thrown; they are always pulled back by the gravitational force which acts as a reminder of the ‘ground reality’. Such is the case with people specially actors who get so immersed in their ‘reel’ lives that they almost lose touch with the ‘real’ world. To an extent that they fail in their obligations to raise their voice against ‘righteousness’ in the society.

Rajkumar Santoshi’s Halla Bol is a story of one such issue based on a horrendous incident and a star who fights against injustice, corruption and fraudulence.

Ashfaque (Ajay Devgan) is an aspiring actor who wants to earn name and fame in the tinsel town. With blessings from his Guru of his theatre group in street plays cum former dacoit- Sidhu (Pankaj Kapur) and his love interest Sneha’s support (Vidya Balan); he gradually makes it big as a superstar His popularity soars amongst his fans bringing about a change in him beyond just his screen name: Sameer Khan.

The excessive adulation and admiration entices Sameer into the make believe world of glamour and glitz. This lavish lifestyle results in him losing his integrity and values much to the dismay of his family and mentor. Distancing himself from his true self and supporters he continues his multiple ‘role playing’ until that one night at a page 3 party. A brutal murder of a girl leaves him stunned and things take a drastic turn. Justice is suppressed due to the witnesses turning mercilessly hostile as the guilty were none other than sons of politicians.

Torn between his stature and pricked conscience, Sameer finally refuses to be bought over by ‘power’. How he battles against danger with the support of Sidhu and group, to get the deserved verdict for the victim forms rest of the narrative and results in the rise of a true hero.

Halla Bol adopts a ‘hell-raiser’ stance. The ‘fight for justice’ ingredient forms the essence of a typical Rajkumar Santoshi product drawing similarities to his earlier films like Damini and Ghayal.

Ajay Devgan is very good as he transforms from a carried away star to that of a conscience pricked one with conviction. Vidya Balan makes a sound impact in her brief role. Pankaj Kapur is brilliant and powerful as a dacoit turned theatre artist who sends the audience in titters with some scenes and leaves them gaping in awe with the others.

Some stupendous sequences are indeed worthy of a special mention. The one where Ajay Devgan urinates on the ‘Persian carpet’ is hilarious and nevertheless manages to tickle the funny bone in this otherwise serious drama. The other scene where Vidya Balan retorts to the media hounding a rather uncomfortable Ajay Devgan with awkward questions is outstanding. Pankaj Kapur’s mild slash at Chadda’s proposition evokes a roar of laughter just as his thought provoking dialogue in the end makes one indulge in deep retrospection. While the first half moves at a rapid pace, the second half consists of irrelevant and unnecessary sequences which could have been avoided.

This film is certainly bound to make several rack their cognitive aspects with great concern. Its poignant message rings quite clear. Crime rates seem to be on the rise arising due to the failure of the ‘rise in our inner heroes’. The shocking reports of murders/attacks occurring with the public being mere spectators’ make hearts bleed as they realize the diminishing stance of humanity. It appears that the ‘reel life’ syndrome seems to have caught up with people that they behave as though watching a shooting of an action flick. Refusing to come to aid of our fellow humans, make us no less than criminals. And we assume partial responsibility for such mishaps by refusing to comply with our social and moral obligation.

While the world is getting entangled in the web of greed, power and malice, it depicts that it’s the truth that always triumphs beating away the glooms of these murky elements. It is a thorny encounter which one goes through in the pathway of righteousness.

Many such cases exist where the ‘famous’ can use their influence and bring about a turn in events yet choose to remain indifferent. It’s ironical that they fail to realize their true aura of a hero is reflected in indulging in these noble gestures.

Overall it’s a film portraying a revolutionary revelation to people and society which is bound to make them go ‘Halla Bol’.
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