Fox Star Studios Pvt. Ltd. and VB Pictures’ Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mando­ la (UA) is a story set in a village of Haryana, where Harry Mandola (Pankaj Kapur) is a big businessman. He is eyeing the land of the poor farmers and will do anything to acq­uire it so that he can build a huge factory on the same. The farmers are not willing to sell their land but they are in a pitiable state as the bank is after them to re­pay their loans. Unseasonal rains, poor land produce and other disturbing factors are the farmers’ bane.

Hukum Singh Matru (Imran Khan) is the educated driver and aide of Mandola. Bijlee (Anushka Sharma) is Mandola’s outgoing daughter. Mandola plans to get Bijlee married to Badal (Arya Babbar), the son of minister Chaudhary Devi (Shabana Azmi) whose signature could aid Mandola in realising his dream of setting up a factory in the village. Matru sympathises with the villagers and guides them to refrain from selling their land. Soon, Bijlee also joins Matru in his noble actions. By the by, Bijlee decides to not marry Badal as without her hand in marriage, Badal’s mother would not grant Mandola permission to start a factory on the agricultural land. But Badal and his mother are very keen on the wedding as they also stand to gain from it.

What happens then? Does Mandola let Bijlee marry Badal to realise his dreams? Does Badal marry Bijlee? Or does Matru come in the way of the marriage? Does anybody have a change of heart in the end?

The story about an impending marriage which can benefit both the parties to the marriage is not novel at all. Neither is the angle of a third party, which can put an impediment in the wedding, new. Abhishek Chaubey and Vishal Bhardwaj’s screenplay (script consultant: Sabrina Dhawan) is long-drawn instead of being crisp and, therefore, meanders here and there. Since there is not much novelty in the story, the lengthy drama tends to bore the audience. The first half moves at a leisurely pace and actually tests the viewers’ patience. It is bad. The pace picks up after interval and even otherwise, the latter part of the post-interval portion is better.

The comedy in the film will appeal to one small section of the audience only. Here, it must be mentioned that while a very few comic punches are mass-oriented, most of them are of the kind which will find favour with only the classes. For instance, every reference to Mao Tse Tung and related jokes are very class-appealing and will not be comprehended by the masses. Similarly, Mandola leading a morcha against himself, while in a drunken state, will also not be found to be funny by the majority. There are several such ‘comic’ sequences in which the majority of the viewers will fail to appreciate the ‘comedy’. On the other hand, the entire wedding sequence of Bijlee and Badal is truly entertaining. The angle of the UFO after the helicopter crash is quite forced, hardly funny and, unfortunately, makes the audience com­ pare the drama with that of the recent debacle, Joker. Some part of the humour in the film would also be found to be weird by a large chunk of the audience.

Although the film is, at one level, about one girl and two boys, there is almost nil romance in it. Emotions are also conspicuous by their absence. Comedy, as mentioned above, is not universally appealing. Drama is of the kind which has been seen in many earlier films.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s dialogues are good and evoke laughter. But they are also meant more for the gentry audience.

Pankaj Kapur does a splendid job as Mandola. He is so natural and mind-blowing that one can’t stop admiring him. Imran Khan gets into the skin of the Haryanvi Matru and delivers a fine performance. He looks handsome with his beard and Haryanvi get-up. Anushka Sharma is good but gets limited scope. Her performance in the wedding scene is fantastic. Arya Babbar stands out with a remarkable show of talent. He is a revelation and makes his presence felt everytime he appears on the scene. Shabana Azmi also acts with admirable ease and leaves a lasting impression. Navneet Nishan is nice in the couple of scenes she has. Special mention must be made of the young blind boy who has acted exceptionally well. Pranay Narayan (as the minister’s secretary), S.K. Batra (as the doctor) and the actors playing the officers on duty provide very nice support.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s direction is good but it caters much more to the class audience than the masses. However, the village background and the problems of the poor farmers will not hold much appeal for the city-bred class audience. In that sense, the drama would appeal completely neither to the classes nor to the masses. Music, scored by Vishal Bhardwaj, is a mixed bag. The title song and ‘Oye boy Charlie’ are mass-appealing songs of the popular kind but most of the other songs are not very appealing. Gul­zar’s lyrics are rich. Song picturisations (Dinesh, Bosco-Caesar, Saroj Khan) are good but could’ve been better. Picturisation of the title song is better than the rest. Vishal Bhardwaj’s background music is fairly nice. Kartik Vijay Thyagarajan’s cinematography is very good. Action scenes are well choreographed by Sham Kaushal. Sets (Subrata Chakraborty, Amit Ray and Punita Grover) are very realistic. Other technical and production values are of a nice standard.

On the whole, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola entertains only in parts. It is otherwise lengthy and boring and will, therefore, fail to make its mark at the box-office. Losing.


About komalreviews

Am a film trade analyst, hence my reviews are from the box-office point of view
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5 Responses to MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA review

  1. mostlycinema says:

    read mine at then lets talk!

  2. Rajvi Bhow says:

    Agree with you it entertains only in parts.
    Read my full review here:

  3. rishi says:

    when you say the comedy and jokes will not be understood by the audience is that the film makers fault that the audience is used to dumb jokes from the likes of son of sardar. you are calling the audience dumb and then fault the film maker.

  4. Anurag Choudhary says:

    Bhai Komal Nahata,
    Stop writing reviews please! You are a trade guide and you are good at that. Readout your every review again, every review is a spoiler. Why are you so keen at telling the story?

    Grow up!

  5. Zoya says:

    We couldn’t even expect anything good from it.
    The trailer, the soundtrack and everything is pathetic.

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