Bharat Shah and Tonga Talkies’ B.A. Pass (A) is a film about an unemployed graduate who is lured into the flesh trade for a living. Mukesh (Shadab Kamal) is packed off to Delhi to his paternal aunt’s (Geeta Sharma) house after the demise of his parents. He has the additional responsibility of two sisters who are sent to a women’s hostel in another city. Mukesh’s aunt and her son constantly taunt him as he is jobless.
One day, Sarika (Shilpa Shukla), a friend of the aunt, meets Mukesh at a kitty party at the aunt’s house. She calls Mukesh on some pretext to her house and seduces him into having physical relations with her. The two keep meeting at Sarika’s house. Soon, Sarika starts sending Mukesh to rich women who are in need of sexual services. Mukesh hates being a gigolo but he has no option as he is at least fruitfully employed. Sarika’s old mother-in-law (Santidevi) smells a rat and warns her son, Khanna (Rajesh Sharma), about his wife’s closeness to Mukesh. Meanwhile, Mukesh’s sisters complain to him over telephone about the hostel warden trying to initiate them into the flesh trade. A concerned Mukesh tells them to bear with her for some time as he is trying to earn enough money to get a house where he can stay with his two sisters.
One day, Sarika’s husband catches her and Mukesh in a compromising position. There is tension in Sarika’s house. Mukesh has a friend and confidant in Johnny (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) who allows him to stay with him in his shanty. Johnny dreams of settling abroad but he has absolutely no money.
Mukesh, who has immense faith in Sarika, keeps the money he earns for his services, with her. One day, he goes to Sarika’s house to collect his money as he needs it for the house he has been dreaming of. But Sarika does not give him the money. As bad luck would have it, Khanna comes home while Mukesh is there and a fight ensues between Khanna and Mukesh who, by now, has lost his patience and is frustrated. Sarika is murdered at the hands of Mukesh and, therefore, Mukesh is now on the run with the police giving him chase. His sisters have also fled from the hostel and have reached Delhi station.
Will Mukesh reach Delhi station and unite with his sisters or will the Delhi police nab him before that? Why did Sarika not return Mukesh’s money? What happens to Johnny?
Mohan Sikka’s story, based on his own short story, The Station Aunty, is interesting and engaging. Ritesh Shah has written a screenplay which is equally engrossing. The script gives a lot of scope for bold scenes of skin show and love-making and there are abundant such scenes which will shock the viewers. Several of these scenes titillate the audience and will make the masses and youngsters pretty happy. What is intelligent is that the film’s story line is very strong because of which the drama, replete with sex and intimate scenes, does not look like a sleazy film catering only to the baser instincts of the viewers. In other words, although the film offers voyeuristic pleasure, it never really loses sight of the story it sets out to narrate. The last part of the film is very depressing and this is a big minus point. A happier – or less depressing – ending would’ve been more in order from the commercial point of view. Also, the film moves on the same track and there isn’t much ‘relief’ from the sex-laden drama. Ritesh Shah’s dialogues are nice and go perfectly with the mood of the drama.
Shilpa Shukla deserves kudos for giving a bold and absolutely uninhibited performance. She gets into the skin of the character of Sarika and comes out trumps. Shadab Kamal is wonderful in the role of Mukesh and essays it with just the awkward ease needed for it. He brings forth the various emotions very beautifully. Rajesh Sharma is lovely as Khanna, the suspecting and authoritarian husband of Sarika. Dibyendu Bhattacharya does a fantastic job as Johnny. Geeta Sharma leaves a mark as Mukesh’s paternal aunt. Deepti Naval makes her presence solidly felt in a special appearance. Anula Navlekar (as Mukesh’s sister, Chhoti) and Raveena Singh (as Mukesh’s sister, Sonu) are effective. Master Amit Sharma (as Mukesh’s mean cousin), Vijay Kaushik (as Mukesh’s uncle), Shantidevi (as Sarika’s mother-in-law) and Happy Ranjit (as PHD) lend able support.
Ajay Bahl does a remarkable job as director as well as cinematographer. He understands the medium of cinema and adopts an engaging narrative style, his camera complementing his style effectively. Alokananda Dasgupta’s music and Rajeshwari Dasgupta’s lyrics are ordinary. Ramdas Kundaikar’s sets are appropriate. Parvez Khan’s action scenes go well with the film’s mood. Pravin Angre’s editing is crisp.
On the whole, B.A. Pass is an interesting film with a lot of sex scenes to satiate the voyeuristic hunger of the audience. It should do well but its depressing end will limit its business.