DEKH TAMASHA DEKH
Eros International and Bombay Local Pictures’ Dekh Tamasha Dekh (A) is a satire on the socio-political system in India. It revolves around the search for the religious identity of a poor man crushed under the weight of a politician’s huge cutout. A poor man is crushed to death under the cutout of politician Mutha Seth (Satish Kaushik). Even as a group of Muslims are cremating him by burying his body, some Hindus come and raise objections, asking for the body to be handed over to them. While the Muslims claim, the dead man was a Muslim, the Hindus are relentless in their claim that he was one among them. The matter reaches the police and even the court. Meanwhile, the dead man’s body is kept in the morgue and not given even to his own brother, Laxman (Hridaynath Rane).
The tension assumes gigantic proportions as politicians enter the controversy and legal drama. Why, communal riots also break out in the area even as the court orders that the body be handed over to the deceased’s brother, Laxman. Meanwhile, the deceased’s widow, Fatima (Tanvi Azmi), is not at all in favour of the ongoing controversy as she is fine with the body being consigned to flames as per Hindu tradition or being buried according to Muslim rites.
A local newspaper keeps reporting about the juicy gossip surrounding the accidental death as politicians make capital out of the unfortunate controversy. What happens ultimately?
Shafaat Khan’s story is a satire on the social and political scenario in the country and, by its very nature, is not very commercial. He has penned a screenplay which, while appealing to a very thin section of the class audience, will be found to be boring and quite meaningless by the large chunk of mass audience. Since the entire drama is about one dead body, the masses among the audience, especially those seeking entertainment in the traditional sense of the term, will soon get bored of the film. The only entertainment the film provides is satirical and that will be enjoyed by just a small segment of the elite audience. Perhaps, the truly entertaining and enjoyable part of the film is the courtroom drama which lasts for a few minutes only. Shafaat Khan’s dialogues are appropriate to the subject and go well with the film’s mood.
Satish Kaushik plays the opportunistic politician with elan. Tanvi Azmi is suitably restrained as the widow of the dead man. Vinay Jain leaves a mark as police officer Vishwasrao. Ganesh Yadav is natural in the role of police inspector Sawant. As Hindu leader Bandekar, Sharad Ponkshe shines. Satish Alekar is pretty effective as Prof. Shastri. Apoorva Arora (as Shabbo) and Alok Rajwade (as Prashant) leave their marks in their roles. Sudhir Pandey makes his presence felt in the role of Maulana. Santosh Juwekar (as Badshah), Jayant Wadkar (as Muslim leader Sattar), Dhiresh Joshi (as Kulkarni, editor of the newspaper), Nikhil Ratnaparkhi (as journalist Deshpande), Angad Mhaskar (as journalist Rafiq Shaikh), Kishore Pradhan (as the magistrate), Kishore Choughule (as constable Naik), Abhay Mahajan (as Anwar), Spruha Joshi (as Rafiq’s wife), Satish Tare (as Hameed), Shashank Shende (as the lawyer from the Muslim side), Sunil Godbole (as the lawyer from the Hindu side), Rajesh Bhosle (as Pandu), Hridaynath Rane (as Laxman), Manasi Joshi (as the nurse), Chinmay Pataskar (as Kulkarni’s assistant), Dutta Sonawane (as the garage owner), Ganesh Revdekar (as the possessed constable) and the rest lend creditable support.
Feroz Abbas Khan’s direction is sensitive but, like the script, it would be appreciated more by the festival circuit audience than by common film buffs. Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is very nice. Action scenes, choreographed by Kaushal-Moses, are natural. Khalil’s sets are realistic (consultant: Nitin Chandrakant Desai). Sreekar Prasad’s editing is good.
On the whole, Dekh Tamasha Dekhis a satire devoid of commercial ingredients. It will go as it has come – unnoticed. Flop!