YEH HAI BAKRAPUR
Shruthikkaa Films’ Yeh Hai Bakrapur is the story of a village ruled by superstitions. Majid (Faiz Khan) and his wife, Suraiyya (Suruchi Aulakh), are struggling to make ends meet. They are on the verge of selling their goat named Shah Rukh. Just as the deal for its sale is about to be finalised, Jaffer (Anshuman Jha), a family friend, points to a holy sign (of Muslims) on the body of the goat, prompting the Muslim family to believe that the animal is special and, therefore, deserves to remain with it. Jaffer loves Naaz (Yaushika Verma), daughter of Majid and Suraiyya, and she also loves him.
Before long, word about the goat being Allah’s chosen one spreads in the village, making the goat enjoy special status. Villagers and even people from the city pay for seeking special favours from the goat including its blessings. Majid and Suraiyya start earning good money because of this.
Soon, there comes along a Hindu, staking claim in the earnings from the goat because the goat’s father belonged to him. Obviously, Majid and Suraiyya as also their relative, Ansari (Asif Basra), are shocked and are unwilling to accept the Hindu man’s claim. The matter reaches the village panchayat and before the panchayat can pass its order, a Hindu fanatic interprets the special mark on the goat’s body as a replica of Lord Shiva’s trishul. The controversy now assumes a communal colour and so, the panchayat orders the goat to be kept in its custody till passing of the final order.
The owners of Shah Rukh are livid but can’t do anything about it. Who gets the goat finally? Is the mark on its body proof of it being Allah’s chosen one or Lord Shiva’s special one? Or is there something else to it?
Janaki Vishwanathan’s story about the superstitions that rule the lives of villagers in India is interesting and offers scope for some rather funny and comical moments. Her screenplay holds interest for the elite audience mainly, because, besides lack of face value, the film is devoid of the usual ingredients of a masala entertainer. Yes, there is a romantic track of Jaffer and Naaz, but that track is not the main track of the film. Also, the humour is of the very class-appealing variety. Frankly, the drama was more suitable for a one-act play or a short television film. Making a film on such a thin story-line seems to be a costly mistake committed by writer-director Janaki Vishwanathan. Her dialogues are very real and quite humorous but, again, like the screenplay, they are of the kind which would appeal to the intelligentsia which, unfortunately, does not view such films in cinemas.
Asif Basra does a brilliant job as Ansari. Anshuman Jha looks the character (Jaffer) he plays and acts in a natural way. Yaushika Verma is good in the role of Naaz. Suruchi Aulakh is extraordinary in the role of Suraiyya and her sense of timing is remarkable. Faiz Khan lends good support as Majid. Shameem Khan (as Zulfi), Sanghamitra Malik (as Nooran Aapa), Wasim Khan (as Jaffer’s father), Sanjogita Mishra (as the lady from the NGO), Capt. (retd.) S.N. Ahmed (as Rizwanbhai), Dhiraj Bharadwaj and Sanjay Vicharya (as the police inspectors), Nirakar Mehra (as Syed Suleiman), Vinay Varma (as Singhania), Nidhi Bharadwaj (as the corporate executive), Vishal Saxena and Ravi Raj (as Suleiman’s party workers), Abhishek Chandra (as Shaikh’s PA), Utkarsh Majumdar (as Swaran Singh), Amit Sial (as Shyama Prasad), R. Balasubramaniam (as the bank manager), Ramachandra Singh (as the panchayat head), Sajjad Hussain Khan and Sukaant Ray (as the constables at the checkpost), Ananth Jadhav (as police sub-inspector) and Nand Menon, Shyam, Sumeet Pant, Madhav R. Chousalkar, Mohammad Shareef, Srinivas and Nityanand (all as police constables) lend able support. Goat Shah Rukh makes its presence felt.
Janaki Vishwanathan’s direction is very good and is suitable for the script. However, since the script has such limited appeal, her able narrative style won’t really help much in widening the film’s appeal. Agnee’s music is appropriate to the film but the songs aren’t of the kind which could add to the drama or even the film’s appeal. Having said that, it must be added that the songs don’t bore in the film. Panchhi Jalonvi and Abbas Tyrewala’s lyrics are alright. Aditya Pushkarna’s background music is so-so. Abinandhan Ramanujam’s cinematography is quite nice. Sets (Raja Ravi Verma) are realistic. Hemanti Sarkar’s editing is rea sonably sharp.
On the whole, Yeh Hai Bakrapur is an interesting fare but one which does not have any commercial value. At the ticket-windows, it will fail to make any impact whatsoever, its unusual title and absence of face value only adding to its tale of woes.