What is the story about?
Radhika, a young woman, comes to London from India, looking for her husband Abhishek, who fled with her money and jewellery. Seething with revenge, she hatches a plot to track him down, kill him and feed him to the pigs. There's only one problem: she does not know where he is. Will Radhika find Abhishek and carry out her plan, or will she forge a new path for herself?
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. That is the underlying premise of Bawri Chhori, a new film that decides to delve into the idea of a woman trying to get away with murder for the first time. It's an intriguing premise, and would've worked better as a Fargo-esque thriller. But here's the question: what film are you interested in watching? Are you in the mood for a macabre thriller or the tale of a woman learning to live for herself.
While writing this film, writer-director Akhilesh Jaiswal and his co-writer Prateek Payodhi obviously thought that the above-mentioned choice should not be left to audiences, and they decided to lump both narratives together in the same film. The net result is a screenplay that can only be described as a hot mess, which is a shame, because there are some fine performances in this film. The comedy seems forced at times, and the film only shines in those portions when the audience is introduced to Radhika's own fears and her relationships with the people she meets in London. Otherwise, with crazy editing choices and a climax that hits false notes, this film feels like a schizophrenic creative vision at times.
Aahana Kumra finally gets a role worthy of her talent. She plays Radhika with a mix of vulnerability and earnestness, and is easily the one to watch even when she is making ludicrous plans for murdering her husband. Vikram Kochhar is lovely as Anand, her college-mate who drives a taxi in London, and there are some wonderful moments between him and Kumra. Niki Aneja Walia has a delightful cameo as single mother Saroj, who dispenses some urgent life-lessons to Radhika. Only Rumana Molla sticks out like a sore thumb as Ana, a young girl who struggles to speak in Hindi.
Music & Other Departments
Karthik Ramalingam's music is okay, with Raat Baaki being the pick of his tracks in the film. Amarjeet Singh's cinematography is all right, but it is Nikhil Parihar's jerky editing which is the big downer.
The best parts of this film are the portions when Radhika is not obsessed with the idea of revenge. Her conversations with her college friend, Anand, and single mother Saroj, provide the spark this film needed more of.
Right from the opening credits, the editing feels slapdash, almost as if someone put pressure on the makers to chop portions from the original cut. Certain sequences seem hastily put together, and a couple of scenes also had a bit of background music snipped out.
The writing is another problematic point, where the situational comedy and lampooning of the white British citizens as "gori chamdi" feels like it's from another film. The climax of the film is also problematic, where a key character reveals unsavoury truths about Radhika, and you are left feeling conflicted as to what her true story is.
Did I enjoy it?
There are a few portions I enjoyed. The rest of the film is a drag.
Do I recommend it?
You can always give this a one-time watch.