Ajay Bahl’s debut movie is a brave and honest portrayal of a life that goes astray. The virtue of B.A. Pass lies in its courage to chronicle the life of Mukesh (played by Shadab Kamal), a college student & orphan who has two sisters and lives with a relative of his. He is constantly nagged by his Bua (Aunt) about his sisters and he living with her. Soon enough Mukesh falls prey to the advances made by a friend of his Aunt’s, Sarika (played by Shilpa Shukla). She establishes sexual relationship with him owing to dissatisfaction in her marriage thence starting a completely new episode in his life. She is also well-aware of his economical condition and coerces him to make himself ‘available’ for the number of women she knows (she is running a racket).
Throughout the movie, helplessness and a miserable state of his life is felt profoundly; he has to support his two sisters who are living in a hostel. His gradual descent in this racket is catalyzed by his urgent need for money and to him it seems an obvious solution to all his problems. His journey to this world becomes darker up to the point of no return.
The area where B.A. Pass excels is that it doesn’t try to provide solutions to this social problem but just depicts the essential horror of it. The approach can be termed as a mere recording of an individual’s life in cinema. As the movie progresses, one gets increasingly aware of the nexus he is getting caught in. The direction of the movie is good but the novelty of the film comes mainly from the script itself. The performances of both the protagonists are really heartfelt and genuine. The movie is albeit shot in the fashion which suits this dark noir story (read: cinematography). The technical aspects of the movie also shows the expertise.
Still the movie would certainly be labelled as a worthy effort and not a fully realized one because a certain momentum seems missing at times. Adding to this, there are aspects which makes it a little confusing. Some scenes in the movie appear as if in no relation to the narrative and obstructs the gradual building of the story. Introduction of other characters in the movie is also a little confusing and their significance is not very clear. Keeping these aspects apart, B.A. Pass is a remarkable effort to record Mukesh’s story, simultaneously mirroring specific prevalent underground aspects of society.
B.A. Pass: Film Review,