Rajdhani special: Bheja-Fry
Review: Rajdhani Express, written and directed by debutant Ashok Kohli, it is the story of Keshav (Leander Paes), an ill-fated man who’s on the run & boards the Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Mumbai with a stolen ticket and a weapon. As the journey progresses he realizes that his fate is no better as he is distanced, ridiculed and humiliated by his co-passengers. All hell breaks loose as he finally reacts by pointing a gun at a co-passenger.
With Inception Christopher Nolan brought in the concept of ‘a dream within a dream’. With Rajdhani Express, Kohli brings in the concept of ‘flash-ception: a flashback within a flashback’. The film is narrated by one of the passengers, Bankim Banerjee to tells us the story of Keshav’s past through telepathy. Why telepathy? Because nowhere in the film do we see Keshav sharing his past life with others.
The film opens with a reading of the Indian Preamble. This itself foretells the preachy nature of the film. Keshav’s stars are scheming revenge against him. He’s an orphan who is molested by a pedophile who is later rescued by a rich man, only to become his slave for life. He falls in love with a woman (Sayali Bhagat), who doesn’t love him back, but only uses him to fulfill her pleasures. For the first quarter of the film all Keshav does is act like a log of wood, without uttering a single word. And post the interval all we see Keshav do is laugh hysterically. Gulshan Grover who plays the head TC occasionally utters a convincingly funny dialogue.
The film is stocked with cliched characters spitting cliched dialogues. Munish (Sudhanshu Pandey), the fashion designer claims he’s gay but later is seduced by Sunita (Puja Bose), the item girl who even makes him pay for sex. Banerjee (Priyanshu Chaterjee), a failed screen writer keeps throwing excerpts of Karl Marx’s philosophy at them. Jimmy Shergill is left with nothing much to offer. The only interesting act he puts up in the entire film is that of him intensely gazing into a mirror and trimming his mustache with great expertise.
The music of the film is not satisfactory and Tera Zikr keeps playing throughout the movie which will make your head spin. The print of the film gives tough competition to DD Metro’s jarring image quality.
All in all it seems like Kohli has used the film as a medium to rant out against the country, it’s people and the government. And as for Leander, who has surely lost all his chances of making a decent reputation in B-town, here’s a piece of friendly advise: get back to (tennis) court or someone will take you to court!
Verdict: You’re up for some serious brain-frying and unexpected laughs.
Release date: Jan 4, 2013
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Cast & Crew: Jimmy Sheirgill, Leander Paes, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sudhanshu Pandey, Puja Bose, Sayali Bhagat, Gulshan Grover, Mukesh Rishi, Ishrat Ali, Kiran Kumar, Achint Kaur, Shilpa Shukla
Director: Ashok Kohli
Music: Madhav, Ritesh
Length: 2 hrs 10 mins