Rajjo: Film Review

There are times when you enter a cinema hall and wonder to yourself, how bad can this be? Sometimes, the universe delivers an answer. This movie is one of those. Directed and written by… Vishwas Patil, this is two and a half hours of complete and utter pain. The story is about a nautch-girl, Rajjo played by Kangana Ranaut, and a boy Chandu played by Paras Arora. So far, you are still with me? Okay, let’s talk about the rest of the cast. There is a ‘madam/begum’ played by Mahesh Manjrekar, who rules the roost and controls the rates and has a heart of gold, supposedly. Then, there is the local thug played by Prakash Raj, who has money coming out of his ears and he wants Rajjo at any cost.

The movie opens with the customary song and dance. The setting of this film is the red light district of Mumbai, conveniently located in Grant Road. The audience bears witness to the dark and seedy side of the sex trade. We get to see the kotha aka brothel. Looks a lot like a student hostel, but then again never mind the inaccuracies. Apparently, the local customers are regulars, and often have a running arrangement.

The begum, played by Mahesh Manjrekar makes his screen presence felt. In fact, he does a reasonably okay job of playing someone from the third gender who rules the kotha with an iron-fist and a heart of gold. Kangana’s role as Rajjo, is vapid enough to make you want to drive a 6-inch nail through your forehead just to stop the agony. As the character of Rajjo is a nautch-girl, we get to see the wonders of dubbing done horribly. As the movie progresses, her makeup seems impeccable despite her worsening conditions of life. Now we come to the male lead, Chandu, played by Paras Arora. The part of wide-eyed innocence and wholesome character is attempted. But it is just so very tiring to watch. We get to see the stereotype of a cricket-match-winning teenage boy who just wants to get lucky. The chance meeting of Rajjo and Chandu is arranged by his cricket coach, odd huh? That is a lovely notion – win a game, go to a brothel to celebrate. Prakash Raj does his job of playing a creepy villainous character as required, however the character is as cliched as can be. As the movie progresses, his villiany is only shown by evil smiles and leering at the character of Rajjo. The entire movie is about two love birds coming together against all odds. By the way Rajjo has a parrot, a live parrot, who seems to glued to the perch. (According to the director, no animals were harmed during the filming, so the parrot could just be knocked senseless by the acting!).

The movie cannot be salvaged at any cost. Even the skimpiest of outfits of Kangana’s can’t lift the film.

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