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Yeh Hai Bakrapur review: Charming and humorous!

Movie:
Yeh Hai Bakrapur
Director:
Janaki Vishwanathan
Cast:
Shameem Khan,
Suruchi Aulakh,
Asif Basra,
Anshuman Jha,
Avg user rating:

A voiceover informs us that this village in mofussil India is outside the scope of logic and reasoning (?soch samajh ke baahar?).

The Qureshi family in the village is struggling to survive. With a loan on their head and scathing remarks by neighbours, they feel it?s best to sell their goat Shahrukh to the abattoir. Their little boy Zulfi (Shameem Khan), who is very fond of his pet, is sensitiveenough to close Shahrukh?s eyes so he can?t see the cut carcasses of animals in the abattoir.

Somehow the deal does not work out, leading Zulfi?s mother Suraiya (Suruchi Aulakh, fabulous) to go into yet another hyper fit. She lets it all out on her husband, and her husband?s uncle called Peer Baba (Asif Basra) who goes around doing religious rituals for money. ?If you don?t arrange for the money I am going back to my mother?s,? she threatens as usual.

She?s a short-tempered person, this woman, and yet endearing because of her antics. You wonder how someone could be so shrill at all times, while also sympathizing with her situation.

Enter smart-alecky Jaffar (Anshuman Jha) who?s in love with Suraiya?s daughter. Settled in Mumbai, he reacts with a ?chill dude? when his father objects to him cutting hair for free at their makeshift salon.

When the going gets rougher and they decide to take the goat to a fair to be sold off, little Zulfi is inconsolable. He and Jaffar then hatch a plan to save the goat. They paint a religious symbol on the goat.

From them on, the goat becomes a celebrity. And far from selling it, the family begins reaping the benefits of its newly-minted divine status. From people who invite Shahrukh for store openings to the political arena to appearing in ads, the family?s fortunes turnaround overnight.

The problem arises when rabble-rousing people from two communities claim that Shahrukh belongs to them. The effect is as saddening as it is hilarious.

The film makes a very strong statement for unity and shows how ridiculous adults look in the eyes of an animal and a child. Heard-hearted and empty-headed, these angry people from both communities fight over the uncaring goat, with an artificial symbol painted on it.

Debut writer-director Janaki Vishwanathan gives us a very timely film with the right amount of satire and pathos. She tells the story with a smirk, and gets the communal unity message across. She also makes a case against superstition and blind faith. The only grouse is the weak finale and abrupt ending. The film reminds you of the equally charming and humorous Welcome to Sajjanpur.

Abinanadan Ramanujam?s cinematography captures the village beautifully and the music by Agnee is an absolute delight.

The performances are another ace. In fact this is one film that doesn?t have a single bad performance! Not to mention the goat, on whose face you might notice a slight sneer at times. Perfect for a satire!

One of the few films that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. Do watch!

Rating: Three and a half stars

 

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