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Mudda - The Issue

Source: Sify

By: By Taran Adarsh

Critic's Rating: 18/5

Monday 15 December 2003

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Movie Title

Mudda ? The Issue

Director

Saurabh Shukla

Star Cast

Dolly Ahluwalia, Aditya Shrivastava, Arya Babbar, Prashant Narayanan, Rekha Vedavyasa

Politics and politicians have made inroads in our educational institutions. The issue has fascinated several film-makers in the past and a few films have even made an attempt to expose the politicising of educational institutions.

In MUDDA ? THE ISSUE, director Saurabh Shukla interlaces the issue with a love story. Though the film is not without its share of flaws, it does manage to keep the interest alive due to the dramatic goings-on, especially in the second half.

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Set in a village somewhere in North India, MUDDA ? THE ISSUE tells the story of two warring politicians and how their sons get embroiled in a love story with the daughter of the village priest.

Balli [Dolly Ahluwalia] and Harphul [Aditya Shrivastava] are two opponents who can never see eye to eye on any issue. In fact, they detest the sight of each other.

Balli's son Rajbeer [Arya Babbar] and Harphul's son Pratap [Prashant Narayanan] study in the same college. While Rajbeer is a spoilt brat, Pratap is a complete contrast ? a sincere person. However, Rajbeer and Pratap also seem to be at loggerheads all the while.

As luck would have it, both Rajbeer and Pratap fall in love with the same girl ? Sundari [Rekha Vedavyasa]. But Sundari loves Pratap and abhors Rajbeer for his megalomaniacal attitude.

The story takes a turn when the college elections are announced. Rajbeer and Pratap, the two foes, now decide to oppose each other in the campus as well. The campaigning begins. This is no ordinary election, for the results would decide who holds more clout in the village ? Balli or Harphul.

In the meanwhile, Balli learns of her son Rajbeer's feelings for Sundari and approaches the village priest [Sundari's father] with the marriage proposal. The village priest is more than thrilled at the prospect of his daughter getting married in an affluent family.

But Sundari protests. She confronts Rajbeer and reveals her true feelings for Pratap. Unable to bear the shock, Rajbeer finds solace in alcohol. Seeing her son in trouble, Balli enters into a pact with Harphul?

Debutante director Saurabh Shukla has chosen a difficult subject for his debut vehicle. Attempting a serious issue like the one depicted in the film does require complete understanding of the subject.

Though the sequences involving the two politicians are exciting enough, the same cannot be said of the love story. For, Sundari and Pratap are supposed to be obsessed with each other, but her change of heart in the end appears a little confusing. In fact, a better thought of climax would've appealed even more.

At the very start of the film, the director places his cards on the table ? that the two sides don't see eye to eye on all issues. The emphasis is on politics. The love story takes precedence in the post-interval portions and although the film moves at a speedy pace in this half, the songs that crop up at regular intervals act as speed breakers. In fact, the film can do without a couple of songs for sure.

Director Saurabh Shukla is a fairly good story teller, but he seems to have got confused midway ? whether to make a realistic film or a love triangle, with songs aplenty. On the technical side, the cinematography is just about okay. Dialogues are well penned at places, especially the ones delivered by the two warring politicians.

Jeet-Pritam's music is functional. Barring the nautanki number, the remaining songs are plain mediocre.

Arya Babbar shows a certain growth as an actor in his second film. Getting into the skin of the character and essaying a role that's not run-of-the-mill types was a challenge and the youngster passes the test with good marks. He definitely shows potential to scale higher. Prashant Narayanan is efficient, conveying so much through his facial expressions.

Rekha Vedavyasa looks the character ? of a simpleton ? and is a decent actress. Dolly Ahluwalia is excellent and a welcome addition to the list of talented character artistes. Aditya Shrivastava is first-rate.

On the whole, MUDDA ? THE ISSUE reflects realism. At the box-office, the film has a strong North Indian flavour, hence should find more patronage in the Hindi belt.

Rating:- * ?.

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