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200 Halla Ho Review: Powerful Message , Emotionally Charged  Performances!

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200: Halla Ho (2021)

200 Halla Ho  Powerful Message , Emotionally Charged  Performances In Mirch Masala Re-mixed

200 Halla Ho (Zee5)

Director: Sarthak Dasgupta

Cast: Amol Palekar,Rinku Rajguru,Barun Sobti

Plot: Inspired by true events, the film narrates the story of women terrorised by a mobster who gang-raped, robbed, terrorised and murdered 300 families for 15 years until he met his nemesis in a young Dalit girl.

Rating: ***

200 Halla Ho Review: Just the  fact   that we get to see the ever-dependable Amol Palekar  back  doing what he  knows  best after  so long, is reason enough to watch this real-life gruesome melodrama about a mass rapist   brought to task by a horde of  angry women.Angry DALIT women. The difference is  vital and  it changes the  narrative in  life  as  it does in art.

200  Halla Ho  is  too rough at the edges  to be considered art. When we see  shouting  hooting wailing women swoop down on  the culprit armed with knives and  red chillies,  we are  forced  to  recall Ketan Mehta’s  neo-classic Mirch Masala. The women here  are not half as  beautiful as  the ones in Mirch Masala….yeah yeah, I can see those scary women  throwing the Dalit card at me.

Jaati  ki kyon na yaad dulaaon jab humein har pal hamari  auqat  ki yaad dilayee  jaati hai,” Rinku Rajguru playing a  plucky  protester asks.

 That’s precisely what Amol Palekar’s  character, a  retired  judge  attempts  to do for  a major part  of  the  narrative. He  abhors the  idea  of playing the  Dalit card although he is  repeatedly reminded of  where he  comes from . Eventually he  surrenders to the  collective will, fighting for a cause that concerns the entire community .

 It is  a  powerful character  played much much thought and  restrain  by Palekar.  Not much of  these  qualities are discernible   in the  film pe se. 200  Halla Ho means well. But the  vision and  execution  do not match the notion of   justice for  disempowered women who, in a true-life  incident,  were raped repeatedly and en  masse  in a  slum  by a  political  goon.

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 Deejay Sahil Khattar is   chilling as  the  mass rapist.  His  uncouth  arrogance is so revolting as to make him an emblem of all that is  toxic  about  Indian masculinity. I  wish some of his crude  violence  against women was  shown  a little more discreetly. But then the propounders of  social change  would argue that the  ugly truth about  the treatment  of downtrodden women needs to be  shown with a stark brutality rather than a  dainty discreetness.

I cannot argue that.

 Thia  film doesn’t care to  walk that thin or think   line between  artistic aestheticism and  unvarnished   dogma . The co-directors  jump into the  fire and  watch the  narrative crash and burn.  You will find an assortment of  clichéd villains here:  the corrupt policeman, the sleazy opportunistic  politician, the  vile  eminently murder-worthy  villain, the socialite-politician(played with a curvy  ambiguousness  by Flora Saini).Indraneil Sengupta and Barun Sobti  suffer in underwritten roles.The injustice done to  them …some  other time.

Ironically for a film about empowering the female sex, the women are mostly depicted in the shadows  except for Rinku Rajguru as a young Dalit women unwilling to  take the injustice lying down, and veteran Sushma Despande who in Ajji went around  castrating rapists. Here too she is in a  mood for  drastic revenge . Though here  they never really find the mob-massacred  rapist’s missing penis.When the  social  system stinks, details are  irrelevant.