Starring: Neena Gupta, Amol Parasher, Aditi Rao,Arunodoy Singh, Akshay Oberoi, Jim Sarbh, Vivaan Shah.
Written & Directed by: Akshat Varma
Among the many takeaways of this deliciously subverted 16-minute take on the Mahabharat is the late RazaakKhan as Shakuni Mama egging on a debauched sodden Yudhishthir to loose money on the gambling den.
Akshat Varma who last had a blast tickling our crotch(pardon the vulgarity) in Delhi Belly is back with a leggy and lissome short film that is bound to raise quite a few eyebrows. Varma’s take on the pauranic polyandry of theMahabharat is so rich in satire and so tongue-in-cheek one has to be a supreme spoilsport to fault it for blasphemy.
But sigh…giggle… ahem….Akshat dares the unthinkable in this day and rage of sanctimonious rage when saffron is the colour that determined all our mores…Here is a fantastically twisted….and yet curiously logical and rational look at the timeless mythology .
It starts with Arjun(played by an endearingly vulnerable Amol Parasher) bringing home Draupadi while momKunti(Neena Gupta) cooks tindas in the kitchen.
Draupadi, as played by the radiant Aditi Rao, looks definitely more inviting than the tindas.And even the Pandavasagree on that…at least on Pandava, Bheem(Arunodoy Singh) seems hopelessly horny as Draupadi at the gym(if you please!) comes on so strongly,you suspect she is ….ummm…not very khush with just having Arjun around.
Amol Parasher Arjun is strangely de-sexed and drained-out, almost as if he hopes his brothers would share instead of just stare at Draupadi.
Yudhishstir(played with a sinister kala chashma and an indecipherable scowl by the underrated Akshay Oberoi) couldn’t care less.He is not disinterested Draupadi’s oomph.Just more interested in gambling. Sahadev (Jim Sarbh, the terrorist from Neerja brilliantly bang-on as the sardonic son who is not interested in Draupadi in ‘that’ way) and Nakul(Vivaan Shah) are into other thing.
There is fabulously funny scene in a shopping mall where the ever-seductive Drapuadi tells her giggly gal pal that she only has to deal with 3 lustful husbands, not 5.This is said with Draupadi eyeing male mannequin’s lingerie-selling bottoms.
Mama Kunti is of course the last to know.Oblivious of their preference.she tells Nakul and Sahadev that she is getting them married, to twin daughters, if you please.
Sarbh who is possibly the best of the brilliant cast , gives his mom a befitting reply. “Maa, main khushi sa paagalho gaya.”
We can’t go that far in our appreciation of Akshat Varma’s rigorously revisionist look at a revered mythology. But full marks to this long-legged luscious and hilarious short film for leaping into an arena that most would avoid in this day and age.
Thankfully some spirit survives even in this era of castrated cheekiness.