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Ashram Review: Baba Black Sheep, Have You Any Shame?



Ashram Review: Baba Black Sheep, Have You Any Shame? 12

Aashram(MX Player)

Starring Bobby Deol, Chandan  Roy Sanyal, Aditi Pohankar

Directed  by Prakash Jha

Rating: *(1 star)

A poorest  of  the  poor  series, Aashram stumped me  with its abject crassness.  Lengthy sequences of  girls being chased across  forests  infested with two-legged animals, Babas and Babus  seeking sexual favours from  Babes who are  all for it as long as the  zeroes  on  the  cheque are  enticing enough, the  storm of salaciousness in Aashram is  the  equivalent of a raid at a porn factory where  the law enforcers sit and watch the  sex act  pretending to be doing it because …well…someone has  to do the  dirty job.

Prakash Jha who once made  films about class discrimination and social inequality  like Damul and  Apaharan  scales down  his vision to suit  the  cheesy  requirements  of  homegrown entertainment.  There is sex. Normally used as a form of brutal oppression in Jha’s cinema, here for the first time in his work  sex is used as  seductive tool.Sadly when we see the Caucasian woman Lucy(slitted gown and all) seducing the senior police officer we can  only burst out laughing. The moans groans and the  pixilated  glimpse of a breast…is this supposed to  be titillating? And  if it is, then isn’t the  series  director  guilty of  the same  sins as  the  shambolic baba?

The series has  any number  of strands  jutting out of the plot  like queasy hair from aging ears: the  conscientious investigating cop(Darshan Kumaar), the  innocent oppressed lower-caste girl(Aditi Phankar) who falls prey to Baba’s lust , the  honest female doctor (Anupriya Goenka) who won’t be intimidated  by muscle or money power, the Baba’s brutal right-hand man(Chandan  Roy Sanyal) who won’t stop at anything to  please  his lord and master,  and finally Nirala Baba, so  smug in his debauchery  he  seems to be doing civilization a favour with his dirty doings.

As the Baba, Bobby Deol is hardly there.  Whenever he does show up he wears the look of  bemused attachment that says, ‘Aise bhi log hote hain kya?’

The answer to that is, yes as  long as there are  sleazy serials there will be  a society more than willing to match up. Welcome to Nirala Baba’s despicable Aashram.  Check in at  your own risk.

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