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Bamfaad (Zee5) Brings Home The Big Screen Experience




Starring Aditya Rawal, Shalini Pandey, Vijay Verma

Directed by  Ranjan Chandel

Rating: *** ½

Call it  a withdrawal symptom. But I was sure as hell happy to welcome this  gripping if somewhat  familiar mofussil love story about an Allahabad  boy  who falls  for a girl who happens to be the local don’s  keep. Boy and Girl make  a  run  to the  nearest safe town.

Obviously  Sairat has  been streaming in Allahabad.

The comfort   of the  familiar is  not what makes Bamfaad watchable.  It is   that  recycled yet raw energy  of  the smalltown passion-play that gives  this  feral romance a  cutting edge.When we first meet the young hero Nasir(debutant Aditya Rawal)  he is  an aimless and  brawl-friendly  lout, a problem  child  for his worried parents who, for a change, are no walkover. In fact Nasir’s  dad (played  with  marvellous restrain  by Vijay Kumar) is a powerful town-member so  that when Nasir flips  for  the don’s  girl, the tussle that ensues is not one  between  the the have and  the have-not.Nor  do we get  into a  Hindi-Muslim tangle  here, though  a creepy cop , after  a sequence where the  fugitive  lovers are humiliated in  hotel  room  a la that brilliant Haryanvi film G Kutta Se, does mention ‘Love Jihad’

There  is a more delicately drawn  power-play at work in this drama than we generally see in films about star-crossed lovers. This is  a  story that  wants to be told. And  it  gives its  truckload of characters  ample breathing space to  grow into a substantial drama.I wish director Ranjan Chandel had avoided  the  songs which don’t only break the metre  of  the  sanguinary tale but also remind us  that  at the end  of  the day a film is  film  is a film…

The two youngsters  do well for themselves. It won’t be  right to  declare  the lanky Aditya  Rawal a chip of  the old (Paresh Rawal) block yet. But he conveys a certain sincerity in his anguish and an anguish in  his moments of sincerity. Shalini Pandey who  got slapped around by Vijay Deverakonda in Arjun Reddy gets gets roughed  up by  Vijay Verma who makes the  criminal’s character  just sympathetic enough to not wish him a  horrible death. The best performances in this  stealthy  saga  of love and betrayal come from Verma and Jatin Sarin, the latter as a chameleon-like fencesitter who changes sides according to  convenience.

There are  lots of smalltown clichés  floating around here. Lots of bare feet  facing the camera, uncouth  types spitting , etc. And yet for a  film that seeks inspiration from Sairat and  Arjun Reddy, Bamfaad has some surprises in store including an unforeseen ending  and a subplot  about a lovestruck  local Majnu who misreads the writing on  the wall. Literally.With  calamitous results.

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