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Bawri Chhori, Ahana Kumar Anchors This Amiable Queen Takeoff



Bawri Chhori(Eros Now)

Starring Ahana Kumra, Rumana Molla, Vikram Kocchar, Sohaila Kapur

Directed  by Abhishek Jaiswal

Rating: ***

 Though the  pronounced influence of Vikas Behl’s Queen is  everywhere discernible in this short-and-sweet  little film, Bawri Chokri will nonetheless make you smile.  It comes  from the right place , a modest but genuine  place, and it pulls no punches, as  Radhika(Ahana Kumra) takes  off from her smalltown in Punjab to London to  wreak revenge on her husband who  deserted her.

Just like that! No money,  no contacts, just a passport and  loads of  vengeful confidence to get even with the man who wronged her, Ahana Kumra plays  the part with  a controlled zest.  Just because she is desi and emotional  it doesn’t mean that she has to be loud and abrasive  all the time, right?

Right! Ahana plays the vengeance-seeking Punjabi   wife with a restrained chutzpah.She anchors the show and she has solid support from an austere unpretentious screenplay which is written like as  an adventure story with Radhika running into various desis in London who give her a  warm bed, warm food and well…warmth. If only the real  world was  so friendly!

At times  I got  a severe  attack  of déjà vu specially when  Radhika and her new London-desi  bestie with  blue hair Anna(Ruman Molla, entertaining and quite interesting) get high on ganja: think Queen. Think  Kangana Ranaut. Think Lisa Hayden.Luckily for  the film and for us, Ahana  Kumra makes the role  all her own. She’s feisty and goofy wise  and stupid, brave and cowardly  all at once. Isn’t that how life is?

 Not to say that Bawri Chokri is  a mirror of life.  Some of the episodes in ‘Radhika’s Adventures Abroad’ take unacceptable leaps  of faith. And yet the plot always lands on its feet,a bit  bruised sometimes, leaving us  with  a  pleasant feeling at the pit of our stomach.

 The supporting cast is …well…supportive and it’s good to see  Niki Walia  back on screen after so long(she was once Anil Kapoor’s  leading lady in  Mr Azad). Also, it’s a welcome  departure from the  norm to see London being used  not as a touristic attraction, but a character  in the film.

So  does Radhika get her revenge on her  absconding  husband?  The answer to that  depends on which side  of  the fence you are standing on.Either  way, this is an  engaging modest unpretentious  sincere  film that serves up  a topical warning to wife deserters. Don’t! 

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