Bawri Chhori(Eros Now)
Starring Ahana Kumra, Rumana Molla, Vikram Kocchar, Sohaila Kapur
Directed by Abhishek Jaiswal
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!