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Cabaret Review: It Is The Worst Film You’ll See This Year

Subhash K . Jha

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Cabaret(Zee5 )

Starring Richa Chadha, Gulshan Devaiah,  S Sreesanth

Directed by Kaustav Narayan Niyogi

Rating: 0 stars

Do you  remember those gorgeous  sizzling cabaret  numbers  by  Helen in the  films  of  the 1970s? Yes???  And do  you remember the 1972 Liza Minnelli classic titled Cabaret  for which   the actress won an  Oscar?

Okay. Now  erase  the memories of Helen and Minnelli. Chances are, after seeing Cabaret  you would never want look at another cabaret number.  Come to think of it,  it would  be hard for you to  go to the  next Richa Chadha film without a shudder of apprehension.

I was so shaken after  watching this trashy homage to that  hoary prototype known  as  the  Holy Whore, I wanted to take  a  dip into the  Ganga to cleanse  my sullied soul.  But it isn’t really my fault.It’s my job to sit through films, no matter how degrading they are to the spiritual health. And believe me, this one drags  you down to the dungeons of despair.

Windowless  and dingy .

Cabaret opens with brutish cop in  Jharkhand gunning down a woman’s husband and then asking her bluntly  for  sexual favours . Vipin Sachdeva  who plays  the  cop doesn’t keep it subtle.Why should he, when everything around him screams  for attention. He simply unzips his  trousers and tells  the woman to get on with it. This  is a man in yoni-form.

The woman Razia  alias Rose played by Chadha flees to Dubai after  gunning down the cop where in no time at all, we see her dancing  to a ruinously subversive remix of Pankaj Udhas’ Mohe aaye na jag ki laaj.

Come again? Is  this a cabaret? If it is, then Helen is  suing. And what is that Richa is  wearing? It looks  like a corset tied to the ropes that  are used to pull cows  towards their sheds. Nope. Richa clearly can’t dance. But that’s okay. No one in this dolorously  dreadful and doomed  drama does anything that can be called remotely cinematic.

The songs that once used to be  the Bhatts forte(yes, a prominent Bhatt, Pooja, is associated with this, and we forgive  her) here sound  like out-takes from  a lengthy musical session with an Indian  Idol  contestant. And the songs come on the  soundtrack with all the subtlety  of  Sreesanth creeping on  to his fellow-contestants in Bigg Boss.

I bring up Sreesanth with  good reason. He  plays a  goodhearted don , and Razia/Rosy’s benefactor who runs what looks like a club for grieving women…one acid-attack victim, one gangrape victim, and so on. By the  time Richa finishes her tour of  Sreesanth’s philanthropic work she’s ready to join  the ‘Sree-fam’. That’s what they call Sreesanth’s fans. But honestly if he insists on….errrrr…acting  in such film the ‘fam ‘ may be reduced to a famine soon.

However Sreesanth is  not film’s leading man. The  not-untalented Gulshan Devaiah is.He plays an alcoholic “investigative  journalist” who spends most of his time investigating  the heroine’s anatomy.In  in  sequence he runs after  Richa as she leaves  his  house. I thought she had forgotten her phone on his  table(when you are consumed  by carnal passion  you tend  to forget worldly things).

But no , Gulshan(Devaiah,  not Grover, both are in the film playing the Liplocking Lush and the Devil’s Advocate, respectively) just wants to investigate Richa’s mouth some more.Damn these crusader  type of  journalists.

As I watched the  actors plod through the plot I wondered how they kept a straight face pretending this film was actually serious  business. Make no  mistake. Cabaret is a comedy masquerading as a drama of  a doomed damsel’s distressful adventures.Even the  love-making scenes are a  howl.In one of these, Richa  Chadha climbs on Gulshan Grover he groans more in a ‘oh-no’ rather than a ‘ah-yes’ sort  of  way .Then she grabs a bottle and smashes  it on his head.

 Love-making techniques are getting dangerously  violent these days.

 If you have a couple of hours  to spare please use it for more rewarding activities than watching Cabaret.Like banging  your head on the nearest wall. Or driving  your car  fullspeed into a  fast-flowing river.At  least you ensured more excitement  than what is dead project offers.

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