30th September 2020

Emraan Hashmi In & As Haraami

 We always thought haraami was a forbidden word, as forbidden as, ahem, haraamkhor which  incidentally  is  the  title  of a Nawaz Siddiqui  film. The  definition of what  is  societally  permissible  is changing.

I  remember  20 years  ago Anurag  Kashyap told me his  grandmother called  him a chutiya out of affection . I don’t know if Emraan Hashmi in haraami is  thus called out of affection. But the trailer of  a film  by that name left me  feeling underwhelmed and not the  least affectionate towards  the  teenaged outcasts who exude obstinacy and  no vulnerability .

 It  hits  all  the  right  notes. But in doing so, it also hits the trite  notes.

In depicting the life story  of a street child  who has no name,   only  a number  (Pachpan, meaning  55)  writer-director Shyam Madijaru  uses the  cult of  colloquialism to create a climate  of  growing despair.  But the  anguish never reaches  the eyes.The misery never seems to  go beyond  the surface-level.  It all seems  designed  to shock,  none more so than  Emraan Hashmi  with his flowing hair and  sinister  grimace.

Also Read:  Ajay Devgan Turned Down Raavan’s Role

Hashmi is  the kingpin  of  the young street  hustlers. He  encourages  his favourite  road chaap  boy  to fall in  love  but  also threatens to  break a  knee/leg(take your pick) of  a street  hustler who isn’t doing his  job well.

 The environment  of Haraami is  all  revved  up with  a  scent of  populism  with  the streets kids slumming  it out  at  15-16. With  the Mumbai  local train stations  providing  the required  flavor  the film  seems  to make all the  expected  moves. No surprises here.  Poverty as  porn  and pickpocketing as a  substitute  for sex… the  streetdside  food is  just what the  doctors  recommended.

Is Emraan Hashmi looking to reinvent his career as a villain?

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