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.
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?