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India Lockdown, Pandemic’s After Effects



India Lockdown

Rating: *

Madhur Bhandarkar’s India  Lockdown, had me wishing all over again, that  the pandemic and lockdown had never happened.  If this is  the  kind of cinema  we  are going to get  from the experience then God save us  from any such catastrophes in the future.

In Malayalam  we  got something as intense as C U Soon and in the West we get a variety  of  films on the lockdown .So many  films and serials based on the Pandemic have begun  to make their  way  on to  various  OTT platforms,  that  it(the Pandemic) has begun to  feel  like a formula for excess.  Using a civilizational  calamity to  foster instant art is not always an undesirable eventuality. Let’s face  it. If it wasn’t for the Nazi holocaust we  would’t have got Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.

Pandering to the pandemic has started big-time.A  film written and made entirely  during and revolving around the Lockdown is like  making a baby  just because there is  a cradle in  the guest room.

India Lockdown has  that  hurried quickie  flavor  of an undercooked  dish which comes  from being  too close to  the  crisis being  described. There are  four  stories  interwoven into a  cluttered cluster  . Prateik Babbar and  Saie Tamhankar  play a Bihari couple  trudging  to their village  in Bihar after the  lockdown.  Tamhankar gives  a sincere  performance while Babbar’s fake  Bihari accent  wouldn’t fool a toddler. Why  couldn’t the casting director get real Biharis ?

At least  Prakash Belawadi is  South India  enough  to play a Andhraite driving  himself to his  pregnant  daughter(Hrishita Bhatt, only seen on video chats ) in Hyderabad.Ahana Kumra is a pilot who  hits on her  young  neighbour next door. After she  almost ravages  him she  counsels, “Don’t think about what you  did. Think  about what you didn’t do.”

Covid  made us all tolerant. But not so much that we can  bear such weird wisdom.

Shweta Prasad  plays  a chirpy joyous  sex worker as if she  had just come back after seeing Gangubai Kathiawadi  all day long for a  discounted price.  Prasad gets to rescue  a young girl from prostitution.  Only the stop button can  rescue  us from this plodding paean to puerility.

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