Date: 25 March 2017
Venue: PVR Icon, Vasant Kunj
‘No means no and when someone says No, you stop‘ Big B bellowed in the film ‘Pink‘. We hung on to the edge of our seats plain happy that we were men. The comparison is inevitable since ‘Anaarkali of Aarah‘ also revolves around the issue of women and their right to their bodies.
We are big fans of Swara Bhaskar and have loved her work in ‘Ranjhana‘ and ‘Nil Battey Sannata’. So, when we got this invite to watch ‘Anaarkali of Aarah‘ at a private screening, we left every other plan and ran.
The story as you all may know by now revolves around a local singer Anaarkali in Aarah, Bihar, who is violated by a person in power. The rest of the script is how Anaarkali deals with this. Bhaskar is feisty as ever and through a conscientious approach does justice to the role. Even though the audience may be removed from her situation, it is not difficult to connect with her. We love her as the performer and the protagonist. Wish Bollywood made better use of talents like Bhaskar.
‘Anaarkali of Aarah‘ is not perfect. The script doesn’t work on the other characters and the climax is a little fairytale. But then to drive in a hard point a little bit of histrionics may go a long way. In fact, the debut director Avinash Das has brought a fresh approach to the issue of women and the right to their body and we do not know how many more films in this genre would it take to drive home this issue.
It is parallel cinema but not gray and gloomy. Anaarkali of Aarah entertains and there is hardly a dull moment. But it makes the audience think about a very serious issue without being preachy. That’s what we call wholesome entertainment!