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B.A. Pass - Review

B.A. Pass

quick review:

Emotions are kept at bay in this dark drama. A story with a lot of meat is dealt with pretty superficially.

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[Poster for B.A. Pass]

Not too often is women's sexuality or rather her openness about her sexuality explored in Hindi films. For that, BA Pass can be appreciated. But other than that, it is a pretty hollow affair.

There are lots of bold, sexual sequences which are dealt with pretty matter-of-factly. That could be a good thing, if that's what the scene aimed at conveying. There were tinges of pity and hatred you were supposed to feel, but you don't. The way Sarika's (Shilpa Shukla) character is built up, you'd have liked to hate her; similarly you'd have liked to feel bad for Mukesh (Shabad Kamal) but that feeling to is very superficial.

Fortunately or unfortunately, this has nothing to do with the performances. The screenplay and/or direction are the culprit here. The film has a strong base of sexually explicit scenes, and it feels like the actors have put in an extra effort to feel comfortable in those sequences. Wherein lies the problem. The effort shows, instead of the chemistry reaching out to you. Which is still better than the awkward sex scenes that you see in Hindi films otherwise.

Sure, here are a bunch of characters, that don't really feel anything for each other and so that distance is acceptable. But, that I connect with no one, either in a positive or negative way, keeps me from getting involved in the film as an experience.

That besides, the story has a lot of meat in terms of a cheating wife who is in general a manipulative opportunist; a shy boy who is used; women who express their sexuality. But all these themes are explored rather half-heartedly, except for the sex angle, which gets plenty exposure.

It's not like I'm asking for the other possibilities to get attention - like the dynamics of marital strain or sibling angle. You are shown tiny sparks but nothing on is dwelt on for too long. Just would have worked better if the themes they picked on were fleshed out better.

Later, BA Pass becomes a hotch-potch of moments of despair. They too are forced, as if they had to do what they had to do because it was pre-decided that they are out to make a dark film. You then have a weird mix of stylized treatment which comes too late and is quite out of place.

Halfway through the film, I wondered if my experience would've been any different had I seen the film with a serious film festival audience instead of being seated between an easily excitable bunch of boys. But, as the film progressed, I was relieved to feel assured that it wouldn't make much of a difference.

As disconnected as it may sound, the film's title is what impressed me the most. Ironical to the root, BA Pass is a title that fits the film perfectly in more than one ways. Unfortunately, that's where the impact of the film stops - skin deep.

- meetu, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few slaps. Some bloodshed.
  • Language: Abusive language used.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Loads.
  • Concept: The tragedy that a man's life is.
  • General Look and Feel: Dark and serious.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 3.5
  • Lead Actors: 3
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director:
  • Lyrics:

B.A. Pass - Movie Details

B.A. Pass - Trailer

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Comments (12)

Ali:

Hi Meetu,

Please correct the name of the lead actor - It is Shadab Kamal and not Shabad Kamal.

Ref - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.A._Pass

Anuj:

@Meetu : Do read my take on the Krrish 3 trailer!

http://cricfilm.blogspot.in/2013/08/my-take-on-krrish-3-trailer.html

meetu:

@Anuj Interesting analysis. But what about the trailer, did you like it?

Anuj:

I'd give it a 6/10. Certain sequences (especially the last one with Krrish towering over Mumbai city and the one with the Mumbai sea link) have been exceptionally well shot. They could definitely have done without that sequence of Kangana jumping off a multistoryed building. Interesting part is that they've revealed as much as they've held back. Comparisons with Iron Man,Dark Knight and Man of Steel are unnecessary (but unavoidable courtesy an extremely intrigued media and overactive internet trolls).What's your take?

meetu:

@Anuj let's carry this discussion forward on the Krrish 3 page. It should be ready some time next week. Thank you for your patience. :D

Anuj:

@Meetu:Your rating for Krrish 3's gonna be "Watch if you have nothing better to do". I can safely bet my two cents on that(it would be different if they replace HR with the Ranbir in the same scenario though :P)

meetu:

Hey! That's not fair!!

Anuj:

You know very well it is :P

Fan:

Shifting the discussion to BA Pass:

A reputed critic has given this film 4/5.

Thus I wonder how much credibility to give to your "it is a pretty hollow affair" conclusion.

meetu:

@Fan Well, you know it is after all one opinion against the other. Depends on how you find the justifications behind what the reviewer liked/disliked.

Anup:

I wonder why this movie got so much awards internationally,,,,why directors like mahesh bhatt and madhur bhandarkar praised the movie so much....
This one is an average one,,,,i didnt get much interesting things in the movie....Its just a movie to watch if u have nothing better to do

fan:

Finally got the opportunity to watch the film. I would normally not have watched i - mainly because of it being loaded with sexual content. Nevertheless i did watch it for the getting a rating of 4 out of 5 from a reputed critic. And also due to one positive word of mouth.

It's a typical parallel cinema (art films) fare; designed for what Anuj refers as niche audience.

It's a dark film where the protagonist is in a negative spiral; getting more and more sucked (pun not intended) into quagmire of life. Kind of a male version of Chandni Bar.

As per connecting to lead character and feeling their pain - yes i did feel the pain of Mahesh. So yes the story pulled me in and got me involved. No chemistry between the lad who is forced into prostitution and the lady who forced him into prostitution - is normal. The boy never had any attraction to the lady; and vice versa. So no chemistry was expected. The protagonist was the lad; and so i found it normal that the story stayed on him and did not divert to marital issues.

Performance wise: pretty good from all actors. Especially the lad. And yes the sexual intimacy scenes are quite bold and are done without inhibitions. That they are limited in time just to establish the nature of relationship is good.

if you are the niche audience or someone who likes the award circuit films or a person who likes to have as social talk such dark subjects - then there's a strong probability that you'd like the film. If you're a Krrrish3 type person then you'll just scratch your head as to the purpose of this film.

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