Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola - Notepad

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola is th typical political satire drill. The only difference is an ace act by Pankaj Kapur, 2-3 wonderfully insightful dialogues, and some feisty, witty lines.



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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

A business tycoon and a politician are out to grab the land belonging to poor farmers.

What Worked

  • Indian classical music playing along with The Fox Star Studios logo
  • The sepia, dull tone to the film. However, I have a feeling it was the doing of our projectionist.
  • That Mandola has 42 pegs. The number 42 is kind-of cute! I guess, it's the H2G2 kind of quirkiness that Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola was aiming at.
  • The first scene in which Pankaj Kapur and Shabana Azmi romance. Interestingly it felt kind of weird Shabana Azmi, the actress romance a seemingly disgusting Mandola (the character).
  • The implied comment that if a girl's dad is rich and powerful enough, she can dress and behave the way she likes without being worried about her safety. I liked the fact that it was implied, not the actual assumption.
  • The 'what the #$%& is happening here?" moment when the African dancers come over. And by the way, was the dance group being on lease symbolic of Vishal Bharadwaj having them on lease?
  • The manner in which Matru tells Bijli a thing or two about herself. Unfortunately, it is overdone in the trailers so when the actual dialogue comes about it has lost its novelty.
  • The 'move the well' scene. Plays long enough for it to bring out a laugh.
  • The scenes between Matru and Mandola when Mandola is not-so-sober.
  • The villager trying to speak Mao's language.
  • Use of the word 'addha' for the interval. If only, the language was consistent through the film.
  • Chaudhari devi's (Shabana Azmi) take on how the people's temperament is what makes the nation's leaders, pushing the blame of the country's condition on its citizens. An inspired dialogue it was! 'desh adhyatmik hai to neta Buddha hai' What a brilliant line! (if the country is spiritual, the leader is Buddha).
  • The crack on the meteorogical department.
  • Mandola's (Pankaj Kapur) poetical description of his dream.
  • The city-bred enjoying an unseasonal rain shower while the crops die an untimely death.
  • The film alludes to how the politicians seem to be playing pranks on the citizens.
  • Bijli's (Anushka Sharma) sarcastic take on how she understands why her father likes staying drunk.
  • The concept of citizen and politicans playing a game with each other. 'Neta-junta khel raha hoon'.
  • The satire on how the person trying to do right is arrested for something trivial under some unknown law whereas the powerful get away with the most blatant of crimes.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • The opening sequence. The car crash, the flashback, the reason for the crash, the brass band - a decent introduction to the quirkiness to follow but still the opening sequence didn't make a mark.
  • The 'blind' boy being used for laughs. I know dark humor and all that, but somehow this felt rather insensitive.
  • The dubbing in the songs especially for Imran Khan seemed to be way off.
  • Peeing, puking, burping, farting. Oh come on! Is it still funny?
  • Bijli's (Anushka Sharma) tattoos. It felt like they were trying too hard to make her look 'cool'.
  • the chikoo-chinki angle with Navneet Nishan.
  • The placement of 'the oye boy oye boy' song.
  • The biplane scene. Quirky, I get, but no rhyme-reason, I don't get.
  • The shoddy green screen work in the biplane scene mentioned above.
  • The honeybee scene. Why bring the comb in focus, the sound was working so well? Why the in-the-face treatment?
  • The UFO/ISRO angle. Another scene which looked like it was being quirky for the sake of quirkiness, instead of having a contribution to the film.
  • Badal's (Arya Babbar) CIA do. This one doesn't even pass of as quirky!
  • The wedding scene. Didn't work for me at all!