Lanka

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

Another film on how a woman is being abused, but the woman has hardly any role to play. A lackluster narrative, despite the over-dramatization, which Manoj Bajpayee somehow tries to hold together with his performance.

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Director: Maqbool Khan
Running time: 110 minutes
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Lanka - Preview

- meeta, a part of the audience

A film less than two hours and yet you get bored - that tells you whether or not you should watch the film. But, here go the details, anyway.

Bored with the story because it just won't move. Whatever needs to be said about the characters is said in the first 25-30 minutes and that too in slow motion. After that, it's just a wait for the inevitable to happen. Sure, there could have been some interest generated by how it transpires, but not here. There are a few twists leading up to the predictable climax, but what good are twists if you can catch up with them between power naps. No, I didn't sleep, but it'd have been so easy to.

Bored with the mostly uni-dimensional characters and the monotonous performances. Jaswant Sisodiya (Manoj Bajpayee) is a egomaniacal political hoodlum you'd love to hate. Manoj Bajpayee does invoke disgust towards Jaswant but you get used to that revulsion towards him soon enough. He also thinks of his obsession for Anju as his love for her. Anju (Tia Bajpai) is the damsel in distress and pretty much stays so. There is no attempt whatsoever to show her pathos except for the one mandatory scrubbing-her-rape-off shower scene. Other than that, it is her silence and voiceover that we have to interpret as sadness. And who knows, maybe you do go dead in face and voice if you've been sexually exploited the way she has been.

The third angle in the triangle is that of character-who-is-not-named Arjan Bajwa who enjoys the most layered character of them all and this is not saying much. His demonic anger gets to struggle between gratitude towards Jaswant aka bhai-sahaband empathy for Anju, which in turn makes him, rediscover his human-side.

Even though it can be argued that the characters sound interesting, the problem is that what I have said in these two paragraphs is all that there is to them. Add to that the dramatization due to an OD of slow-motion and loud background music.

What's a story about women being exploited in the little towns of India without showing too much of the one woman it's talking about let alone a glimpse of other such women? If you haven't evoked an emotion for the protagonist, how can you make me feel anything for the issue?

- meeta, a part of the audience

17 reviewers(?) - 0 yays 4 so-so 13 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

So-So, by Payal Khanna, Desi Martini : ...The climax is impressive and the way story unwraps itself makes it interesting and keeps the viewers stuck on the screen... full review

So-So, by Nupur Barua, fullhyd.com : ... Lanka has nothing extraordinarily new to offer. However, Maqbool Khan has made an effort to not be too conventional in his style of film-making... full review

So-So, by K N Gupta, SmasHits.com : ...Though it’s Maqbool Khan’s directorial debut he leaves an impact for future. In other areas, less said better, as neither music nor cinematography nor screenplay is good.... full review

So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...It is the length of the film and its somewhat laboured tenor which works against it. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...Notwithstanding the shaky script, Maqbool Khan has handled a number of sequences with competency. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Smita, Desi Martini : ...tedious watching... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, Film Impressions : ...So the film plods on to a predictable end, while its slow pace forces the audience to keep waiting for something to happen... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...Frankly, UP has been belted enough for crime stories and political vendettas to hold any more interest to the viewers. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...oo much to do about not much at all. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...While the expression plastered on Tia's face is that of misery all through the film, Arjan too has a perplexed look throughout. Good thing about it is even if you went off to sleep mid way, you wake up to the same expression, so that you don't feel like you have missed anything.... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...apart from die-hard Bajpai fans who can never find faults with his performances, Lanka remains an avoidable affair. ... full review

Thumbs down, Mumbai Mirror : ...Flunka... full review

Thumbs down, by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com : ...doesn't work for its story but for the performances, especially that of Manoj Bajpayee ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Debut director Maqbool Khan wins points in his portrayal of Sisodia's genuine affection for Arjan's character... full review

Thumbs down, by Swati Rohatgi, STARDUST : ...The biggest take away of this film is Manoj Bajpayee’s performance. He is the mainstay and exhibits his prowess and command in acting with great finesse.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mr Care, Upper Stall : ...The basic idea of the film, a statement against domestic violence is respectable. The basic idea of treatment is respectable - a gritty, hard-hitting film that focuses on making the point. ... full review

Thumbs down, ZEENEWS.COM : ...The direction looks good but cinematography is pedestal and editing lacks the bite. ... full review

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

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads and implies brutality too, though the gore is not shown on screen.
  • Language: Mostly clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Lot of talk about prostitution.
  • Concept: That of how women in villages are exploited sexually.
  • General Look and Feel: Rustic

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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Lanka - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
110 minutes
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