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January 31, 2013

Mandola ala Pankaj Kapur's Drunken Histronics


Watching Vishal Bhardwaj's 'Matru ki Bijli ka Mandola' earlier this month was a gentle reminder of the blazing versatility of Pankaj Kapur, an actor which in all earnestness has never got its due despite a string of mind blowing performances over the years.He is quite audible during most of the scenes in the movie and considering he is always almost drunk in these acts is all the worth more. 

Considering the meandering screenplay and at times, utterly random meandering of characters in the movies, his performance comes not as a pleasant surprise but mostly unexpected. He literally carries the film on his shoulders and it is to the credit of Imraan Khan rising acting credentials that he does not allow Kapur to completely overshadows him. And in one exceptional scene, when Mandola evocatively outlines his vision of farms turning into shopping malls, he kicks things off with brutal lyricism, by saying this dream has been clawing at the back of his eyelids.

The movie, itself is far from his best work which till date remains his debut movie 'Maqbool' (unless you ignore the largely uninspired climax of 'Omkara'). But it is definitely more accessible than 'Saat Khoon Maaf' and that's a good thing from the director who once was known not to take the audience intelligence for granted specially after 'Kaminey'. But for Pankaj Kapur's performance and to catch the subtle nuances of his acting skills, MKBKM just require a repeat viewing.

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