A Bang up Job

Rahil Qaazi

Ravindra Gautam

Film Review
Eekkees (21) Topon Ki Salaami:A Bang Up Job

21 Topon ki Salaami

Deserves it Indeed.. yes

Spoiler Warning – Low

FACT – Wow, today’s your turn to treat, so what are we having for lunch.
Oh no, this Zunka Bhakar?  surprise

fact – Yes, Maharashtra’s staple meal..  

FACT – I knew you will short change me. When it’s on me, we have International Pizzas and what not, now you are trying to tackle me with this frugal meal.
fact – It might be frugal apparently but actually it is nutritious healthy and easy to digest better than most other things. Before globalization this was ‘hot’ favourite meal of the hoipolloi.

FACT – Humm, because it is cheap & easy to make..indecision
fact – Cheap I agree, easy no way. It is much more difficult than Pizza or shake. Bhakri making is a craft like potter makes pots. Zunka needs perfect timing, if you miss it becomes mess. So though this might look easy, preparing it is an extremely difficult skill.. cheeky

FACT – This your side dish green chilli Thecha (Chutney) it is making me cry..ammi yaad aa gayi. crying
fact – No. I think you must have remembered your father. That’s the idea. I know when people have Zunka Bhakar they think it’s a light meal, but it is enough filling, indeed. smiley

P.N. Joshi (Anupam Kher) is an honest class IV Municipality worker. His sons Shekar (Manu Rishi) & Subhash (Divyendu) hate him for not having done enough for them. While Shekhar has indeed taken up similar job in BMC, Subhash is a root level worker of the ruling party..who does all those stunts on the bosses orders. On his day of retirement Joshi who was expecting a certificate for his honest service finds himself accused of fraud and loses everything. Sons try to salvage the situation by making him tender an apology. Joshi dies of a shock mentioning a weird dying wish, to be honoured by the 21 Canon Salute!! He had been a poor but a noble man who deserved but missed his honours every time. Both sons realize their mistakes and try to make this happen.

There is another subplot of “the CM and his dame” running parallel leading to the CM’s death and Subhash decides to use that as an opportunity to fulfil his father’s last wish.

While the first half is all the setting up, leading to the strange last wish, the second half deals with the fulfilment, how they make the impossible happen.

What appears as a dark satire-comedy from posters and promos actually turns out to be a tear jerker very much in the first half. Though in second half, we do see some satire comedy through irony.

But that’s not an issue. The film manages to take you in its stride, make you cry more and laugh some, and ends with a hard-hitting message which you will take home for sure. enlightened

From writing perspective, this film is worth studying. It begins right from the premise.. Making an honest nobody get such a rare honour! How the screenplay achieves that convincingly is something worth looking at. I personally feel all writers and especially those struggling with impossible odds, should watch this.

Every character has been fleshed out properly. Characters of both brothers undergoing transformation also happens with rising graph, differently in time and space, and very satisfyingly.

Characters contributing to plot and vice-versa happens abundantly without looking force-fit unlike other films. yes

For example, Aditi Sharma’s character Tanya, which otherwise looks supporting becomes proactive in the climax, when a trait nicely seeded in since long, throws a pleasant pay-off.

Every character who owes the dead-man some respect, contribute in fulfilment of his last wish. This comes as a beautiful example of crafting and how lose ends are tied up.
Such impossible feat is achieved and you don’t doubt anything; this itself comes out as a proof of hardwork by the writers. yes

Remember the easier it looks as film, the more difficult it must have been for writers. Just like this Zunka Bhakar..

 "आज गरीब होकर भी इमानदार रहने से ज्यादा मुश्किल कोई काम नहीं है" Such lines of dialogue touch your cord often..

FACT – Cool, so there aren’t any flaws?
fact – Khairnar dismissing Joshi looks bit unconvincing because in any institution people don’t take knee-jerk actions. But it seems that’s the max they could do, without dragging the issue. Then I didn’t understand why in the climax people are shouting “Joshi amar rahe”, when it is to be supposed to be CM Pandey’s funeral.surprise

Also all actors are not so good with Marathi accent and when they try it looks amatuerish..they should have avoided these jerks in otherwise smooth ride...

The film has low dose of humour in the first half. Though in second half it tries to make up, but by then the film establishes into some hard social theme, making you too emotional. Also like horror, satire has limited scope for fresh things when it comes to Politics. A lot has been done already. The deadbody humour too. But within that, the makers try to elicit laughter, especially Sudhir Pandey’s character Patvardhan when substitutes for Joshi’s dead body - It is fresh and funny. laugh

But more than anything, the film must not be missed by Writers for its crafting. For others, it has enough entertainment like Munna Bhai series. It makes you emotional using light events and leaves you with a strong message about Common people.enlightened

FACT – And also makes you remember your father..?
fact – Yes, please watch it with your father and if you can’t then I’m sure you will want to call him during or after the film. yes

   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate. www.ftiiscreenwriters.com

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