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  1. #1
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    Default Movie Review: Lanka

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    Story:




    Lanka sheds light on the complexities of relationships with unconditional love winning over lust. Bhai Saheb (Manoj Bajpai) is the most powerful man in the Bijnor city. His cruelty knows no bounds and the biggest victim of it is Anju (Tia Bajpai), a doctor by profession. Despite having a strong educational family background with father Doctor Saheb (Yatin Karyekar) a doctor as well, she becomes the mistress of Bhai Saheb. She has lost hopes, until Arjan Bajwa (with surprisingly no name in the film) enters her life as the so-called brother of Bhai Saheb. Arjan is soon torn between his loyalties to mentor Bhai Saheb and soft corner towards Anju. Now, will Arjan stick to Bhai Saheb or come to the rescue of Anju with whom he eventually falls in love, is the rest of the story.




    Story Treatment: Lanka as the poster of the film suggests, is primarily, a story of a woman, who is sexually exploited by a cruel powerful man. So, the poster with Bajpai's eyes full of lust, along with Tia wrapped in a bed sheet is misguiding in terms of the fact that Lanka is the most clean film ever made, despite tackling the topic of lust. The film begins on a good note with the writer coming to the point within half an hour of the movie, but what follows further is a boring dragged screenplay with a good last few minutes that leave an impact. The lack of sub-plots and half-baked situations add to the misery.

    Star Cast: Manoj Bajpai as usual delivers an ‘A’ class performance with no room for criticism. He is the pillar of the film. Arjan Bajwa being a relatively new actor complements Manoj’s performance with an amazing dialogue delivery skill. His brilliance can be gauged from the fact his eyes too, speak efficiently when in silence. Tia Bajpai yet again shows mastery at being a helpless woman like she did in Haunted. Yashpal Sharma and Yatin Karyekar play their part very well. Manish Choudary is good, but is wasted in a tiny role.



    Direction: Maqbool Khan as a director can be given a benefit of doubt since it is his debut film, which makes him quite promising. But, the subject which he has chosen based on the vulnerable relationship of Raavan and Vibhishan isn’t impactful. Nevertheless, Lanka is full of moments which keep the story under wraps which when unfold looks impressive. The brothel and the CBI investigation sequences are well-placed in the storyline with an amazing element of suspense in the film.

    Music/ Cinematography/ Dialogues/Editing: Music doesn’t strike a chord though lyrics are superb. Cinematography is the weakest point of the film, where the knowledge of director or cinematographer seems to be confined to ultra-close shots which are dominating. Camera goes shaky as far as long shots are concerned. Dialogues are non-lustrous in the first half, but sudden improvement in writing shows post interval. Editing is apt but doesn’t help screenplay.



    3 Ups and 3 Downs: Power-packed performances, a good storyline and direction are the strong points. Cinematography, screenplay and music are the drawbacks.



    On the whole, Lanka is like an old wine in new bottle, which is tolerable because of its ‘A’ class performances.




    ...being a human...



  2. #2
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    Default LANKA Movie review: Brotherhood has a new shame

    To begin with, the director of Lanka, Maqbool Khan, has totally lived up to his mentor Anubhav Sinha’s benchmark. The female protagonist of the film is almost as confused as the heroine of RA.One, played by Kareena Kapoor, who danced with a robot who looked like her dead husband. The lead protagonist (or antagonist) played by Manoj Bajpayee in Lanka, along with Arjan Bajwa, the actor who plays the part of his brother, are blessed with powers only superheroes can boast of. They don’t literally fly around but, God forbid, if you do end up watching the film, you’ll nod your head in agreement with me.



    The film is set in a far away land called Bijnaur, supposedly somewhere in Uttar Pradesh, where there is no law or order. People live and die by the gun and their only idea of fun is an item number by Shveta Salve (which is the only watchable portion of this film). The story idea seems to have originated or have been written by someone who was smoking something really interesting in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh while flipping through a few pages of the epic Ramayana.

    There are probably only two people responsible for the torture that is Lanka – the main culprit being the writer and his cohort being Arjan Bajwa, who has one single expression – that of someone who is angry or badly constipated. The film is the story of Jaswant Sisiodia (Manoj Bajpayee) who holds a powerful position. He is able to rape a medical student (Tia Bajpai) with her parents in the next room; the girl cannot get justice, because everyone in her town is afraid of her tormentor. The medical student’s father (played by Yatin Karyekar) is Chief Medical Officer in the district and can, amazingly, lead a normal life while he knows his daughter is being sexually harassed on an almost-daily basis.

    Things change when the villain’s brother (who is supposed to let his brother down a la Vibhishan who causes Raavan’s downfall in the Ramayana), played by an almost expressionless Arjan Bajwa, enters the scene and falls in love with the girl. The exploitation continues, however and Bajwa’s character is unable to decide who he is going to save his loyalties for: his brother or his newfound love.



    Maqbool Khan’s Lanka could be considered one of the worst films of Bollywood in 2011. Arjan Bajwa casually goes in and out of hospital as if it were a pub. Tia Bajpai, who is supposed to be the central character, doesn’t evoke any sympathy, primarily because she behaves like an idiot – despite being an educated medical student, she continues to be exploited.

    Manoj Bajpayee tries to deliver, but the premise that he needs to follow is itself too shallow for his talent to be effective. The songs are pedestrian, as is everything else.

    The makers have spent a lot of money to little avail. Avoid Lanka, even if you are a huge fan of Manoj Bajpayee, or else you might need a repeat viewing of Satya or Kaun to reaffirm your faith in him as a star actor.
    ...being a human...



 

 

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