Chandu (Paras Arora-who looks like a young and plump Shia LaBeouf) is a college student from Virar, who is more interested in porn magazines and playing cricket than studying.When his cricket team wins a local match, the boys decide to visit a brothel for some fun and Chandu ends up falling for Rajjo (Kangana Ranaut), a nautch girl, who is lusted after by many, including the unscrupulous Hande (Prakash Raj).
Though Rajjo is initially amused at Chandu’s affection, she too starts falling for him gradually and the two decide to get married with the blessings of Begum (Mahesh Manjrekar), the eunuch ‘madam’ of the brothel.
However, the society is not ready to accept Rajjo and her husband and the couple has to face a lot of problems, which are compounded by the fact that the rich and powerful Hande is trying every trick in the book to persuade Rajjo to dance at his bar. How Rajjo and Chandu manage to overcome such difficulties forms the rest of the plot.
RAJJO has an attention-grabbing premise and like I stated at the outset, is well-intentioned too, but the screenplay could’ve been far more riveting. While the first hour is plain ordinary, the director reserves the best for the post-interval portions. To give the credit where it’s due, the second half does boast of several engaging episodes, but the writing tends to get foreseeable at times, which dilutes the impact slightly. Yet, the conviction with which Vishwas Patil has made the film needs to be lauded, since the message he tries to convey is praiseworthy.
Ideally, the music should’ve been one of the strong points of the film, but barring a track or two, the soundtrack is mediocre. Binod Pradhan’s cinematography captures the look of the film right. Muneesh Sappel recreates the red light area of Mumbai with authenticity. Dialogue could’ve been hard-hitting. Nonetheless, the writers have abstained from using abusive language, cuss words or vulgar content, which is a plus. The director has also stayed away from incorporating titillating visuals or sensuous sequences, which could’ve deviated your focus from the issue.
Having proved her mettle in films like GANGSTER, WOH LAMHE, RAAZ – THE MYSTERY CONTINUES, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI, TANU WEDS MANU, FASHION and KRRISH-3, Kangna makes a sincere effort to look the character, enacting her part with grace and elegance. Also, she looks lovely in Indian attire. The biggest revelation, however, are her dancing abilities. She scores brownie points in that department. Paras Arora makes a worthy film debut. He’s confident and self-assured, despite being pitted against reputable actors like Kangna, Mahesh Manjrekar, Prakash Raj and Vipin Sharma.
Although Prakash Raj does try his level best to portray the evil side, one feels the talented actor is getting typecast in villainous characters. Mahesh Manjrekar is, as always, first-rate. Upendra Limaye shines in the sequence when he narrates his past, while performing an encounter. Swati Chitnis leaves a mark. Vipin Sharma doesn’t get much to do. The actor portraying Prakash Raj’s sidekick does a commendable job. Veterans Jaya Pradha, Dalip Tahil and Avtar Gill are effective in cameos.
On the whole, RAJJO is a well-intentioned movie made with gracious objectives of drawing one’s attention to the genuine issues that plague the society. However, its release timing seems inopportune. The clash with a biggie like RAM-LEELA may sideline this well-meaning film.
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