Is an offbeat social satire with a pace and story telling style of its own.
With a lot many pinches of salt, amidst mild chuckles, it brings to us a slice of life story and scheming characters that are as real as their greed.
Cast – Amitabh Bachchan, Aushmann Khurana, Farrukh Jafar , Vijay Raaz , Brjendra Kala, Srishti Shrivastava
Director- Shoojit Sircar
Writer – Juhi Chaturvedi
Mirza ( Amitabh) is a conniving, greedy landlord of a dilapidated haveli in old Lucknow , constantly at loggerheads with his permanent tenants who pay a pittance as rent, one of whom is Bankey ( Ayushmann).
This old haveli which is at the centre of everyone’s schemes actually belongs to Mirza’s wife Begum ( Farrukh Jafar).
The film takes us on a luxuriously paced but humorous journey of those plots and schemes.
The film is named after famous squabbling puppetry characters, in the form of Bankey and Mirza in this one.
The dialogues need a mention for they are the weapons with which Bankey and Mirza decimate each other all the time.
The setting of the old Lucknow , the locations , the haveli , the lingo are superb and add character to the film.
It is amusing to see that almost each character has a selfish motive.
But I must confess that the luxurious pace of the film might be a major bane. Though there’s no denying the quality of cinema in all aspects including the stupendous performances and witty dialogues but the lags in between do let your attention wane away in places.
Amitabh Bachchan is the soul and spirit of the film.I have no words to praise him.He brings alive the insufferable ,stealing ,rapacious Mirza to life. Only he could have ensured that we dont end up hating Mirza inspite of him being such a foul character. He is despicable but funny. In fact he kind of makes us even pity him at times despite all that vileness he lashes around.
Farrukh Jafar is adorable as the sassy sharp octogenarian. Its a pleasure to see her in her meatiest role till date though she makes her presence felt even in the smallest of role.
Ayushmann puts up a great act but nothing out of the box. Vijay Raaz and Brijendra Kala were good but Srishti Shrivastava deserves a mention . She stood out even in her small role.
The makers I am sure intended to create a nuanced film thats in a space of its own. Though Amitabh Bachchan is reason enough, the setting , dialogues, lingo , performances, art direction and the humour , along with the water mark message are reasons enough for those who do not mind a slow but good film.