Let me begin this review by giving a bit of the back-story. This movie was shot in 16 days. This is the director’s first venture and in order to promote this movie, Nawazuddin Siddiqui did a podcast with AIB, where he explained the difference between big-budget movies and small-budget movies.
If I go by the Wikipedia page, this movie didn’t have a budget, even Nawazuddin said he took 1 rupees as his fees and grossed an est. of 1.82 crore rupees and I am extremely happy that it did. That will help the production company to make more indie movies like this, but as a movie is Haraamkhor any good? Let’s see.
STORY and SCREENPLAY – The story is really simple. It is a love triangle between a teacher, an under-age girl and a kid who studies in the same class as that girl. That’s basically it. The story keeps revolving around these three and the consequences all of them face in their individual lives due to this affair. There are some sub-plots which felt a tad bit unnecessary. You’ll know if you see it and the thing is that it doesn’t even effect the story-line. It is just there and the fact that that sub-plot keeps repeating, I was thinking it’ll eventually lead to something but it doesn’t. The one major gripe I have with this movie is how incoherent it felt. One thing was leading to another and then it just ends.
DIRECTION – This is something personal I am telling here. Every time before my exams, I got in some sort of problem or the other. As I used to get easily disturbed or distracted by it, I used to complain about it. So my friend said to me at that moment, that if you pass nobody will care whether you were going through a tough phase and managed to study in 2 hours. If you fail, nobody will care whether you were going through a tough phase and managed to study in 2 hours.
The thing that I’m trying to say that even though it is commendable that the movie was completed in 16 days, nobody will care unless it is any good. I was a bit angry because of the rating and I had already started rambling in my head that “people don’t understand movies” and all that. Truth be told, it isn’t that good.
The movie tends to become extremely monotonous. There are moments that are just unnecessary. For example, and this is a bit spoilery, when the kids follow Shyam and Sandhya on Shyam’s bicycle, they suddenly turn around and go back to Shyam’s house and trash his house. Does that effect the story? Nope.
Sometimes some scenes drag along for no reason and sometimes there is no bridge between two scenes. There is so much stock footage of windmills and stuff that are added in there. The steamy scenes have no steam. The forbidden nature of the affair didn’t quite build up for me. If this was a short story, it might have worked. As a feature length film, it falters quite a bit.
ACTING – Nawazzudin is pretty much at the top of his game and I think it has been a long time coming. He is creepy, crazy and erratic whenever his character requires him to be. Watching him perform is equivalent to going to an acting school. So skip acting school, get his movies and watch them on a loop. That will do.
This is the 2nd time I am seeing Shweta Tripathi since Masaan(that’s another great movie, go watch it). She keeps her performance pretty grounded and even.
The show-stoppers are these three, Trimala Adhikari as Sunita, Mohd Samad as Mintu and Irfan Khan as Kamal. The most natural and heart-felt performances I’ve seen in recent times.
Special mention for the kid who did Shaktimaan. He was naturally funny.
FINAL VERDICT – If I am given the rights to this movie, I can give a try and edit it a bit more and make the movie more concise and then it will be watchable. It’s the kind of flick, which you can watch while having a meal. You know what I mean? You really don’t have to concentrate but some of the stuff will make you laugh and you can talk about similar circumstances which are being shown in the movie while watching it.
You won’t be entirely bored but you won’t be entirely moved. I think you should watch this movie just because it’s the directors 1st try and has some very good performances.
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