Manisha Koirala, Suman Ranganathan, Shweta Menon, Aryan Vaid/English Subtitles. 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound
The inevitable happens again. A good story with a taut script (for a change) ends up the typical Bollywood way – on a note of high drama and banality. What begins as an in-your-face, gritty story about the seedy, sad lives of prostitutes in a redlight area of Hyderabad, ends up as a mish-mash of the murkiness of the underworld, Bollywood-mafia nexus and an unfortunate love story.
Muskan Bano (Manisha Koirala) is one of the many prostitutes in Hyderabad’s redlight area but unlike the others she has a mission – to bring to book the Sheikh who married her as a youngster, raped her repeatedly and later divorced her. Her unceremonious divorce led her poor father to commit suicide and eventually forced her into prostitution. Unfortunately, however much she may desperately want justice, the law isn’t on her side and she ends up losing the case. At this point things take a different turn when the brothel at Mehndi Bazar is raided and Muskan Bano is forced to move to Mumbai for work. Once there, she ends up in the high-class call-girl circuit, undergoing a change. Her partners in the game are Isha (Shweta Menon) and Lisa (Suman Ranganathan). As Muskan Bano, Manisha somewhat fitted into the role of a traditional prostitute but as the rechristened hi-society call-girl, she lacks oomph that the other two exude.
The climax moves to Dubai, where the girls go to perform for underworld don, Yashwant Anna (Govind Namdeo). It’s here that Mallika runs into the Sheikh again. But before she can extract her pound of flesh, the Sheikh has already asked Anna to kill Mallika. But then, Hindi film heroines don’t get killed, they kill others. And that’s exactly what she does but before that she delivers a sentimental lecture to Anna.
One wonders when the directors and producers would learn to hold onto a good story and not sacrifice it at the altar of box-office. When will another Bazaar be made?