Friday, October 26, 2007
lcmd (laaga chunari main daag)
the film starts with a colourful ten minutes' song in the streets of varanasi."hum to hain aise bhaiya".two sisters badki(rani mukherjee) and chutki(konkona sen)bonding beautifully.their real names are vibhavari and prabhavari respectively.a terrific song.sushil rajpal's cinematography is superb.and then immediately thereafter you are transported to a huge haveli with a ganges view owned by the parents of the irrepresible sisters,the sahays(anupam kher and jaya bhaduri).actually it is an ancestral property and sahay's brother has raised a dispute and the matter is being litigated.but since the sahays are in occupation they are enjoying the luxury knowing well that a sword is hanging over their head.one can say that they are asset-rich but cash strapped.a fit case for a reverse mortgage.for some reason sahay doesn't receive his pension and his wife burns the midnight oil trying to keep the home-fire burning by sewing till the wee hours.a film producer wants to shoot some scenes for his forthcoming film in their gorgeous haveli and momentarily there is some happiness in the lives of the sahays as they get much needed cash, but it soon turns into a great disappointment as the producer cancels his plan.and the cash has to be returned.
badki overhears a conversation between the sahays about their abject financial position.her father's medicines can't be bought as they hardly have any money.she then and there decides to try her luck in mumbai with the help of her recent contact-the film producer.several failed attempts later including a casting couch therapy, the not well-versed in english lass from varanasi finds the occupation of a sophisticated prostitute in mumbai.she decides that there is no option.with her father having had a heart attack and her mother on the fringe,she realises that this is the only way she can earn a lot of money quickly and protect her family.in their many teleconversations her mother understands and wily nily acquieses.destitution leads to prostitution.
plenty of cash starts pouring in and the family's fortunes miraculously improve.that sets tongues wagging.badki's father decides to engage varanasi's topmost lawyer to defend his case on the ancestral property.and the jealous brother sends his son ratan(sushant singh) to find out how his brother could afford to do that.the cousin tracks her to mumbai, accosts her when she is about to leave her beautiful sea-face apartment and threatens to blackmail her back home.badki agrees reluctantly to keep him on the tab with a regular money transfer.meanwhile chutki gets a job in mumbai and the sisters meet.chutki is in awe of her badki but unaware of her source of income.when one day she finds her secretly leaving their flat and follows her to the five star hotel where badki meets her client, then the truth dawns on her.she waits in the rain for her sister.the sister comes out in her shimmering black sari and goes past her,and then drives away.she bangs on the car windows,but badki doesn't recognise chutki.she breaks down emotionally and konkona is brilliant here.later in the evening she questions badki and when the cat is truly out of the bag,she lauds and worships badki for her huge personal sacrifice and for saving the family from financial ruin.
abhishek does a cameo as badki's lover and konkona gets hooked on to vivaan(kunal kapoor)the creative director of an advertising firm.he doesn't care too much about how he looks and how he dresses.the chemistry between kunal and konkona is great.kunal acts very well and repeats his performance of rang de basanti.finally it turns out that abhishek and kunal are brothers and there is a happy family reunion, when kunal is to marry konkona at benares.the villainous cousin(sushant singh) is a spoiler for he tries to wreck the marriage along with his father.by announcing badki's profession in front of all the guests.the brothers don't care.they shoo him out."daag,bojh,what are you talking about",drawls abhishek in his foreign-returned accent.
there is a mujra by hema malini in the early part of the movie which perhaps sowed the seed of prostitution in badki's mind. badki was so impressed and taken in by the mujra that she thought that it could be a fast way of earning bucks to save her family.
lcmd is dedicated to the indian woman.it is also a woman's world.all the three top performances come from women.rani,konkona and jaya.jaya had a tough role to play, pushing her badki into a labryinth and then suffer every nanosecond though that brings them prosperity.kunal as the dishevelled creative director looks good and acts well.pradeep sarkar's direction is excellent though the story line is weak.the music and in particular the inaugural song is fantastic.
not a great movie though a heart-tugging story about a blot in the chunari.a scar which will never leave the woman.but if you want to see some fine acting from the three women, hear a couple of good songs,watch nice shots of benares and cry a bit do see it. the narration and creative visuals of pradeep sarkar are terrific.it is likely to be a boxoffice hit.