'Rajjo' review: Help! Here’s the worst film of the year!

KHALID MOHAMED
Published Nov 15, 2013, 11:19 pm IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:38 am IST
Help! Here’s the worst film of the year, cries out our reviewer! Did you watch it?
Paras Arora and Kangana Ranaut in a still from the movie 'Rajjo'.
 Paras Arora and Kangana Ranaut in a still from the movie 'Rajjo'.

Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Paras Arora, Mahesh Manjrekar
Director: Vishwas Patil
Rating: One star

Bhaag, people, bhaag, far away from this kotha woman. She and every geek, goblin and goblin surrounding her in this travesty may compel you to gnash your teeth, cry out loud and curse yourself for having ventured into this absurd geegaw, that could well qualify for the award of the Worst Film of the Year.

 

And to think Rajjo has been co-written and directed by Vishwas Patil, an IAS officer. No kidding, his debut jab at filmmaking amounts to an excruciating two-hour-plus time in an auditorium, where every minute ticks-tocks-‘n’-crawls till you wish you could seek refuge under the seat, but crammed multiplexes don’t offer such hideaway spaces. More’s the pity.

Misery loves company, and so at the press screening, a young woman in the next seat kept muttering, “Oh no, what is going on?”, while an elderly woman in the row behind snored with the force of a hundred bagpipes, waking up only for a refreshment of two jumbo-sized samosas in the intermission. Then she went back to zzzzzleep. You may not get that lucky, in fact you may remain wide awake, disturbed by the fact that the travails of the kotha queen bee out here gives a bad name to women-centric films. Eeesh.

Sure, a sexually exploited woman is at the centre of the story (if it can be called a story, charitably) but she’s made out to be so daft and dizzy that it’s impossible to summon up a shred of sympathy for this walking-talking-dancing bundle of cliches, dithering away to evoke the memories of 'Pakeezah', 'Umrao Jaan', Rekha from 'Muqaddar ka Sikandar' and Manisha Koirala from 'Market'. Heh heh, 'Rajjo' has an ice cube’s chance in a furnace, actually.

And so what do you think happens to Rajjo, or our Muqaddar ki Dance Item? Quite naturally she (Kangana Ranaut) dances with terribly suggestive ‘jhatkas’ and announces that her ‘nath’ (chastity) was sold to the highest-bidder by her eunuch madame (Mahesh Manjrekar trying to be a Sadashiv Amrapurkar from 'Sadak', in vain). Like it or not, for this Ms Muqaddar life’s coming up more thorns and roses. Oh, oh, such is life dearies.

Till this daffodil boy called Chandu (Paras Arora), a 21-year-old virgin – reportedly the censors raised his age from 18 to a legally marriagable one – falls head over high heels in love with her, and marries her, never mind a four-year age difference. Piffling. And woohoo, they spend their first night in a broken down car in a garage. Honestly! In the most vulgar scene suffered in years, garage mechanics grin, salivate and leer outside the ‘suhaag raat’ automobile. Next: The newly-weds migrate to a barren land where she teaches kathak to kids (poor kids!). Moanwhile he serves noodles from a roadside Chinese stall, the plot pourri tasting worse than overcooked chop suey. Thoroughly indigestible.

The snag is that Rajjo and Chandu have more enemies than you can count on your toes and fingers. To mention the most rigorous baddies: a deadly devil (Prakash Raj hamming) who has this fetish of making millions out of “land and ladies”. Duh? He buys and sells both the L-words – get it? Then there’s his right and left hand man (Shiny Shirt) who has this psychological disorder about hiring Rajjo to perform at his dance bar. Plus there’s a lecherous sugarcane juice vendor, a politician (Dyed Moustache) who canoodles with a hot-pants girl, plus Chandu’s meanie-beanie dad who throws an apoplectic fit. Ewww.

As for a dipsomaniac cop, an ageing kothewalli resembling a chandelier and a cute parrot who’s gobbled up by a furry cat, you can’t decipher what on heaven or earth they’re doing in the kooky clutter.

Worse, the backdrop which is supposed to be Mumbai’s Grant Road – at times, suddenly called Agripada – is a feverish figment of the imagination. Kothas, as in Lucknow, no longer exist there. Neither do dance club bars, but then logic and authenticity are the least of your worries. Technically, the result is amateurish, the writing borders on the crude consistently, and the supposed love story of a courtesan and a kiddo is reduced to a joke, in a manner that is quite degrading to the portrayal of women. 

Of the cast, Paras Arora is strictly TV-soap material, he can’t pull off a role which required far more confidence and screen presence. And your heart bleeds for Kangana Ranaut – ‘yeh tu ne kya kiya?’ She’s supremely artificial and for once, utterly unlikeable. Rajjo is her career-worst. Forgive and forget.

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