Begum Jaan

Begum Jaan has been the most anticipated release for a Vidya Balan film since her mega successful work in Kahaani. Begum Jaan has been written and directed by Srijit Mukherji who had earlier made the film in Bengali first, Rajkahini.

The expectations from the film have been high, especially since the plot is about how a brothel is at the Radcliffe Line dispute during the partition of India. Begum Jaan, played by Vidya Balan owns the brothel and has a supporting cast that includes Gauhar Khan (Rubina), Pallavi Sharda (Gulabo), Ila Arun (amma) and Sumit Nijhawan (Salim Mirza). Each officer handling the partition on behalf of the Governments of Pakistan, Muslim League Illias (Rajit Kapoor) and India, Congress Harshvardhan (Ashish Vidyarthi) visit Begum Jaan to hand over the eviction notice. She seeks the refugee of Rajaji (Naseerudin Shah) and he tries until he explains to her that times are changing and even Kings are no longer Kings. Thus, ultimately the women are left to defend themselves and the officers sub contract the dirty job to gangster Kabir (Chunkey Pandey) and obviously violence breaks out.

Begum Jaan is about a difficult real human story and it will shock you, there is no proof of whether it is based on a true story nevertheless if it did happen then the wounds of such a tragedy are still soar.

Vidya Balan is excellent, while Gauhar Khan, Pallavi Sharda and Chunkey Pandey surprise you. However the cinematography is poor and while the Director Srijit is trying to make you see things from their perspective with camera movement, it is shaky and almost amateur. The film meanwhile may have the potential to earn a National Award because of a very unusual dilemma yet prostitution is around us anyway.