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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

B. A. Pass

A bit of research on the net and you are informed through Wikipedia that B A Pass is classified as a “neo noir” movie.  Translated it means “New Black”.  Click on the link below to understand what this means - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo_noir.  Some aspects would include a conflicted antihero, Nihilistic Moral systems, Low key Lighting, unusual camera placement and striking use of light and shadow.

B A Pass falls in most of these categories if not all.  Based on Mohan Sikka’s story – Railway Aunty, it is the story of Mukesh (Shadab Kamal), an orphaned teenager who is growing up in Old Delhi at his aunt’s place.  While he is made reasonably comfortable in terms of getting 3 full meals and an education, he is constantly treated like he is not part of the family by most at home – especially his cousin.

Things start changing when he is sent to pick up a crate of apples from Sarika Khanna (Shilpa Shukla).  Sarika happens to be Mukesh’s uncle’s boss’ (Rajesh Sharma) wife.  What the rest of the world (including Mr. Khanna) suspects but has never been able to conclusively prove are Sarika’s steaming extra marital affairs with boys who are half her age.  In the modern sense of the word, she is cougar – and one who knows several other cougars as well.  Read more in the link below.

Director Ajay Bahl has left a solid impact with his first movie (assuming so since I cannot find anything about his previous exploits on imdb or Wikipedia).  We are in an age where the topic of sex, sexuality, extra marital affairs and anything related to the taboo subject has come out of the closet.  However, most directors who manage to make a movie on such taboo topics land up making it into a sleaze fest.  Bahl does exactly the opposite.

While Shilpa Shukla’s various sequences are met with cat calls and hoots, I must say that most scenes were not only essential but also tastefully done.  That Shukla can act has not been questioned too much.  However, Shadab Kamal’s composure is just outstanding.  He not only manages to hold his own with Shukla but also with the likes of Deepti Naval in the couple of scenes that he is required to – only conversation I assure you.

The editing is slick and ensures that just the movie is of just the right length.  The lighting and the camera work give the sepia”ish” hue throughout.  There isn’t much music except for the background score.  That it is still playing in select theatres is an indication that you should catch up with a show sooner than later. 7 on 10 for one of the better movies of the year.  Ajay Bahl is a director that I hope will take himself into “my list”.

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