Watching Barah Aana by Rajiv Menon made me smile for it is a nice try to offer us all a ‘slice of life’ film that is not set in a backdrop of well to do people thinking what to do with their lives! The painful thing although remains that it is still ‘early days’ for this kind of cinema (thanks to lack of finance available to people who want to pursue this genre), and that’s why the execution of the story (one might argue) could have been better.

The story

Set in the backdrop of the not so well to do Mumbai revolving around the lives of 3 room-mates (in a chawl that is), BA kicks off with Naseer saab running for his life being chased by some goons in his village. The viewer is smartly transported to the present day lives of Vijay Raaz, Arjun Mathur and Naseer saab. I cant tell you why was he being chased and what happens next because I really want you to see it yourself but what seems as a bizarre beginning makes sense once the lights come back on and you leave the auditorium (or in some cases, stop the DVD). The story moves along showing the 3 characters and various challenges they face in trying to earn a living in Mumbai. Saddened by the sudden family emergency, one of the characters (don’t ask me who!) gets embroiled in a ‘situation’ that alters the entire path of all the characters.

Frankly, the story had a great potential to be an exciting and comedy filled movie. Somewhat meaningless romance angel of one of Arjun Mathur could have been dealt better, because one immediately sniffs what is ultimately going to happen of that story.

The music

Non existent and you don’t feel the pinch of it. An occasional phatt here and dhatt there comes and goes without leaving much effect. Great to see makers not trying to ‘accommodate’ a song just for the heck of it though.

The actors

Nasser saab remains silent for around 70% of the movie but when he speaks he surprises everyone. He can sleep walk through these kind of roles and yet come out a thumping winner and the same happens here.

Vijay Raaz – From monsoon wedding, to raghu romeo, to delhi 6, to Mumbai express to this one, Vijay Raaz has shown that he doesn’t need to prove himself further. He is quite comfortable in his role and you can’t help but like him here as well. Notice the difference in his tone in this dialogue ‘Aap ke paas koi aur raasta hai (do you know some other way to work this out?)’ before and after the ‘transformation by accident’!!

Arjun Mathur – Frankly, he seemed supremely unfit for the role. He was so good in luck by chance that one cannot digest the fact that he would come up with broken English and villager hindi accent! I guess he wasn’t presented well and he has royally messed it up further with this role.
The direction and screenplay and all the other technicalities which I don’t understand but I feel I am wise enough to comment upon:

The film could have been shorter, definitely. One might be surprised to note that the running time is just 1 hr and 50 minutes! The occasional dip in the screenplay and lose pace of the movie towards the end of the movie is a put off momentarily and that can work against the film given that there isn’t much to choose from apart from the 3 main characters here. Having said that, the film is definitely worth a watch for the sheer honesty of attempt and narration. I know I am repetitive but the whole Arjun Mathur love story angel wasn’t called for. We have seen way too much already to decode how a love story of that kind is going to end!

To conclude

One can complain that these days there is way too much experimentation offered in hindi cinema. I am definitely not complaining! After coming out of auditorium, I can still relate with the characters I saw and the story line as well. What else can I ask for? Of course there are loop holes but at the end, it’s the cinema that wins and leaves you smiling!

Watch it to see what people can do for money, woman they love and respect (strictly in this order!!) and how law can be a victim of its own actions…

3.5 Out of 5