Bollywood Movie: Haraamkhor Review Rating

Sex with a minor is a punishable offence under Indian Penal Code. What about a movie highlighting the same in a surreal believe that it will be taken as a cinematic art depicting different shades of love, pyaar, infatuation... oh dear I pity this situation. 
Exploiting the rural exotica from the Hindi heartland (Bihar, UP gets a break and it's the state of Madhya Pradesh for a change) as served by Bhardwaj, Jha and Kashyap, wannabe hipster filmmaker Shlok Sharma (assistant director DEV D (2009) and GANGS OF WASSEYPUR (2012) and couple of short films previous) HARAAMKHOR starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shweta Tripathi is a muddled, misguided and cringe worthy affair between a teenage student and her teacher.
This disturbing and unlikable piece of work is unworthy of being an art house material and undeserving of the polished acting talents of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shweta Tripathi who play the teacher and the student respectively.
An accidental late night stand between Krzysztof Kiecelowski's A SHORT FILM ABOUT LOVE and Giuseppe Tornatore's MALENA seem to be seed of HARAMKHOR's idea by writer-director Shlok Sharma, which on paper appears arrestingly intriguing about a lonely 15-year-old Sandhya (Shweta Tripathi) torn between the neglect by her alcoholic father and his secret affair with another woman, searching for compassion, love and care in the company of her mathematics teacher Shyam (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who is married to Sunita (Trimala Adhikari - an uncanny Kalki Koechlin lookalike) and happy to take advantage of Sandhya. 
On the other hand, a skinny Kamal (Irfan Khan) - the lovable kid from CHILLAR PARTY plays Sandhya's junior schoolmate and an admirer who follows his best friend, Mintu's (Modh Samad) instructions blindly in order to fulfill his infatuation and dream of marrying Sandhya. The idea certainly had meat but the writer helmer failed to add anything beneath this tender surface of infatuation and lust in their seemingly desperate attempt to be raw, rustic, edgy and arty.
While the crush of young Kamal over Sandhya is acceptable and has some quirky moments, the reasons behind Sandhya getting attracted to Shyam is a complete hogwash and bigger make believe then any mainstream garbage. Yes, majority of us belonging to the current generation, the previous ones and the one who are in their teens have had their share of crush with their teachers and there are reasons behind the attraction - it can be looks, intelligence or good nature but here Shyam has nothing in him to charm anyone. What makes Sandhya fall over Shyam is an irritating mystery that further cringes when we come to know that Shyam's wife is his ex student and that's not all when Sandhya and Shyam come closer a printed warning on sex with minor flashes below the screen making it disturbing to the core.The character of Mintu speaks above his age coming with all dubious information about sex while Kamal seems to have no brains of his own. However, the kids Irfan Khan and Modh Samad do their jobs very well. The only character that makes some sense is of Neelu (Shreya Shah) girlfriend of Sandhya's father. Censor's tough stand adds salt to the wound. The editing appears jarred and scenes look disjointed. Nawaz is a gifted actor but here his ill defined character restricts the audience to have any connect. Shweta who initially charms her way into the audience suddenly finds herself left out with no mercy due to her characters unexplained choice. This proves that no matter how good as an actor you are if the character is not established and defined well then the audience's connect is minimum.After the insipid scripting, the lack of connection of Nawaz and Shweta with the audience becomes the movie's biggest drawback.

Further during the climax when we pray that this tepidly misguided attempt will reach to some conclusion, a dark, abrupt end makes the matter worse leaving the audience in confusion whether to scratch their brains or tear the screen in which they have just seen HARAMKHOR - ironically, the makers have managed to objectify the movie's title in the end. BRAVO. What an art!!


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