Movie: Rajjo Courtesy: Mid-day
Director: Vishwas Patil
Cast: Kangna Ranaut, Paras Arora, Mahesh Manjrekar, Prakash Raaj
In a country which has serious dearth of children’s films, a film like Rajjo, starring a child man (debut actor Paras Arora claims to be 17 but looks younger) who is made to do some atrocious things, is just adding insult to the injury. At the outset, Rajjo looks like an independent, bold, socially relevant film talking about the rights of sex workers and mujrewalis. But obviously what it seems is not what we get.
The director, Vishwas Patil, clearly has an agenda which goes beyond the ‘noble’ intention. Chandu (Arora) comes from a God-fearing middle class Maharashtrian happy family set up in Virar. Chandu is the captain of a local cricket team and when his team wins the match, the coach decides to take them to a red light area (Nagpada to be precise) as a treat! Well, this is just the beginning of this sleaze fest. Chandu, who plays a 21-year-old, falls in love with Rajjo — one of the best mujra dancers of the area.
Three meetings later, feelings develop and Chandu gets married to Rajjo. Sharing a chemistry that seems to be dipping at sub-zero level, Rajjo and Chandu fight for survival as a married couple, as his shocked parents refuse to take them in. But then, the local corporator Haande (Prakash Raaj) has his eye on Rajjo and wants her to get back to the profession and dance in his dance bar.
In spite of the shady set up, this film would have been tolerable if it had honestly presented a sensitive situation where a college student falls in love with a sex worker and wants to give her a good life. Instead it more dwells on the sleazy part of the profession, as if deriving some kind of a perverse pleasure.
Looks like Kangna Ranaut, who is otherwise a talented actress, has sleepwalked through the title role. Or is it her perpetual shocked expression at what the director is making a young teenager do in his debut film? Paras makes an earnest debut but we shall talk about his talent in some other ‘decent’ film. Mahesh Manjrekar plays a eunuch and impressively so.
Tacky treatment, dialogues (Jayant Pawar and Vishwas Patil) filled with colouful language, and a story that belies its moral bankruptcy for the sake of titillation, this film is cringe worthy experience.