Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande Movie Review: Parvin Plots A ‘Sahi’ Effort
One has to wonder whether Parvin Dabas has intentionally timed the release of his directorial debut, Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande, to coincide with the historic movement against corruption that is sweeping the country at the moment. If he hasn't, then it certainly is providence for the film, as Dabas' story speaks of a petty crime syndicate that has a change of heart for the better when their own village's farmers are threatened by the government's move to acquire land for a corporate factory against their will.
Dabas, who has long been a familiar face in Bollywood's alternative cinema scene, with films like Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara and Khosla Ka Ghosla behind him, chooses to go alternative with his inaugural directorial effort as well. Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande also sees him pen the story and screenplay, as well as play a frontline role in the film's cast. However, it is clear that while his acting talents may be topnotch, Dabas needs some polishing in the other departments.
For one, when the story opens up, the audience is given a bit of a crash course in India's land acquisition policy which allows the government to displace rural populations at an arbitrary price against their will in the name of development, an arrangement that has allowed a morbid nexus to grow between the political and corporate classes. When the slide plays on screen, one wonders whether the film is out to make a political statement, which is fine if it does.
However, the first scene of the film, where Rajbir (Parvin Dabas) steps out of the back gate of a jail after serving a year's term, even as a rival criminal gang waits at the front to bump him off, makes it seem as though the film might be a grittier crime drama. However, at the end, it is neither, as the film's inherent attention deficit doesn't let it become either.
Still, Parvin deserves some props for innovating to some extent with his plot. Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande is the story of four friends, Rajbir (Dabas), Sexy (Vansh Bhardwaj), Ambani (Ashish Nayyar) and Doctor (Kuldip Ruhil), who work as muscle for a gangster/aspiring politico called Fauji (Sharat Saxena). All four are residents of Khanjawla village, which is being eyed as a spot for a factory by a shady corporate type played by Anupam Kher in a blink-and-miss role. Aiding him is the chief minister, played by Kiran Juneja Sippy, who has conveniently notified the land.
When Fauji takes up a contract to eliminate all opposition to the proposal, primarily the farmers' dharna, being led by Malik (Yashpal Sharma) and Rajbir's Tai (Neena Kulkarni), the foursome realise that they might be badmaash, but aren't kameena enough to go against their own kin.
With some quick thinking, Rajbir plots to hoodwink Fauji and others into inadvertently financing the farmers' movement and plan the kidnapping of Hitu (Udit Khurana), the chief minister's unassuming college-going son, who is himself an upstanding young man aware of his social responsibilities, to use as leverage against the CM's notification.
Though Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande ultimately proves to be the story of the four core characters' personal redemption, it is evident that Parvin's directorial vision is frequently out of focus with regards to the story. The way he keeps flitting between crime drama and political statement is bound to make the audiences quite uncomfortable, especially since Dabas kits the film out with some rather stilted dialogues.
Angles like that of Rajbir's involvement with Neha (Tena Desae), a photographer girlfriend of his who is set to marry someone else, and his fixation on buying a plot of land that his late father sold off years ago, are also quite unnecessary as they don't tangibly add to the story.
However, Dabas deserves kudos for extracting some interesting performances from his actors. While Parvin himself is superb as the brooding, conflicted Rajbir, the others, like Bhardwaj, Nayyar and Ruhil, are also well cast, fitting their roles like a glove. Sharat Saxena as the gangster Fauji is also appropriate, while Kiran Juneja Sippy doesn't have a lot of scope in the film as the CM.
The same goes for Tena Desae's Neha and Anupam Kher's corporate tycoon role. Young Udit Khurana, however, is an interesting casting choice and works well in parts, bringing a lot of sincerity to his role as Hitu.
Dabas' other strength in the film are the visuals he creates, with some very interesting montages, set up. The chase sequence between the four criminals and Hitu is beautifully done, as is the climactic confrontation setup between them and Fauji. Cinematographer Anshul Chobey works beautifully with the light, using warm and cool tones to set the mood for the film.
Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande also works, in part, because of its music, which has been composed by Siddhartth Suhas and Dhruva Dhalla, capturing the feel of the edgy Haryanvi setting of the film. The track lalaji, which is used in its original and remixed form in the film, is a highlight, while nainowali whiskey is used well in the initial moments of the film.
Though it may have a lot of rough edges, Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande is certainly a great start for Parvin as director. While Dabas does need to get his focus right, Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande is a film with its heart in the right place and a certain statement to make, about doing the right thing. While his next might be the one to watch out for, for now, the right thing to do is catch a viewing of Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande.
Release Date : 19 August 2011
Banner : Very Fishy Films
Director : Parvin Dabas
Genre : Action , Comedy