Anarkali of Aarah, a film by Avinash Das, is the story of a Street singer and dancer. It projects the story of an independent woman, who is courageous and bold. Although her profession makes her an object of desire and fantasy for the male fraternity, she raises a pertinent question that does not she have the right to live her life gracefully. The film chooses not to go to extremes and probably that is one of the factors which sets the realistic tone of the film. There is a woman who sings and dances to earn her livelihood and then there are men who feel that these women can be taken for granted. If the film has shown misogynist people, then there are others too who are selfless, helpful and understanding.
Anarkali (Swara Bhaskar), the lead protagonist of the film, holds the celebrity status in Aarah or Ara (a place in Bihar). She is a singer and dancer who performs in weddings and other major events. Her singing is erotic and dance moves are sensuous. Rangeela (Pankaj Tripathi) is the organizer and manager of this orchestra in which Anarkali performs. Right from the beginning of the film, Anarkali is shown as a fiercely independent woman who has created her own space in this man’s world. She is aware of the response she generates around her through her performance. She does enjoy the attention she gets but that certainly does not make her arrogant. During one such event, she is publically humiliated by a locally powerful person ‘VC’ essayed by Sanjay Mishra. As a confidant person, Anarkali is not at all ready to accept a behaviour that is objectively unacceptable. Anarkali does not compromise with her self-esteem, decides to fight back and that is when the conflict between the two takes an ugly turn.
How does Anarkali fight back? How the powerful people make her life more difficult for her ? Is she able to restore her pride ?
Swara Bhaskar as Anarkali has certainly given a very much commendable performance. Her role had all the probability of slipping into vulgarity but that thin line between vulgarity and sleazy has very well been taken care off. Swara has very convincingly portrayed the character of Anarkali, be it through her dance moves, body language or Bhojpuri accent.
Pankaj Tripathi also slips into the character of Rangeela very well. Sanjai Mishra once again amazes the audience with the ease with which he essays his character VC. Ishtiyaq Arif Khan is also good. The young teenager Mayur More who played the role of Anwar is also good and very much noticeable.
Music by Rohit Sharma does give earthy Bhojpuri feel to the songs.
Anarkali of Aarah is a first of its kind film which tells the story of a street singer and dancer. It reiterates the fact that a woman can’t be taken for granted and can’t be treated as an object of desire and mishandled. As the protagonist expressed in the film, the female shall never be approached without her consent, even if she is a prostitute or a bit less than a prostitute or even as a wife. The film also inspires females to stand for themselves and fight their battles with grace.
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good+)
Cast and Crew Details: Source – IMDB Page
Cast: Swara Bhaskar (Anarkali), Sanjai Mishra, Pankaj Tripathi, Ishtiyaq Arif Khan, Mayur More (Anwar)
Direction: Avinash Das
Produced by: Priya Kapur, Sandip Kapur
Written by: Avinash Das
Music: Rohit Sharma
Production Company: Promodome Motion Pictures
Distributed by: PVR Pictures
Release Date: 24th March, 2017
Duration: 113 minutes