Glocal – that’s the last word of 7 Khoon Maaf’s review from my favorite movie reviewer, Nikhat Kazmi. I couldn’t agree more. “Coming of age” is another description I would like to add. Finally, with “7 Khoon Maaf”, the Indian heroine comes out of the shadow and that too with a bang. A very decisive 2011 has decided to give it’s tribute to woman power with the unapologetic trilogy of “No One Killed Jessica”, “Turning 30” and “7 Khoon Maaf”….
Sussana suffers at the hand of her seven husbands, but unlike the thousands of Indian females, she doesn’t suffer in the proverbial “silence”. Instead, she hits back hard at her tormentors… hard enough to take their breaths away, quite literally. That’s the general crux of the movie and apart from that, the rituals of marriage and love and relationships keep happening intermittently.
Sussana’s world packs all shades of black:
At seven odd pages, Ruskin Bond’s story ‘Sussana’s Seven Husbands’ sure did pack in a lot of crime. Sussana marries and kills, marries and kills and this “rinse and repeat” story manages to keeps you avidly engaged throughout. Apart from the bare-bones story, Sussana’s characterization, her looks, and the whole feel of the story is dark. The canvas Bharadwaj paints, has all hues and shades of black, and if you are one of the usual masala-fare lovers, you may find it hard to enjoy the devilish aura that surrounds everything. If, however you are like me and like a dash of wickedness, a pinch of hatred and a spoonful of murk, be ready to go on a fun ride. And if you usually do enjoy Vishal Bharadwaj’s brand of cinema (Omkara, Maqbool and Ishqiya), you will certainly have a soft corner for Sussana’s “foul is fair” ideology.
For a movie of this kind, any other scriptwriter would have given some apology or explanation for Sussana’s errant behavior, but thankfully Vishal spares us the ordeal. His “heroine” is unapologetic when murdering someone. She has no background of an abusive childhood or some explanation of her handiwork in a mental disease. Of course, by no stretch of imagination can such behavior be devoid of some kind of eccentricity, still it’s so much more better that the director has respected the audience and left the interpretation to their discretion.
PC all the way:
Piggy Chops has bagged the role of a lifetime and this is one movie that will have many contemporary actresses in the green. Living up to all the expectations, she carries on with the journey of a tormented-psychotic woman from age 20 to 65, with lots of panache. We had seen her negative side in Aitraaz in 2005 and she only seems to have sharpened her claws since then. Her chameleon-like act in 7KM is surely one to look out for.
Vivan Shah deserves a special mention here. The younger son of ace actor Naseeruddin Shah puts in a touching performance and comes across as the one person in the movie with whom you can actually empathize. The other hubbies engage but fail to enthrall you with their acting. For John Abraham, there is little scope while the part of Naseeruddin Shah has been unnecessarily stretched a bit. Irrfan Khan is his usual brilliant self and Anu Kapoor as Keemat Lal is unconventional. Neil Nitin Mukesh looks good in his role but impresses only occasionally. The Russian actor Aleksandr Dyachenko’s work looks strained and labored.
The brilliant “Darrling” score is engaging and a chartbuster already. The Vishal Bharadwaj-Gulzar duo manages to pack in a mix bag of songs and succeed partially. While “Darrling” and “Bekaraan” are lovely to hear, “O’Mama” is a surprise song with some very innovative words from Gulzar. “Tere Liye” is lovely and one of the best tracks of the album. “Yeshu” is brooding and somber. The songs “O’Mama” and “Darrling” are revisited in new avatars later on in the movie. The second “O’Mama” is very powerful and gives an evil touch to the rock song.
Priyanka and Vishal’s second outing after “Kaminey”, “Saat Khoon Maaf” works for most of its parts. It could have done with some editing and some filling up of loop holes. All the men that Sussana marries are from orphanages and interestingly they have not a soul in the world who’d go looking for them once they disappear of the face of the earth. This is a bit hard to digest.
This weekend, while one ex Miss Universe marries the love of her life, a former Miss World kills seven onscreen husbands. Go watch it for sheer bravado and complete irreverence to Bollywood tried-and-tested formula. This may not be Vishal Bharadwaj’s masterpiece, but it certainly is Priyanka’s best work till date.