Friday, October 29, 2010

Review: Watch Daayen Ya Baayen only for the Uttarakhand landscape

A realistic yet directionless film, Daayen Ya Baayen is watchable only in parts.

A story of a visionary poet Ramesh Malija (Dobriyal), the film revolves around events when he returns from Mumbai to his village Kanda in Uttarakhand. In a bid to bring about a change in the mentality of fellow villagers, Ramesh takes up the job of teaching English in the local school. He invites scorn and taunts for his unrealistic view of life. A nagging wife, an ailing mother addicted to bidi, a socially conscious son and an unmarried sister-in-law complete Ramesh's peculiar family.

There are many other unnecessary characters that are introduced in the course of the film. One of them is Sundar (Kaul), a good-for-nothing drunk who runs away with Ramesh's sister-in-law Deepa.

The twist in the tale comes when Ramesh's jingle in a TV contest wins him a car, making Ramesh an epitome of success overnight. What follows is a series of events (they are not even unintentionally funny), making Ramesh the object of derision yet again.

The film aims to depict the lives and materialistic ambitions (much like the recently released Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Singh starrer Do Dooni Chaar) of people living in the mountainous region of Uttarakhand. Writer, director and editor Bela Negi hails from the state and makes an attempt to go back to her roots through Daayen Ya Baayen. But the FTII graduate seems to have shot so much footage that she does not know how and when to use it in the film. The film appears to have been loosely scripted and shot at leisure, giving the impression of a lack of interest in keeping the varied elements tightly knit. Almost all the characters, including lead Dobriyal, overact terribly, making the film look like a bad theatre production.

Cinematographer Amlan Dutta steals the show as he captures the snow-capped mountains, dusty, kuchha roads and hilly terrain of Uttarakhand with panache. The landscape often overpowers the characters who fail to have an impact on you. The music is foot tapping but doesn't impress you much. All in all, it's a mediocre debut film by Bela Negi.
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