Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola. Mutt-Roo that’s how you pronounce it, is the lead character. Er, no Mr. Mandola is. Er, no. Never mind. It’s a riotous beginning with a stretch limo being driven through a wooden shed. Five minutes later you are told what happened ten minutes ago. Good so far? No? Never mind again.
Then there is some wild drinking of some local liquor with a gaudy label (not designed by your local classy Bombay agency art director types!) and before you know it this man, no Mandola, is leading the villagers in a morcha against himself. He even gives them the right slogans to shout. And considerately slips into his mansion from the back door so that he can greet the rioting villagers from the front door.
Politics enters the scene with a typical land grab story – the heartbreaking ruthlessness of fertile farmland being converted to potential mall space to feed the greed of the corrupt few – this time led by a distinguished lady – and her rather dumb son. At one point she rues the fact that he is not like Rahul or Varun or Yash, or … You get the drift. The boy of course does not.
No. I’m not telling you what happens through the movie. Except that there are Zulu dancers. And (spoiler alert) a pink buffalo. I kid you not. And no, not that woman in a pink saree.
Then there is a love triangle. And here comes, flash, flash, Bijlee! Funnily enough her first scene like the legendary lady of the lake who emerges with Sir Arthur’s sword is her hand coming out of the water with a cricket ball. Why is she do skimpily dressed? Why is the whole village watching? Why is she the designated underwater ball retriever? We don’t know. Reason has long gone.
But reason is replaced with fun. And that to me seemed a good enough substitute. Pink buffaloes share the screen with a particular, kind of amply endowed woman, who is always in pink.
The young man with an IQ lower than that of the buffalo comes up with silly KnockKnock jokes. Why? Did you ask why? No reason.
The Zulu dancers appear and disappear, participate in most of the song and dance ( literally and figuratively) and in the end forgetting their African roots even adopt the traditional salwar kameezes as their attire, guess they ran out of feathers and beads. But ours not to reason why.
So, many drunken mishaps later, the riot reaches its peak and the drunk sees more pink buffaloes than ever and Bijlee is also drunk and she’s supposed to be getting married and lots is happening and then the villagers arrive again and so do the Zulu dancers who now have a reason to be there because everyone is dancing and they are dancers! Phew! Logic at last!
And then all ends that ends because it is supposed to end. And ,uh more singing and dancing happens and you walk out with a silly grin on your face! No wait, that’s how the pink buffalo looked when it was grinning! Oh did I not mention that it grinned? Never mind.
The entire cast but one does a stellar job. Pankaj Kapoor, Imran Khan, Shabana Azmi, and the support. Anushka Sharma is her usual crass self. Why she is so crudely dressed in a village setting is beyond reason! Or maybe that is reason? I personally thought the pink buffalo put in an award-winning performance.
Of course all credit to Vishal Bhardwaj. He brings out the rawness of the village setting in every which way – through language, sets and music!
Which makes me think that this is why the pink buffalo was grinning! Go watch it!