Posted by: S/J | 05/10/2012

Review: Lajja

Directed by: Raj Kumar Santoshi

Story by: Ranjit Kapoor and Raj Kumar Santoshi

Cast: Manisha Koirala as Vaidehi, Samir Soni as Manish, Jackie Shroff as Raghuveer, Anil Kapoor as Raju, Mahima Chaudhary as Maithali, Madhuri Dixit as Janki, Rekha as Ramdulaari, Ajay Devgan as Bulwa

Rating: Arjoo forgot to give a rating/5

Review type: The one where Arjoo writes a letter to the director and continues to save the blog.

Dear Raj Kumar Santoshi,

I applaud you for your efforts with Lajja. It was an amazing idea. Media has such a big influence on people so if you want people to learn, movies are a great way to do it. Sadly this movie was a flop in India. Ok how stupid! This movie was meant for Indians, to show them the plight of women and hopefully touch their ‘dils’* and then no one decided to watch it?! What the fudge guys?!! I know it’s a sad movie but Indians really needs to change the way they treat women. It’s ridiculous because the situation is just getting worse. Ok I’m going to stop my rant because this is about reviewing the movie and I could keep going on forever because this is a subject I feel very strongly about.

I really loved 90 percent of the film. It really gave a glimpse into the struggles of many Indian women. There are four women in the film. Manisha Koirala (Vaidehi) is the main character who runs away from her husband, who beats her and doesn’t treat her right and only wants to be with her because of their child. So she ends up at Mahima Choudry’s character’s wedding. Here we see how the girl’s side has to make sure everything the guy’s side wants gets and they can act like the biggest ‘kutas’** and no one can say anything. Ok so why the fuck does the girl’s side have to give a dowry?! I never got this custom because the guy’s side is the one adding a daughter-in-law/mother/wife to their family. The guy should be giving the womens side a dowry. The system is so backwards. My favorite part of Mahima’s story is when she cusses out the guy’as side of the family. I was tearing up from joy and all the ‘galis’*** were everything I would’ve said. Shabaash**** Mahima (Maithali). You go girl!

Madhuri (Janki) was the second woman Manisha meets. Oh my gosh Madhuri’s character was amaze balls, like wah wah***** my ‘dil’ fell instantly in love. She was strong and self-assured which most Indian woman aren’t since they are supposed to be shy and never speak their minds. Madhuri’s story taught us how if a man says something bad about a woman’s character, how easily everyone believes it. A woman’s character is the most important thing for people and if it gets tainted the woman becomes an outcast. (Eyeroll)

Rekha (Ramdulaari) was the last character and well her story had to be the most heartbreaking. Her story displayed the way people mourn after having a girl and the depraved ones who end up killing their new-born girls. Here is where the story got complicated and really did get off track. The movie ended up showing Ajay Devgan and him protecting everyone. This part could’ve been cut and made the movie shorter because well because god-damn it was long.

Now lets talk about the shitty ending. So Manisha’s character ends up forgiving her husband, that beat her and cheated on her because he learned his lesson. Ok in real life the beating husband pretty much stays evil and keeps on beating his wife. I would’ve liked to have seen the ending be at least a bit more realistic even if it is a Bollywood movie. It was so stupid how the ending was super happy after all the shit we saw. I mean I know everyone likes happy endings but wasn’t the movie supposed to show real stories? So yeah I would totally recommend watching this movie but let’s just keep in mind the ending is just a way to appeal to the faint of hearts who can’t handle the actual endings that most women in real life have.

Sincerely,
Arjoo

Add on by Sona: Obviously there’s a lot of misogyny in this film, but it is balanced out by Anil Kapoor and Ajay Devgan’s characters. But, what bothered me was that it was the men who ended up being the heroes in the end anyway, but I guess that’s realistic to a very large extent. But, if they weren’t in the roles they were in it would’ve been too much. In the end when Bulwa (Ajay Devgun) says to Vaidehi, you are your worst enemy – he totally had a point because Indian women are too nice (I just couldn’t believe that Vaidehi would forgive Jackie Shroff’s character after all the shit he did) – but I guess that’s not their fault either since they’re raised to be that way…but we all have to overcome our upbringings don’t we, in one way or another? Also, all the female characters’ names are variations of Sita’s names, if you didn’t know that already. Overall, it was long, heart-crushing, captivating, a valiant effort that could’ve been better.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

*dil-heart

**kutas-dogs

***galis-curse words

****Shabaash-bravo

*****Wah Wah – also like bravo, sounds of approval and admiration etc.

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