Movie Review: Well Done Abba – Water Relief!!

Movie Review: Well Done Abba – Water Relief!!

Director Shyam Benegal pays an ode to the hamlet once again and highlights the water issue in this engrossing tale of Well Done Abba. Taking a leaf from his previous village outing, Welcome to Sajjanpur, this film too delivers in its slow, steady and halfway likeable way. You may find shades of SRK movie Swades and the TV serial Office Office here

Story of Well Done Abba:  Water is a major issue in the humble village of Chikatpalli. When Armaan Ali(Boman Irani) visits his village, he is in for a surprise to see that his brother Rahman(also played by Boman Irani) and his wife(Ila Arun) on the run for stealing water instead of the usual ‘less controversial items’. Armaan had actually left his daughter Muskaan and his ancestral home in the home of Rahman.

Since Armaan is in the village on a leave from work, he decides to help the village tide over the village problem. Under a government scheme, he applies for a loan to dig up a local well here.  The government officials, understandably corrupt, twist things so that they can lay their hands on the money involved. The film then involves Armaan running from one government office to the other(like the way you saw in the hit serial Office Office years ago) and facing lot of politics and corruption in the process.

His daughter supports him in his endeavor and the fireband that she is, does not mince words while talking to the officials and staging dharnas. There is also a cute romance between Mushkaan and Arif(Sameer Dattani) that worries the father. But nevertheless, all is well that ends well and though Abba is back to work, two months late than expected, he does manage to explain things  convincingly to his unrelenting boss

What’s good in Well done Abba

Shyam Benegal, the director who has always risen above the norm, does a good job here as well. He manages to touch pressing issues of the village in an entertaining, fable-like manner.  Like Sajjanpur, this movie also has village characters who are not superstitious and gullible, but they have the old world charm with aspirations to be modern and city-like. In his inimitable manner, he touches issues like water scarcity, political corruption and gender inequality

Ashok Mishra’s (Welcome to Sajjanpur) engaging screenplay and dialogue are interesting . Also adding to the film is the, authentic art direction, cinematography and sound. The lovely songs (music by Shantanu Moitra; lyrics by Ila Arun, Ashok Mishra, Swanand Kirkire) reflect the movie’s mood to the hilt.

What’s not so hot in Well Done Abba

The film’s length is an issue and since the pace is sluggish that is understandable, you can expect a sizeable part of audience to feel bored.  The makeover scene, the wedding dance scene, the opposition party fracas in the legislative assembly and the ‘Bavdi Ratna’ awards could have been done away with. Sadly, you feel relieved that the movie finally ends.

Performances in Well Done Abba

Minissha Lamba has got a role that most girls in the industry would secretly envy, the role has a lot of variations  and is surely something that the lady may have relished. After the flop bikini show of ‘Kidnap’ she certainly looks adorable and perfect for the role. Ila Arun as Rahman Ali’s notorious seems someone straight from a fable book, totally entertaining. Boman Irani who has got an author backed role, relishes his double role and gives his best, enacting both ‘Rahman’ and ‘Armaan Ali’  brilliantly.

Conclusion: if you are in mood to watch a delightful movie of rural India and like to watch the political bickering in villages, watch this one.

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