Lanka – Movie Review
Based on true story- Lanka is directed by Maqbool Khan which released on 9th December. The film stars Manoj Bajpayee, Tia Bajpai and Arjan Bajwa in the lead.
The entire narrative of this movie is based on Indian epic Ramayana’s axiom ‘ghar ka bhedi lanka dhae,’ which means that you always get betrayed by your most trusted allies. In Ramayana, Vibhishan denounced his brother Raavan. The director may have judiciously portrayed more characters from the Ramayana analogy but he has focused on only three characters from the epic i.e. Raavan, Vibhishan and Sita.
Manoj Bajpayee plays the character of Jaswant Sisodia in the movie. He belongs to Bijnor and rules the town. Bijnor does not have much by way of law and order. Shweta Salve is the only entertainment package of the people in this town. She amuses people with her item dance.
Anshu, played by Tia Bajpai, is forced by Jaswant to marry him. Jaswant physically exploits Anshu every night. Humiliated and helpless, Anshu’s parents don’t find any way to get remedy this situation. Here enters Arjan Bajwa, who is a very close aide of Jaswant. He is not just a close aide but is also Jaswant’s brother. Arjan visits the town of Bijnor to administer the illegitimate activities of Jaswant. No matter what happens, he has always been loyal to Jaswant. But this time his empathy towards Anshu overpowers the trust and loyalty Arjan has for Jaswant. Now Arjan plans a trap and betray his role model.
This selective portrayal of Ramayana has Tia signified as Sita, Arjan Bajwa portrays Vibhishan and Raavan is represented by Manoj Bajpayee. Arjan stands against and opposes the morally wrong Manoj Bajpayee and this stand has been properly justified in the film by Maqbool Khan. The debutant director has poised the character of Manoj Bajpayee very cleverly. On one side he is shown to be the role model of Arjan and on the other he has shown to be wicked for the heroine. Manoj Bajpayee has done full justice to his character.
The ideal protagonist of Ramayana was Ram. But in LANKA, Maqbool has focused on the camaraderie between Manoj Bajypayee and Arjan i.e. Raavan and Vibhishan. Vibhishan although not perfect, yet opposes the evil. The narrative of the film revolves around the conflict between Raavan- Vibhishan. The strain of woman is not highlighted much.
The director has sidelined the track of romance between Tia and Arjan and has kept it to the minimal. The bonding between Arjan and Tia has been restricted only till the emotions emerging empathetically.
The desire of Jaswant to dominate Anshu psychologically and physically and the lust and obsession arising out of it has remained peripheral to the narrative. Their back-story has hardly been fleshed out.
There’s a scene in the movie where Arjan goes inside the hospital. The scene seems to be so casual as if it wasn’t a hospital but a pub. LANKA is said to be one of the most pathetic films of 2011.