The opening shot of the film in MATRU KI BIJLI KA MANDOLA indeed sets the tone for the film, the display of raw power that dominates the countryside, more so in Haryana, where one can just bulldoze through the liquor vend, as it was done by Pankaj Kapur and Imran Khan to do what one wants to do, democracy be damned. MATRU KEE BIJLI KA MANDOLA coming at a time when the dubious land deals in Haryana have hit the national news indeed is a stark portrayal of how the farmers continue to be cheated out of their lands in one way or the other and how the system which is supposed to help the farmers continues to drive him to despair.
MKBKM indeed belongs to Pankaj Kapoor and as a rustic Haryanvi, when he consumes Gulabo- the desi liquor, and the suave landlord who dominates the village scene with the power that he holds, has given one of his finest performances. The dialogue that sums up the character of Pankaj Kapoor is - ?? ??? ???? ?? … indeed he has enacted the role with the heart of a saand or the bull. Pankaj Kapoor has really bulldozed through his performance in the film.
Imraan Khan as his Jeeves has also been able to deconstruct himself from the image of a sophisticated Bandra boy and would be able to make inroads in the heart of fans of cinema in the country side as well. Anushka Sharma as Bijlee in MKBKM has indeed been electric in her performance . The tattoo displayed on the slender waist- ???? ??? ????? ?? indeed sums up her character, i.e.she has indulged in skin show but has done in in such a delectable manner that one falls in love with her character.
Vishal Bhardwaj subtly but surely has shown tribute to his mentor in MKBKM. Gulzar has in his writings at various places delved in detail about the relationship which he shared with Meena Kumari and with an oblique reference to it- as Anushka Says - ???? ???? ?????? ??? ?? is a tribute to the undefined relationship that Gulzar had with Meena Kumari. Bosky has written in her book that Gulzar used to keep rojas for Meena Kumari till his health permitted.
And the love for Shakespeare that Vishal Bhardwaj has for Shakespeare sets the tone for climax of the film when the scene is built up between Imraan Khan and Anushka Sharma where dialogues of Macbeth are used as reference points. One would continue to have Shakesperarean overtones in a Vishal Bhardwaj film. Vishal Bhardwaj has also very subtly but in a satrirical manner commented upon the penchant for breaking news in the media by the media power houses when the anchors makes mockery of the whole scene of the crash of Mandola’s plane to equate it with a UFO attack.
MKBKM is film that would take time to understand as being situated in Haryana, it is peppered with local dialects, but once when one gets a feel of it, it is an enjoyable saga.