The weekend of 15th November 2013 should be an interesting one at the box office. Not only will we get to see Sanjay Leela Bhasali’s much awaited Ramleela, the other release to look forward to will be Rajjo, a film about a nautch girl starring Kangana Ranaut. Described as a romantic musical drama, the movie will feature the love story of a Brahmin boy and a Muslim dancer from the kothas of Mumbai.
Film – Rajjo (Release date 15 November 2013)
Starring – Kangana Ranaut, Paras Arora, Prakash Raj, Mahesh Manjrekar, Jayaprada
Producer – Four Pillars Entertainment
Director – Vishwas Patil
Story/Screenplay – Vishwas Patil, Jayant Pawar
Music – Uttam Singh
Plot / Story of Rajjo
The setting is that of the kothas of Mumbai – the dying art of the mujra and of the traditional nautch girl. Kangana Ranaut plays the mujrewaali Rajjo. Paras Arora (acclaimed for his part in the TV series Veer Shivaji) plays the young man Chandu who visits the Kotha of Nagpada to celebrate a cricket match win, only to become entranced by the charms of Rajjo at first sight. The problems are evident and many – she is a woman of the night and a Muslim. He is the 19 year old Brahmin son of a bhajan singer.
Into this mix is added the malevolent corporator Hande Bhau, played by Prakash Raj and the eunuch played by Mahesh Manjrekar, who is also Rajjo’s pimp. The kotha’s of Nagpada are to undergo redevelopment and the very existence of the kothewalis is threatened as their neighbourhood is bulldozed and destroyed. The film will follow the trials and tribulations faced by Rajjo and Chandu in face of so many different obstacles.
In Bollywood, women- centric films are rare and this one appears to be interesting for that reason. Reportedly the lead actor met some of the women who currently work out of Nagpada in order to understand their character and their lives. In a bid to appear authentic and to portray her character realistically, Kangana Ranaut will be seen dressed in cheap clothes and accessories. In the second half of the film, where her character is shown to be impoverished, Ranaut will be seen sporting a Rs. 200 saree.
Music of Rajjo
The movie Rajjo and its music was much in the new because the music album was launched by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. The film is described as a musical and is supposed to be about traditional mujrewalis or nautch girls. This is not reflected in the music. One would have expected to hear some traditional tappas, dadras, thumris, ghazals and so on based on classical and semi classical compositions. The songs did not ring any such bells.
Songs entitled Dil ki Train and Billi ke Jabde Mein hardly sound traditional in any form or fashion. Kaise milu main piya by Bela Shende is a melodious track and very well sung, even if not hugely memorable. Kaleja hai Hazir sounded the most authentic song with its use of traditional tabla and harmonium and a ghazal-like composition. Mere Ghunghroo sounded a rather pedestrian composition.
The filmmakers of Rajjo are at pains to inform us that they are not competing with Ramleela, since both films deal with very different issues. The audiences will have their say about his soon enough – box office collections will speak loudest come 15th November 2013.
By Reena Daruwalla
Image Source: Wikipedia