Satires have become an increasingly popular genre in Bollywood from being almost non-existent. A genre kick-started by the classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, remained dormant before resurfacing stronger in the last few years. Subsequently films such Peepli Live, Well Done Abba, Phas Gaye Re Obama, Tere Bin Laden and Jolly LLB have managed to deliver the correct message along with the rib-tickling entertainment – the satire mainstay. Janki Vishwanathan’s Yeh Hai Bakrapur attempts to take the genre ahead.
YHB is the story of a goat called Shahrukh, who is set to be sold off at an animal market. It is the story of the family who is going through financial hardship and selling of Shahrukh is the only way they can pay back a loan, but suddenly realizes that keeping the goat could be more rewarding. It is the story of the village which jumps in the bandwagon – to find their share of luck from the blessed goat. It is also the story of a country which is ruled by blind faith. And above all it is a satire about ever-increasing human greed, which is the only one that scores over blind faith.
A silent milieu takes a dramatic turn when Shahrukh, the goat, is found to be divine courtesy the name of god being imprinted on his body. YHB has a very well oiled storyline – with a new twist building up every time you believe there could be a possible lull. What works for the film is that despite having a goat as the unlikely protagonist, the story is completely believable. The director also manages to squeeze humour out of her quirky characters. The characters fit beautifully into the story, never for once seeming out of place.
The actors justify their jobs. An earnest Anshuman Jha and seasoned Asif Basra are the best of the lot.
What does not work for the film is that it does not have genuine laughing points – something that satires can rarely do without. The film is filled with subtle humour which will make you smile but not crack up. The film could have also been edited better. The most upsetting aspect is however the ending. With no proper conclusion to the story it makes one wonder if the writer ran out of ideas on how to finish what he started.
Yeh Hai Bakrapur has a very interesting premise. However it falls short of becoming a really good film. It will make you smile nonetheless at the inane situations that can actually become a reality in the country.