Name: Madhuri Talkies
Cast: Sagar Wahi, Aishwariya Sharma
Ratings: 3 stars
Direction: Arvind Babbal
Story: Crime and atrocious behavior against women in the country is something that has become a common phenomenon in India. While most of us tend to ignore it, there are some who cannot let things go and can go to any extent for justice.
Madhuri Talkies is a similar story about a young bloke named Manish (Sagar Wahi) who sets out on a bloodshedding and killing spree to avenge the rape and molestation of his love Puneeta (Aishwariya Sharma). The city of Banaras happens to be ruled and controlled by activities of organized crime because of which a gang of power-hungry men feel that they can do anything and everything as per their own will, even if it be raping women brutally against their consent. Manish happens to fall in love with Puneeta at first sight, but Puneeta as visible from the very first episode itself is not interested in thinking about anything else as she’s visibly upset and disturbed about her leaked rape videos.
Although Manish doesn’t know about it initially, he and his friend Kaali eventually get to see the leaked video, thereby realize the pain and anguish Puneeta had to go through. An enraged and infuriated Manish gets bloodthirsty in the worst way possible and informs with a letter to Puneeta that he’s not gonna leave a single stone unturned in punishing her rapists and killing her convicts. From there on, it’s pretty much a one-man show as to how Manish teaches Puneeta’s convicts a lesson in the most spine-chilling and gruesome way possible. It makes you contemplate and ask a very important question to yourself, is justice delayed? Is justice at all worth waiting for, or sometimes taking things in your hands is the call of the hour and the way to go about things? Catch up with all the 10 episodes to get that question answered.
Pros – The story is an intriguing one and it hits you harder when you realize that it’s all fact and reality that is playing in front of you in the form of augmented reality. A Bhojpuri tale, it exposes widely the objectification of women that still prevails in such states and cities of India. The scene inside Madhuri Talkies where multiple men gang up around a bar-dancer girl and splash water on her body in the name of ‘enjoyment’ exposes widely the syndrome. The performances from Sagar and Aishwariya’s end are prolific and Aishwariya’s expressions will certainly make you empathize deeply with the condition of women who actually go through the same. The director and the cinematographer get the tone and settings of Banaras with precision and they successfully expose the underbelly that lies therein.
Cons – There’s a certain sense of stalking involved initially where Manish chases and follows Puneeta. Although the idea and the intention are not at all malicious, it can be perceived as an easy way out when it comes to chasing the girl of your dreams and that’s certainly an idea, any web series or film would not like to propagate. Also, the Bhojpuri accent is only partially accepted as to some extent, it looked forced and fake.
Overall, it’s an inspiring tale that definitely talks about the things one should not do to create a safe heaven for women in the country. There are certain scenes that will really require you to have a heavy heart to watch them, such is the hair-raising and unnerving experience and the director is successful in creating that chill. A one-time watch worthy of binging.