Subhash K Jha reviews India Lockdown that's currently streaming on ZEE5

Review Of India Lockdown

Rating: *

Madhur Bhandarkar’s India Lockdown, had me wishing all over again, that the pandemic and lockdown had never happened. If this is the kind of cinema we are going to get from the experience then God save us from any such catastrophes in the future.

In Malayalam we got something as intense as C U Soon and in the West we get a variety of films on the lockdown .So many films and serials based on the Pandemic have begun to make their way on to various OTT platforms, that it(the Pandemic) has begun to feel like a formula for excess. Using a civilizational calamity to foster instant art is not always an undesirable eventuality. Let’s face it. If it wasn’t for the Nazi holocaust we would’t have got Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.

Pandering to the pandemic has started big-time.A film written and made entirely during and revolving around the Lockdown is like making a baby just because there is a cradle in the guest room.

India Lockdown has that hurried quickie flavor of an undercooked dish which comes from being too close to the crisis being described. There are four stories interwoven into a cluttered cluster . Prateik Babbar and Saie Tamhankar play a Bihari couple trudging to their village in Bihar after the lockdown. Tamhankar gives a sincere performance while Babbar’s fake Bihari accent wouldn’t fool a toddler. Why couldn’t the casting director get real Biharis ?

At least Prakash Belawadi is South India enough to play a Andhraite driving himself to his pregnant daughter(Hrishita Bhatt, only seen on video chats ) in Hyderabad.Ahana Kumra is a pilot who hits on her young neighbour next door. After she almost ravages him she counsels, “Don’t think about what you did. Think about what you didn’t do.”

Covid made us all tolerant. But not so much that we can bear such weird wisdom.

Shweta Prasad plays a chirpy joyous s*x worker as if she had just come back after seeing Gangubai Kathiawadi all day long for a discounted price. Prasad gets to rescue a young girl from prostitution. Only the stop button can rescue us from this plodding paean to puerility.

About The Author
Subhash K Jha

Subhash K. Jha is a veteran Indian film critic, journalist based in Patna, Bihar. He is currently film critic with leading daily The Times of India, Firstpost, Deccan chronicle and DNA News, besides TV channels Zee News and News18 India.

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