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'Khap', an honest attempt goes in vain

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 29, Jul 2011, 16:20 pm IST | UPDATED: 29, Jul 2011, 16:23 pm IST

'Khap', an honest attempt goes in vain

'Khap' was an honest attempt from the makers to showcase the evils of the society. But the movie tries to do too many things at the same time and fails to do justice to the cause it intended to serve.

In the end, It is neither a serious film on the issue of 'honour killings' in India's Jat land, nor a masala love story with great commercial possibilities.

It is a 'neither here nor there' kind of film, with grave cinematic deficiencies replete with the tacky elements that are hallmarks of B grade regional films. The writer-director-producer Ajay Sinha wastes precious resources and efforts on an inconsequential enterprise and delivers a dud.

The idea and the story of the film are interesting yet predictable. There are also a few dramatic twists and turns in the screenplay, rendered ineffective by the sloppiness in direction. A badly conceived, developed, written, performed, force-fitted, and directed romantic track delivers the final blow to its credibility as an issue-based film.

The film's story is set in a Haryana village and revolves around the family of Omkar Chaudhary (Om Puri), an important Khap leader and the head of the village community that zealously follows and enforces the community tradition of not tolerating Inter-Gotr marriages and even resorting to the practice of killing their wayward progeny for the sake of community honour.

His son Madhur (Mohnish Bahl) stays away from him in Delhi with his wife (Anooradha Patel) and daughter Ria (Yuvika Chaudhry) since he has serious differences with Omkar and his ways. He works for the National Human Rights Commission and is sent to investigate into the death of a young couple to his village. He gets killed in a case of mistaken identity.

Before breathing his last, he takes a promise from his father to end the inhuman tradition of honour killings over Inter-Gotr marriages. Omkar faces a serious dilemma after his own grand daughter Ria is married to his boyfriend Kush (Sarrtaj Gill) and later it is discovered that his family belongs to the same Khap and under some strange tradition it is a marriage between a brother and sister.

Daulat Singh (Govind Namdeo) and Sukhiram (Manoj Pahwa), other two village leaders, whose children were sacrificed on the altar of tradition, exhort Omkar to follow the same path and separate Ria and Kush...The film has a happy ending with Ria, Kush, and the film's director doing a cheap version of Moulin Rouge in period costumes.

You are left wondering about the real objective of the film. At times it seems as if it is made to launch or re-launch Sarrtaj Gill and Yuvika Chaudhry as the new stars of Indian cinema in the name of creating awareness about honour killings in Haryana. In this process neither of the objectives are served effectively. Sarrtaj comes across as a Ranbeer Kapoor clone. Yuvika is too loud, fake, and badly in need of a good upmarket stylist. She must also learn to develop a closer rapport with her cameraman.

An ensemble of competent actors like Om Puri, Govind Namdeo, and Manoj Pahwa fail to salvage the film because of unimaginative and pedestrian direction and screenplay. Music is lacklustre, except a Ghazal that gets lost in the sea of overall mediocrity. The film flounders terribly on technical parameters like photography, and production design.

KHAP is an artistic as well as a box-office disaster.