For Bollywood , partition of the country is an endless well from which more and more material can be drawn for making movies after movies and making more money.....well , maybe the well is now in a state of drought....for this particular attempt to cash in on partition has failed to produce a movie of any calibre.... Vidya Balan plays the lead role , but she neither looks good ( the makeup is not proper ) nor is her acting any great shakes . She plays the madame of a whorehouse which lies outside a town in Punjab . She and all her girls have the tragic backgrounds that are expected of women who land up in such a place . But their stories are listlessly presented and fail to evoke our sympathy or pathos . But their language does invite our attention , for it is filled with gutter level obscenities . Some girls have the chutzpah to fall in love with men even in their state , and one girl ( played by Gauhar Khan ) is lucky to have found a soulmate . The other who falls in love ( played by Palllavi Sharda ) is the best looking of the lot , but falls for the wrong man ( played by Vivek Mushran ) and brings disaster on herself . Begum Jaan ( Vidya ) is a firm and tough taskmaster who runs the establishment with an iron fist , but does have a heart that cares for the girls . The girls have begun to believe the brothel to be their house , even though the outside world hypocritically despises the establishment while also lusting for the women in it . But the entire establishment in on the verge of being felled by a stroke of ill fortune . For the partition line between India and Pakistan has been drawn exactly through it , and in order that fencing be done the brothel has to be torn down.... To do the onerous task of tearing down the brothel come two gentlemen---one from India ( played by Ashish Vidyarthi ) and one from Pakistan ( played by Rajit Kapoor ) . But their attempts to reason with the begum to evacuate the place are rebuffed by her and her tall bodyguard and powerful dogs . She also relies on the protection that the prince ( played by Naseeruddin Shah ) of the region ( for it is a princely state ) bestows on her at the price of the choicest and newest girls being dragged to his bed . But all protection fails in front of a momentous event such as partition , and the two gentlemen from India and Pakistan employ a rogue ( played by Chunky Pandey ) and his gang to forcefully evacuate the brothel . The climax of the movie is the only uplifting part of the film....but director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is going to be freaking mad on seeing it , for it is inspired by and copied from the same event that he was to show in his upcoming movie 'Padmavat' ; the thunder of the climax of 'Padmavat' is stolen by this climax . Acting wise , no one was great though the girls did try to act out the free behaviour and lascivious movements of loose women . Photography is good and colours of the film are okay . Songs and music is okay but nothing special . Verdict---Not good . One and a half stars .