- Buddha in a traffic jam
Arunoday Singh plays a dynamic young man who has come to Hyderabad to study in a university . He is talkative and can make speeches inspiring his peers . He has all the makings of a yuppie ; he is liberal and cool and as sophisticated as they come . His and his friends' lifestyle is as cool as it can be in India ; they dance and sing to the beat of rock music , they ( including the females ) drink and smoke and party . His female friend ( played by Akanksha Dwivedi ) is free enough to dance almost topless on the bartender's table in a lounge . So free that she act attracts the unwanted attention of the moral police , who violently interrupt the act .
But at not too long a distance from Hyderabad in the district of Bastar lives another India . The tribals living there are being crushed by both sides---by the naxalites who beat them up regularly for co operating with government authorities and the government authorities who humiliate them for being in cahoots with the naxals . They have no hope of progress or development . Their only source of pride is their 5000 year old way of life that has not been change for 5 millenia . It is they who are focus of the film , even though it is played out mainly in the big city .
Back in the big city , Arunoday Singh takes part in a campaign called pink bra campaign against the moral police and he comes into the limelight due this . His articulate speeches against the moral policing win him admirers and he becomes a popular figure in the university . During this time he comes to the attention of a professor in the university ( played by Anupam Kher ) and his wife played by Pallavi Joshi . They run an NGO which sells pottery made by the tribals from Bastar and the sales of the pottery are used to help raise money for the tribals' development....a worthy cause , no doubt . Along with them is Mahie Gill , who openly says to Arunoday that she is a believer in the tribals' cause. A naxalite sympathiser who grows close to Arunoday soon .
But the NGO runs on government grants , and the government has recently decided to cut the flow of funds to such NGOs because the money is being fuelled to the naxalites . So Anupam Kher approaches Arunoday to create a way of raising money for his NGO . Arunoday takes up the task with full gusto and soon comes up with a master plan to sell the tribals' pottery online and cut out all the middlemen , so that the money is directly transferred to the tribals for whose benefit the whole enterprise is supposed to be . But Anupam Kher develops acute discomfort at this idea , and he says that he is a professor not a businessman and his prestige as a professor will be affected if he goes into online business .
But the real reason for his refusal is different ; he is the typical JNU type of professor , in cahoots with the naxalites and their brutal leader who is played by Gopal K Singh . Anupam goes to meet them in their hideouts , and this time when he goes there he is told that Arunoday must be killed immediately . For Arunoday's plan for helping the tribals' is too good ; it will bypass all the middlemen controlled by naxalites and even the government agents who are all revealed to be part of the money siphoning mafia . Arunoday has unwittingly got mixed up in all this and has brought about his own doom...or has he ? For Anupam Kher's aide Mahie Gill is not a corrupt person but a real passionate naxalite who genuinely cares for the tribals' cause and is appalled by this planned murder , and her personal reason for this is that she is in love with Arunoday too . Also Anupam's wife Pallavi Joshi is shocked by her husband's involvement with the naxalites and is prepared to help Arunoday . Together they and Arunoday hatch a plan to bring the situation to justice....
Straightway I must say that it takes courage to make such a film ; the JNU type of anti nationals whom the movie villainizes have a tremendous hold on our media and culture . All reviewers panned the movie after it was released under pressure from the liberal/anti national mafia which controls our press . And the director's courage must be applauded by watching the film . For it brings out the true colours of the universities like JNU and their professors . They are clearly funding the maoists and in cahoots with them .
I could see myself in Arunoday---a real person , a buddha like figure who believes in peace and wants to lead a liberal westernized free life . But he has peoples' good at heart and being liberal does not mean he wants to be anti national . But in this movie Buddha has been caught in a traffic jam created by elements inimical to our nation....
The movie scores on photography and colours and has decent music and songs . Acting by Arunoday is top class and Anupam Kher too excels , especially excelling in his last speech when he spells out his mad dream of communist revolution in the classroom . For anybody interested in politics and wanting to be in touch with contemporary issues , the film is a must see !!
Verdict---Highly Recommended .
Four stars out of five.