Vishal Bhardwaj ka Mandola would have been more appropriate title for the movie.
This is what happens when you develop a character painstakingly and you get a perfect artist to play it. Now, one doesn’t know where Pankaj Kapoor, the accomplished actor exits and where Mr. Mandola enters. Absolutely like the way Ramesh Sippy achieved with Gabbar Singh/ Amjad Khan, Madola is Vishal Bhardwaj’s Gabbar, a larger than life character whose presence becomes the central character of the film. Here the similarity ends, What Ramesh Sippy managed and what Vishal Bhardwaj couldn’t was to have each of the other players stand out on their own.
Matru/ Imran Khan did a great job, but he didn’t get Director’s cut privileges like Mandola got, hence the character couldn’t achieve the build up which Thakur of Sholay managed. Gulabi Bhains did manage a character build-up like Dhano, but Bijli couldn’t become Basanti; the script failed Bijli’s character. Now Badal’s role should have been studied and his screen presence should have mapped that of Veeru of Sholay, which it didn’t. Chaudhary Devi’s character did come close to Mausi’s performance in Sholay, but the fringe benefits of having a name like Chaudhary Devi (which reminds you of Chaudhary Devi Lal, former Dy. Prime Minister of India) were not exploited.
The costumes are great, the music is good, the lyrics are yummy, the sets are natural, cinematography is practical but not outstanding. It is a fact that scores would keep on seeing Sholay only for Gabbar Singh and Sholay can be rated as a good film only on that one account. If Vishal Bhardwaj had set out to make an exceptionally good film amongst good films, I am sorry he failed. He indeed made an enjoyable film, but missed his chance of making a legend amongst films. Scores would keep on watching Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola only for Mr. Mandola and the movie can be rated as a good film only on this account.
If you are fan of Bollywood films, you must watch this one. Though not in the same league as Sholay or 3 Idiots, but the film is far better than all last releases of Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgun and Aamir Khan.
This movie is fun and paisa vasool. Yes, some are finding it nonsense, I can’t blame them, it is absolutely enjoyable nonsense.