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Movie review: Mastram is a confused film

Rahul Bagga (last seen in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurranna) makes his solo Bollywood debut with debutante director Akhilesh Jaiswal's Mastram. The film is neither the protagonist and porn-writer's biography nor about the death of one's dreams.

movie reviews Updated: May 10, 2014 18:50 IST
Sweta Kaushal

Rahul Bagga (last seen in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurranna and TV show Powder) has made his solo Bollywood debut in debutante director Akhilesh Jaiswal's Mastram.

A fictional biography of porn-writer Mastram, the movie hit theatres on Friday. Is it porn? Is it a writer's biography? Or is it about death of one's dreams? Well, the film is neither. It is just too confused.

The director seems unsure whether he wants to make a biography or an erotic story, as Mastram fans call it.

First of all, all fans of Mastram planning a nostalgic visit to the theatres will be disappointed. The movie falls short of an erotica (or porn, whichever term you prefer) you can enjoy. There is some skin show, stripping and heaving that you are subjected to, but there's only so much. Not enough to qualify for an erotica.

Even in the most hard-hitting story of Mastram, the one where he talks about his own wife's sexual adventures, all you see is a messy Tara Alisha Berry (Rajaram's wife) mixing sex with cooking in a fling with her husband's friend. The film doesn't even cater to people looking for the relieving Mastram era of 1980s.

Secondly, Mastram also lets down people looking forward to watch the life of a writer like Mastram. The developments in Rajaram aka Mastram's life are too abrupt to develop any emotional connect with the audience.

Another sore point is the stereotypical objectification of women in the movie as mere sex objects. The protagonist, who is supposed to be a 'clean' writer, is forced to write porn when he sees his wife having sex with his friend. He is happy that he has fodder for one more Mastram story.

There are, nonetheless, a few high points in the film. Rahul Bagga and Tara Berry are convincing for most of their parts in the movie. The film does offer bits of humour, even if below-the-belt.

But do you really want to go to the theatres to watch a film that doesn't add up to anything worthwhile? I would suggest not. If interested, find some old copies of Mastram instead.