August 25, 2011 01:08:45 PM IST By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
Theatrical Trailer - SHABRI
Lalit Marathe has been a very worried man for the last five years. SHABRI, his directorial venture was lying in the cans for no fault of his. It so happened that producer Ram Gopal Varma went through some trying times during the time when the film was first slated for release. His AAG, had actually burnt whatever hopes Marathe had of the film seeing the light of day. But the man had hope and he campaigned hard. Today, Marathe can sit back and smile with relief. SHABRI proves that he is not just a writer of repute but also a man who can steer the ship - screenplay, dialogue, et al.
Marathe's SHABRI moves with speed, is slickly shot and has a background score which adds weight to the screenplay. All actors chosen to play their parts give a first rate performance, with the exception of Zakir Hussain whose role is not properly defined. It's actually like an irritant, which could have been done away with. A fly who falls in your garam chai!
Marathe means business from the very first scene. He cleverly mixes the urban setting with the shot of a gun. A fun time for four friends at a coffee outlet turns abruptly on its head as a body lands on their table. Gripping. The face of the central character, SHABRI, played by Isha Koppikar fills the screen from an upper window. Marathe has your attention. He then rewinds to establish Shabri's walk into the crime world. Having said that, he lacks the punch in the second half where the film tends to veer off course, thanks to the character of Zakir Hussain.
Shabri is content making ends meet running a flour mill. She has to support her alcoholic father, a mother and a younger brother who is mixing with the local good-for-nothings. Living in a slum, this turn of events is unavoidable. The brother wants to get into the matka business but is turned away by the two who run it. They want him to stay away from this dirty business. As fate would have it, one event leads to another and Shabri finds herself with gun in hand, and then on the run.
While Marathe has cleverly scraped the underbelly of the crime world, along with the slum inhabitants, he has failed in the make-up of his woman underworld don. The lack of make-up or rather the excess of it to give her a deglam look actually has Isha looking like a homeless person living under one of the many flyovers of Mumbai city rather than that of someone coming from a slum. Mind you, there are very beautiful women living there, which would even giv e some of our Miss India's a run for their money! What was needed was a complete washed look devoid of any make-up.
There are 'inspirations' from SATYA, and in one scene, Ramu's old friend Urmila Matondkar too makes a fleeting appearance.
Isha, who too like Marathe wanted the film to see the light of day will also be having a smile on her face. After all, it's not every day that a heroine gets to grab the limelight on screen in Bollywood. First Khallas and now SHABRI!