Whilst filming a political satire it's very easy to go overboard in trying hard to send your message across as well as pull in the laughs. But, it's difficult to speak your mind out [softly] and then move on without waiting for a reaction. Because you know, what you have said has already found its intended target!
ZED PLUS is a film which falls in the latter category; without trying too hard Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, of 'Chanakya' and PINJAR fame, belts out a classic without straining his, or any of his actors' vocal chords.
You can almost feel the deliberate attempt to let you as an audience take what you want out of a scene, rather than let [him] the director force his views on you. That is the USP of this film.
Every actor is controlled brilliantly by the director who allows them the periphery of only their space. The roles have been defined and Dwivedi ensures that the boundary lines are not crossed. ZED PLUS is a director's movie, with solid support from its cast. Take a bow, Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi.
The movie is set in contemporary India in Fatehpur, a small town in Rajasthan. Fatehpur is famous for its dargah popularly known as Peepal wale peer kee Dargah
, where if one asks with a clean heart, his prayers are answered. And it is this town that the Prime Minister of India chooses to visit after one of his coalition partners suggests it as a panacea for his problems.
Nothing seems to be going right for the Prime Minister as most of his coalition partners are asking for plum posts in the ministry. Add to it, its problems of corruption and communalism and the Prime Minister has no option left but to visit the Dargah in a bid to save his government. CHECK OUT: How a puncturewala helped Adil Hussain for his role in ZED PLUS
Suddenly, a sleepy town wakes up to welcome the Prime Minister. Roads are being widened, potholes are being filled and shops are being demolished. By a strange tryst of fate, it is a puncturewala (one who repairs punctures in tyres) Aslam, who is given the honour of being the Khadim for a day.
A strange conversation follows in the dargah, which results in the Prime Minister ensuring 'Z plus' security for this nondescript man.
Right from the start to the time Aslam (Adil Hussain) and his family are provided 'Z plus' security, Dwivedi builds up the plot intelligently. Thereon, he just prods it further with excellent screenplay, dialogues and support from his cast.
Adil Hussain as the puncturewala who has a problem with his neighbour Habib (Mukesh Tiwari), is in top form. As the film progresses and his greed increases, he improvises his dialogue delivery and body language accordingly. Dwivedi has captured well Aslam's 'no love for money' and 'happy state of mind' in the very first scene where he tells a client with no change that he can pay him later, to when he stocks hordes of rupees in his cupboard, after the political bug bites him.
Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the Prime Minister is a riot with his penchant for English and his lack of knowledge for reading political situations. It does help the plot that he resembles the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. A masterstroke by Dwivedi.
K K Raina who plays the PM's Man Friday is another revelation. Ditto Rahul Singh as inspector Rajesh and Shivani Tanksale as Fauziya. Sanjay Mishra who lives on the other side of the border playing terrorist Hidayatulla brings in the laughter with his desire for sending letters to News Channels claiming terrorist acts! Ekavali Khanna as Saeeda, too catches the eye.
But it is Mona Singh who surprises as Hamida-the docile, loving, respectable wife of Aslam. Mona has got every aspect of her character right; right from her body language, to camera angles to her dialogue delivery. Watching her perform in a manner like this one would easily think that this was her twenty-fifth big screen performance. But fact it, this is just her second. Of special mention are the scenes when tension rises in her relationship with Aslam and he reveals a disturbing truth to her. CHECK OUT: Mona Singh's tryst with de-glam looks continues...
Hrishitaa Bhatt who comes onto the scene twice along with Sukhwinder Singh enchants in a well-choreographed song. You could call this an item song with a touch of class-fluid movements, graceful looks, eye-catching costumes and peppy music. It is not inserted to titillate but to set the mood at the start and celebrate at the end.
ZED PLUS is a must-watch.