Begum Jaan is official remake of ‘Rajkahini’, a Bangla film also by the director Srijit Mukherji. 

I have watched the original Bangla movie, in which the role of Begum Jaan was essayed by Rituporno Sengupta to excellence. Its hard to dissect ‘Begum Jaan’ trailer without being biased so I will divide this article into two parts. In first part I will talk about the Begum Jaan Trailer only (forgetting the fact in back of my mind that I have seen this film before). In the second part I shall compare both trailers and talk about both the films.

Official Poster of Begum Jaan

Official Poster of Begum Jaan

Begum Jaan – A Trailer Review

I know Vishesh films for making fast paced, edgy modern day dramas with contemporary music and urban themes. Begum Jaan, the latest offering from the house of Vishesh Films is quite different from the last few Vishesh Films outings that I have witnessed. The trailer has made quite a ripple in the industry and has caught the eyes of many, the reason primarily being Vidya Balan in a period drama which carries a very unusual theme and plot.

Said to be inspired from the real events, this movie trailer does carry a lot of elements that make it amazing. Lets list a few-

Plot : The trailer gives you a vague idea of the plot, which is set in 1947 while India was getting partitioned, the line drawn with ink on maps is to be drawn with human blood between the lands of India and Pakistan. On the border is the brothel of ‘Begum Jaan’, who refused to leave her home and fought for herself and her girls. Plot is convincing and well essayed through the trailer.

Vidya Balan in and as Begum Jaan

Vidya Balan in and as Begum Jaan

Vidya Balan : First and foremost reason to like this trailer other than its coherent plot is Vidya Balan, who will return to screen after, ‘Kahaani 2’. Indeed its the role that she fits into, just as hand in glove. Vidya delivers her looks and her acting and makes a very believable image of ‘Madamme’ of a brothel.

A shot from the movie

A shot from the movie

Ensemble Starcast :This trailer also features ‘Pallavi Sharda’ (The actress from forgettable flick, Besharam) and Gauhar Khan, who looks very promising in the trailer, inspite that she hardly gets a few shots here and there. Other starcasts like Rajat Kapoor, Ashish Vidyarthi also look their parts.

Memories of Mandi : Trailer tells a story, and in a very impactfull manner. It does make me recall of ‘Mandi’ which also carried a similar plot line, but in case of ‘Begum Jaan’, we can definitely say that this film will offer us much more in terms of drama than Mandi. ‘Dungrus’ of Mandi and Raja here Naseer Ud Din Shah, seems to make his lasting impression in just one dialogue that he gets in the trailer. Vidya also resembles what Shabana Azmi looked like in Mandi (Hookah smoking, plump woman who owns a brothel and her girls)

Fiery Dialogues : There is a thin line between being being Raunchy and becoming cheap, Begum Jaan escapes from being cheap though dialogues are a bit loud, fiery though. One of my friends whom I was discussing the trailer with called the trailer ‘Raunchy’. Indeed it is, why not ? This is story of women selling their bodies. This is story of these bold women, its bound to be raunchy. (My favorite one was, ‘Begum Jaan ke kothe ke baahar, har aadmi ek murga hota hai, teen taangon wala murga’) wink 😉

Voice Over by Amitabh Bacchan : Another reason why I liked the trailer was the voiceover by Amitabh Bachhan. His voice always adds weight, may it be a Lagaan trailer or this one.

Well Shot and Good Artwork : This trailer is well shot, and gives an insight into great art direction of the movie.

Many will not patronize the trailer, because of the cuss-words used in the trailer. I can surely say one thing, you like it or hate it, this is one trailer that you can not ignore. All in all, for those who have not watched Rajkahini, its possible that they will like the trailer of Begum Jaan, better than any other Hindi Film trailer seen in past few months. 

RAJKAHINI TRAILER V/S BEGUM JAAN TRAILER

Rajkahini - The movie that inspired Begum Jaan

Rajkahini – The movie that inspired Begum Jaan

Srijit Mukherji has made this movie in Bangla before, it was well appreciated due to its amazing performances by a starcast that lived their roles with utmost sincerity. Many shots look similar in both trailers, Since Begum Jaan is an official remake of Rajkahini, I do not count that as copying from a movie. They were meant to look similar, as both director and story are the same.

I did like the trailer of ‘Begum Jaan‘ but Do I like Begum Jaan trailer as much as ‘Rajkahini’ ?

The answer is ‘No’. Before I give my reasons for saying that, This is my personal opinion, you can have one of your own, lets have a quick watch of the Rajkahini trailer, starring Rituporno Sengupta as Begum Jaan.

Why I like ‘Rajkahini’ trailer better?

Look and Feel and the depiction of pain of Partition: I like Rajkahini trailer because of its severity. It seems more realistic and gives you a better feel of the era in which the story is set. The pain of partition and hardships of common folks at the time of the partition sets the mood of the trailer which leads to Begum Jaan’s revolt in the trailer.

Setting the tone of the story is very important, that Rajkahini trailer does successfully

Setting the tone of the story is very important, that Rajkahini trailer does successfully

The acts : Performances are a notch better as compared to the Begum Jaan trailer, that’s not to say that Begum Jaan is bad in terms of performances. Its not just as good as RajKahini.

A still from Rajkahini

A still from Rajkahini

Bharato Bhagya Bidhata : Rabindra Nath Tagore’s , lyrics along with Rabindra Sangeet make an appearance in the trailer, not as a filler piece of background score but more like a character of the story, which is missing in the Begum Jaan’s trailer.

Framing and Shot-taking is exceptional

Framing and Shot-taking is exceptional

Art Direction and Cinematography : Its exceptional, inspite that budgets of Rajkahini were not as elaborate as Begum Jaan. Some shots are exceptionally framed.

That one shot that I wanted to see in the Begum Jaan trailer : One shot I definitely miss from Rajkahini trailer which is not in Begum Jaan trailer, the shot of a young boy at Sunset (which signifies partition) peeing on the barbed wire fence that divides India and Pakistan.

It was a perfect end to the Rajkahini trailer, both ironic and iconic

It was a perfect end to the Rajkahini trailer, both ironic and iconic

 

 

 

Yohaann Bhaargava
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Yohaann Bhaargava

Head - Business Development at SCRIPTORS
Movie Buff. Yohaann is a film critic with Jagran Prakashan Limited. He has been associated with Print and TV media as a branding professional. Presently he is a screenwriter trying to bring in some good scripts up for Bollywood. At Scriptors he works as a writer and handles business development.
Yohaann Bhaargava
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