Films | Rivaaz – Movie Review

Rivaaz – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on September 16, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Ashok Nanda, Vidya Kamat
DIRECTOR – Ashok Nanda
WRITER – Ashok Nanda, Rakesh Chandra Saroj
CAST – Deepti Naval, Reema Lagoo, Meghna Naidu, Alok Nath, Rajendra Gupta, Ritisha Vijayvargya, Vijay Raaz, Manoj Biddvai, Yashpal Sharma, Sayaji Shinde
MUSIC – Raj Inder Raj, Reeg Deb

Rivaaz is a social commentary that tries to bring to us the reality of prostitution practiced by families for money, in a remote village. This practice is some sort of ‘rivaaz’, a tradition, which has become more of a lifestyle for the men of the village to survive by. The women of course, have no say in it and suffer in silence.

Until, the city-bred protagonist Rahul arrives and decides to take up cudgels for the village. This, because he falls in love with a colourfully dressed village belle but cannot marry her because of this practice. He then comes in direct conflict with the men who run the village and profit most from this system. These are the Mukhiya (Alok Nath), the police (Yashpal Sharma); and the Thakur (Sayaji Shinde), with Thakur being the kingpin of this pack.

The film boasts of a stellar cast but fails to draw decent performances from any of them. It refuses to delve into its character’s psyche giving more importance to emotional high-notes tugging at audience hearts. If there is an argument it meant to present, it is lost in the sundry drama. So Reema Lagoo and Deepti Naval alternate between the  typical female resilience, endurance and buckets of tears, the men roar and sulk, in turns, in their single-mindedly, stereotyped characters.

The film relies a lot on the shock value of such a practice, where fathers summarily sell their daughters to whoever is willing to buy them for money. It is a world that is difficult to relate to, not because of its inhuman ritual and mindset, but because the film fails to bring it alive.

Cliché’s after clichés compel one to switch off time and again. And if that isn’t enough, the issue of gender exploitation is stretched to unbelievable extremes, making a joke out of its own self.

A film with a social commentary at heart is always an intention that deserves appreciation. However, Rivaaz, tends to leave one wondering. The lack of engagement makes it ludicrously funny without intending to and that is one thing that a film on a social issue doesn’t deserve. Incredibly tacky dialogues join a superficial script and misguided direction to leave behind a film that neither shocks, engages or entertains.

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