Nawabzaade: A Misogynistic Film That Leaves You Bored & Frustrated
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Jayesh Pradhan, Nawabzaade is a self-proclaimed romantic comedy that goes on to pursue women by stalking, gawking and many other misogynistic gestures that you’re told comes from genuine intentions. Following the path paved and smoothened by many of its predecessors in Bollywood, this film too tries to interest you by having three sleazy men pursue one woman by resorting to the most obnoxious methods. Is there even a little chance you might enjoy this film? Yes, only if you were a part of the film’s crew or cast.
Hailing from a modest neighborhood, Salim (Dharmesh Yelande), Abhishek (Punit Pathak) and Karan (Raghav Juyal) are on a desperate hunt for the girl of their dreams. Salim is a kabadiwala who worships Salman Khan, Abhishek, a 3D animator works on the posters of B-grade Bollywood films and Karan hails from a fashion designing background but lands up as a tailor in his uncle’s shop. This trio relentlessly stalks every woman they set their eyes on until one day, they finally fall for their new neighbor Sheetal (Isha Rikhi). Each of these men proceeds to woe and court Sheetal while also turning on each other. But a twist in the tale arises when Sheetal makes a decision that could break their hearts. Whether or not these men persuade Sheetal to marry them forms the crux of the story.
The introduction scene of Nawabzaade takes you into the confines of a police station where the three blokes narrate their story to inspector Kathor Singh. Just as long as they’re in the station, Kathor Singh’s witty humor elicits a few laughs from the audience. But the moment the film dives into their stories, the plot gets wafer thin, the logic goes for a toss and gradually, the whole film is drenched in misogyny. If this film was scraped off all the political incorrectness it confidently displays, the story though ordinary would have fetched a better reaction from the audience.
One of the first things you notice about the three leading men in the film is their over-the-top reactions when they see a woman. The entitlement they feel when they stalk, comment on and rate these women is offensive, to say the least. At one point, you never realize what is worse, the actions of these men or the manner in which they are passed off as innocence. What is the one problem these men are most concerned with? The fact that all the women they fall in love with end up falling for someone else. Come to think of it, even if this particular aspect was blown up into a plot, that would’ve been far more entertaining.
In a few scenes, misogyny is taken to an all new level. Especially in the scene where one of the men refers to Sheetal as a juicy orange. Seriously? In what world can such lewd comments be passed off as an innocent remark? You can’t help but wonder what the director was thinking. From here on, it only gets worse. In one of the scenes, the three men break into Sheetal’s house leave her the question paper for her upcoming exam and leave her a note. If you were put in this situation, would you report the breaking or entering or find it cute? According to the director, Sheetal finds it cute and encourages such behavior by throwing them a warm smile. This is when you begin to wonder if the men who wrote this particular scene were actually living under a rock all these years.
Furthermore, Sheetal’s characterization is completely obnoxious. Yet again, another woman plays a damsel in distress for the umpteenth time in the history of Bollywood. She doesn’t mind their stalking, she doesn’t mind they psychotic wooing. But in the end, she is portrayed as the source of all the evil in the world and she chooses to marry some other man. This is what films like Nawabzaade are known for, aren’t they? First, they have a woman agree and abide by all that they do and in the end, they turn that woman into the antagonist and lazily place the blame on her. But mind you, one cannot comment here because all this stems from a place of concern and genuinity of course.
As for the performance of the actors who play these characters, there isn’t much to say. They either overact or don’t end up acting at all. Playing Sheetal, Isha Rikhi appears clueless or expressionless most of the times. As inspector Kathor Singh, Vijay Raaz does earn a few laughs but his talent is wasted on a role as small as this.
On the whole, Nawabzaade is unfunny, politically incorrect and simply uninteresting. When it doesn’t qualify as a romantic film or a comedy, why waste your precious time sitting through this one?