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Bhaggmati - The Queen of Fortunes Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, August 29, 2005 • Hindi ]
Bhaggmati - The Queen of Fortunes Review
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Cast:
Milind Soman,Tabu,Hema Malini,Tariq Shah,Shoma Anand,Ashok Kau
Direction:
Ashok Kaul
Production:
Zee Telefilms.
Music:
Vishal Bharadwaj

One's worst fears come true 20 minutes into the screening of Bhaggmati - The Queen Of Fortunes. After all animation movies from Bollywood are hardly a craze in India and when you venture into a theatre without knowing whether the movie is targeted towards children or adults, you obviously aren't in an elated mood. Still, you muster courage to watch this animation cum live movie about the legendary love story of Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah and Bhagmati, which is directed by Ashok Kaul.

As soon as the movie begins, you realize that it is a dated product with the very first frame bearing poor picture quality. Dull colors, average look and feel, routine sets - there is nothing at all that helps in making 'Bhaggmati' a celluloid dream that the makers would have been hoping for. The story begins with a university topper Shivranjini who, for some reasons, wants to do a research on Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah. She seeks permission for this from a University professor [Ashok Kaul enacting this role himself] who for some strange reasons first discourages her from walking on this path and suddenly does a turn around by agreeing to her wishes.

The man is [unintentionally] strange and weird himself throughout the duration of the movie. His dialogue delivery is akin to the kinds you would have heard in 'Ramayana' and 'Mahabharata' on the small screen while his entire body language is generally stiff. He tries to bring some untold mystery to his character [but to no avail] and makes one loose interest in the movie there and then. Another strange factor about this professor character is that he is a historian, archaeologist, astronomer, painter, priest - all rolled into one. Even striking is his standard dress throughout that boasts of a jacket with three protruding sockets acting as pen/brush stands !!

Well, Milind Soman is introduced soon as Asim, who is himself the descendant of Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah. After a series of poorly narrated sequences that follow, Shivranjini enters the fort for her research and realizes that she was Bhagmati herself four centuries back. Confusions [for the filmmaker and audience] are aplenty from hereon with an attempt at fusing past [love story of Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah and Bhagmati] and present [a highly unconvincing blooming love between Aseem and Shivranjini]. It is told that in the past Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah was a brave prince who came across a beautiful village girl Bhagmati during one of his hunting expeditions. Its love at first sight which is approved by the king after some persuasions but doesn't go down well with an advisor, who dreams of ruling the kingdom one day through proxy by getting his daughter married to the prince.

Eventually love wins and the prince and Bhagmati get married. The advisor is also jailed soon but not before some [yet another weird] 'tantrik' angle is thrown in. There is a deadly disease that spreads across the kingdom and Bhagmati, in an attempt to save the lives of the 'junta' succumbs to the disease, but not before inspiring Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah to build a new city Bhagyanagar and Charminar.....

The basic flaw in the movie is an attempt at bringing the past and present together. The reincarnation theory of Shivaranjini and Aseem being Bhagmati and Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah, 400 years back just doesn't appeal at all due to some poor writing and even worse execution. If there are any hints of intrigue, mystery or suspense, they are so well ill-placed that the audience hardly connects with the proceedings. If the movie could have stuck with the plain and simple narration of the legendary love story [that is indeed interesting in bits and pieces] in an animation format, it may still have worked, at least with the children. But in the case of Bhagmati, its a poor show with neither the children nor adults seemingly interested in the happenings onscr

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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