Hamare Baarah Review- Annu Kapoor’s Bold Film Falters in Execution
Hamare Baarah Review- Annu Kapoor’s Bold Film Falters in Execution

In 2011, a Pakistani film titled Bol created quite a stir with its audacious subject matter, debuting stars like Atif Aslam and Mahira Khan while tackling themes of consent, toxic patriarchy, and misogyny. Annu Kapoor’s latest starrer, Hamare Baarah, released today, evokes similar thoughts and emotions, challenging orthodox and radical beliefs within Islam. Yet, despite its bold narrative, the film struggles with its delivery.

Set in the heart of Lucknow’s Aminabad, Hamare Baarah opens with Alfia, a young woman seeking justice for her stepmother by filing a case at the Lucknow High Court. Her goal is to secure the right to an abortion for her stepmother, a plea that is summarily dismissed with scorn. Enter a woman lawyer, renowned for her tenacity and dedication to justice, who takes on Alfia’s seemingly impossible case.

Alfia’s household is one of strife and struggle, with ten siblings under the iron fist of their father, Mansoor Ali Khan Sanjeri. A devout and authoritarian Muslim, Mansoor shuns Western education in favor of traditional madrasa teachings, believing modern schooling leads to moral decay. His oppressive control over his children, both sons and daughters, is justified by his interpretation of religious duty.

The film portrays the harrowing consequences of Mansoor’s fanaticism. His first wife, Salma, succumbed to the physical toll of multiple pregnancies, and now his second wife, Rukhsar, faces a similar fate. With the announcement of her twelfth pregnancy, Mansoor’s joy is palpable, but so is the impending danger to Rukhsar’s life. The concept of abortion is anathema to Mansoor, a rejection of divine blessings, prompting Alfia to challenge his dogma in defense of her stepmother.

Hamare Baarah confronts its audience with numerous unsettling scenes. A particularly heart-wrenching moment depicts Mansoor’s violent reaction to his daughter Zareen’s selection for a musical reality show, crushing her aspirations under the weight of his tyrannical beliefs. Another poignant scene captures Rukhsar’s desperate plea for mercy to avoid a triple talaq divorce, highlighting the pervasive fear and subjugation within the household.

The film aims to critique oppressive religious and social norms, but its execution falters. The narrative is burdened by melodramatic flourishes and a disjointed pace, reducing the impact of its critical message. Clocking in at 2 hours and 28 minutes, the film’s length feels excessive, with frequent song sequences and prolonged courtroom dramas that detract from the story’s core.

Despite its flaws, writer Rajan Agarwal deserves credit for navigating a delicate subject without vilifying Islam or the Quran. Instead, he focuses on how religious teachings are often misinterpreted and misapplied, both within and outside the community. The film promotes women’s empowerment without casting all men as villains, presenting a balanced view of its characters.

Annu Kapoor delivers a compelling performance as Mansoor, embodying a character viewers will love to hate. However, his portrayal sometimes veers into over-the-top territory, undermining the film’s intended gravitas. Paritosh Tripathi and Rahul Bagga provide solid support, while Aditi Bhatpahri shines as Alfia, carrying the emotional weight of the film with grace and resilience.

Parth Samthaan as Danish offers a refreshing counterbalance to the intense narrative, portraying a supportive figure who empowers Alfia. Ashwini Kalsekar and Manoj Joshi excel in their roles as lawyers, adding depth to the courtroom scenes. Special mention goes to Ankita Dwivedi, whose performance as a vulnerable and helpless character resonates deeply.

In conclusion, Hamare Baarah tackles a significant and sensitive issue with sincerity but falters in its execution. While it doesn’t achieve the nuanced impact of Bol, it sparks necessary conversations about religious orthodoxy and women’s rights. The film’s intent is commendable, but the heavy-handed treatment and uneven pacing prevent it from reaching its full potential.

Hamare Baarah Trailer:

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Shubham Zope
Welcome to TootiFooti, your hub for cinematic brilliance, I'm Shubham, a seasoned cinematographer with an eye for perfection, Blogging enthusiast, I share insights and trends in the filmmaking world, Passionate about storytelling, I bring imaginations to life on the silver screen, Join me on a journey of creativity and inspiration at tootifooti.com, Where every frame tells a story and every blog post sparks new ideas.


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