Author: Naseeruddin Shah
Amrish Puri/Smita Patil
Director/Composer/Na: Shymal Benegal/Vanraj Bhatia
ISBN/UPC (if available): SHEDVD 149
Rukminibai (Shabana Azmi) plays the bordello in Puratanpalli. The major attraction of the brothel is Zeenat (Smita Patil) who is an excellent performer but a character without any soul. Havaldar (Harish Patel), photographer Ramgopal (Om Puri), Businessman Gupta (Kulbushan Kharbandha), Agarwal (Saeed Jaffrey) and Dungdoo (Naseeruddin Shah in a school boy cut) are the other major male characters who are centrally or peripherally related with Rukminibai. Except Dungdoo (the servant) everyone has his lust economics or an otherwise self to fulfill. The girls working for Rukminibai really represent the female side for each male character. We see Neena Gupta, Ila Arun, Anita Kanwar, Soni Razdan, Sreela Mazumdar playing those different shades of grey. Except Phholmani (Sreela Majumdar) who was conned into prostitution by her paramour there is no one who could be sympathetised with.
Rukminibai is evicted from Puratapalli by cunning Gupta to a place which she soon discovers to be Baba Khadag Shah’s shrine. This second place becomes popular thus causing second eviction of Rukminibai. In that process Rukminibai loses all her girls as they leave her. Rukminibai is left with only Dungdoo at the end.
Mandi is an excellent movie. A movie with best of the actors. A great director at his best. Vanraaj Bhatia’s consistent music (he is the man who composed most of Benegl’s movies) is good as usual. Mandi is one of those movies which make you think. Not for any cause or any ideals or anything in particular. But it will make you think – again and again - that you’d watched a really good movie. It will satisfy and entertain you and leave with a feeling of time very well spent.
NATIONAL AWARD WINNER:
Best Art Direction – Nitish Roy
Naseeruddin Shah, Amrish puri, Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi
Director: Shymal benegal
Music Director: Vanraj bhatia
Producer: Freni Variva, Lalit bijlan