First of all I sincerely thank my friend as well as esteemed movie and book reviewer – Deepa Swaminathan for inspiring me to write a review of this low-budget and simple yet admirable movie which is a realistic picture of the horrifying reality in Indian metros being faced by the middle class Indian people.
Indian cities (and villages too) are the victims of many kinds of mafias, viz. the transport mafia, the tourism mafia, the extortion mafia, the kidnapping mafia and so on and so forth. Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006) is a movie which deals with the activities of the land mafia which is neck-deep involved in usurping the land of middle and lower class helpless people who are not able to resist their unlawful activities and save their land bought with their hard-earned money. It’s a deservingly much acclaimed movie directed by Dibakar Banerjee.The story of Khosla Ka Ghonsla (Khosla’s nest) belongs to a salaried person, Mr. Khosla (Anupam Kher) who buys a plot with his life-long savings to build his own house, spacious enough to accommodate his whole family involving his wife, daughter and sons. But he is taken aback to find that his plot has been grabbed by a land-mafioso Khurana (Boman Irani) by muscle power. Now he is asked to pay a hefty sum to get his own plot vacated. And the more painful thing for him is that the law-enforcing agencies are also like the handmaids of the baddie; strengthening the hands of the wrongdoer, instead of ensuring justice to the victim. Thus poor Mr. Khosla, the victim of the unlawful deed, is further victimized by the law-enforcers who have sold their souls to the culprits. As Mr. Khosla’s elder son is planning to migrate to US, leaving his family-members behind in India, Mr. Khosla is further depressed. However the son, Cherry (Parveen Dabaas), finally realizes the pain of his father and fortunately comes across Asif (Vinay Pathak) who is the ex-accomplice of Khurana. Asif shows him the way to con the conman. How the Khosla family, with the help of some actors (Navin Nischal and Nitish Pandey) and Cherry’s girlfriend, Meghna (Tara Sharma) is able to swindle Khurana for a hefty sum and get its plot released from him by paying him his own money, forms the remaining part of the story.The story is very impressive and except the final sequences of the Khoslas’ swindling Khurana, is utterly realistic. The emotions of a middle-class straightforward man, his simplicity and naiveness in dealing with the shrewd ones, his pain upon seeing his dreams shattered, the family bonds, the indifference of the young professional towards the feelings of his parents, everything is touchingly realistic and contributes in making this simple movie a winner all the way.
Cinematic liberties have been taken for the sequences in the later part of the story. Conmen cannot be conned so easily as shown in the movie. Hence though the message of fighting the devil with fire is exemplary; it makes the movie unreal on this count. I personally believe that rascals deserve to be dealt with by rascality only and while dealing with them, the good people should leave their goodness at least temporarily. However the way, it is shown is not realistic. It appears to be something told in the lighter vein and imposed on the narrative to lead the story to the desired climax. All the same, the efforts of the writer (Jaideep Sahni) and the director deserve high accolades. The narrative flows smoothly without any undue digression and keeps the audience tied to their seats. The title of the movie is also apt because own house is as dear and as coveted a thing to a middle class Indian as nest is to a bird.
The performances are just excellent. The front-runner is definitely Anupam Kher who has given the performance of his lifetime, second only to Saaransh (1984). Boman Irani is able to make the audience laugh even though he is in a negative role. All others including Parveen Dabas, Tara Sharma, Ranvir Shourey, Kiran Juneja, Rupan Bajwa, Vinay Pathak, Naveen Nischal and Nitish Pandey, have also done quite well.
Music is according to the mood of the movie. Editing is good. Technically the movie is perfect. Dialogues are also impressive.
Khosla Ka Ghonsla is not a comedy. In fact, it is a serious movie of the genre of the movies made by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee in the seventies and the early eighties, providing light moments amidst the portrayal of the dark reality prevailing in the lives of the Indian middle class people. The middle class people in the Indian cities, managing through moderate salaries, can perceive this movie as a mirror of their lives.
The message of the movie can be understood through this SHER :
Kuchh Na Kehne Se Bhi Chhin Jaata Hai Ejaaz-e-Sukhan
Zulm Sehne Se Bhi Zaalim Ki Madad Hoti Hai
(peace of mind is lost through silence too, non-resistance to oppression also aids the oppressor).
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