Pratik Gandhi Starrer ‘Dedh Bigha Zameen’ Is An Ode To Bimal Roy’s Classic ‘Do Bigha Zameen’


Dedh Bigha Zameen is currently streaming on JioCinema.

Dedh Bigha Zameen is currently streaming on JioCinema.

Dedh Bigha Zameen: This is a story of a common man’s struggles, his resilience – the undying spirit in taking on a formidable foe.

Do Bigha Zameen! Most cinephiles would remind us of the Bimal Roy directorial, the Paul Mahendra and Hrishikesh Mukherjee penned 1953 classic social drama. Another film called ‘Dedh Bigha zameen’, streaming on Jio Cinema has the same soul as that of the Bimal Roy classic.

If you recall, Do Bigha Zameen was based on Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s Dui Bigha Jomi. Aren’t Tagore’s values timeless? They surely are needed in these times. 71 years later, director Pulkit pays an ode to the classic with his film that’s half a beegha short almost paying respect to the masterpiece, Do Bigha Zameen. It stars Pratik Gandhi and Khushali Kumar in leading roles, and surely is a well intentioned film which has its heart in the right place.

Dedh Bigha Zameen tells the story of Anil Singh [played by Pratik Gandhi], a humble businessman from a small town in the Hindi belt. He’s an ideal son, a loving, caring husband, but the humble man would do anything to protect the honour of his sister, Neha [played by Prasanna Bisht]. Neha receives a good marriage proposal, but the groom’s family is seeking a hefty dowry. Though immoral, dowry is still a reality in many Indian households, and often wrongly treated as culture in certain belts.

Anil is pinning his hopes on selling off his property, but he runs into bureaucracy with land sharks, particularly local MLA Amar Singh [played by Neeraj Sood] casting his evil eye on Anil’s Dedh Bigha Zameen.

These are testing times for the morose Anil, but he is determined to fight it out till his last breath. This is a story of a common man’s struggles, his resilience – the undying spirit in taking on a formidable foe.

Such tales of a commoner were once the highlight of Indian cinema, especially in the Golden Era, and championed by the likes of Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and Shyam Benegal. It is also reminiscent of French cinema that thrives on humane, poignant stories.

From Scam 2003 to Do Aur Do Pyaar, Pratik Gandhi often plays grey characters. But this Anil Singh is a modicum of integrity. It’s difficult for a man from Gujarat to ace the Northern accent, but Gandhi does well to imbibe the common man’s spirit.

The big surprise here is Khushali Kumar who shines in her humble avatar as Anil’s housewife. Farrey actor Prasanna Bisht continues to rise up the ranks with her competent show as Anil’s sister Neha.

Such films contribute to the ‘Serious About Cinema’ image of the industry and are likely to bring in much-needed credibility to current Indian cinema. Dedh Bigha Zameen is our recommendation for the week.

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