Gone are the days when cinema used to be a medium to bring people from different caste, creed and communities together. Off lately, it has become more of a medium to spread propaganda and spew hate against certain communities, to be precise, towards the minorities. And the latest addition in this list is Sunny Kaushal and Nushrat Bharucha starrer, “Hurdang”, revolves around one of the most controversial topics in our country- reservation.”
“Hurdang” is set in Allahabad in 1990’s against the backdrop of the agitation among students on implementation of Mandal Commission which reserves 27 per cent public sector jobs for Other Backward Castes (OBCs). The film’s story majorly revolves around Daddu Thakur (Sunny Kaushal), an IAS aspirant who leads a student revolt against reservation and is in love with Jhulan (Nusrat Bharucha), who’s also an IAS aspirant belonging to OBC category.
“Hurdang ” claims to be a blend of love story and college politics, but fails to execute either of those aspects perfectly. The love track shown between Daddu and Jhulan is quite boring and is a product of lazy writing. It just starts off without giving viewers any sort of backstory or something so that we can develop a connection with them. Besides this, the students’ agitation part clearly shows lack of research. It looks nothing more than a rant by the privileged upper caste section of the society. When one makes a film on such a controversial topic, at least attempts should be made into digging deeper in its ground realities.
In terms of performance, Sunny Kaushal tries hard to give a strong portrayal as Daddu. He tries his finest to make his part engaging and entertaining but the screenplay is so poor that we just can’t blame him. And same goes for Nusrat Bharucha’s Jhulan. The two together fail to bring off any shade of love story on the screen which we as an audience could connect to even a little bit.
The only bright spot in this dull offering is Vijay Varma who plays corrupt and manipulative Loha Singh, who wants to become MLA and leaves no opportunity unturned to exploit people for his personal benefits. Daddu falls prey to him as Singh saw the fire in him and apparently brainwashed him saying that reservation would never let him complete his dream of being an IAS and politics is the only way he could change it.
There’s this one dialogue in the film which says, “Problem reservation mein nahi hai, problem hai caste-based reservation mein” – the dialogue screams how the writer, director and for that matter the entire team lacks even the basic knowledge about reservation and how they went on to make a whole movie about it. Well, reservation was never about one’s financial status. Reservation is about justice and equal representation. If they were discriminated against for years on the basis of their caste, reservation should be on the basis of caste. Period.
In a nutshell, “Hurdang” suffers from frail and unconvincing writing that makes the audience suffer more through those 122 minutes. It rests on an extremely problematic topic and message which will do nothing good to the society except garnering more hate for the reserved categories. Hands down to your patience if you managed to make it to the end!
Helmed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhatt and produced under the banner of T-Series, Karna Entertainment and Gothic Entertainment, “Hurdang” is now showing at a cinema near you.