Critic’s Rating : / 5
Holy Cow Movie Review : A nuanced black comedy that misses the mark
Holy Cow Review: ‘Holy Cow’ is a dark comedy written and directed by Sai Kabir (who previously helmed Kangana Ranaut’s Revolver Rani in 2014). It is based on Salim Ansari’s one-night adventure to find his missing cow Ruksar. Salim and his wife Safiya (Sadiya Siddiqui) are upset about the situation, but they’re concerned that the news of their cow’s disappearance will lead to serious consequences and repercussions if they are not able to find it. Will the couple be able to locate Ruksar, or will they face misunderstanding and hostility from their neighbours? The answer to that question forms the crux of this story.
The subject is both sensitive and socially alarming. However, what makes it interesting is the way the story is told with a dash of humour without offending sensibilities. The story straightaway jumps into the social issue it promises to bring to the forefront, but it gradually introduces subthemes and parallel characters that add little or no value to the narrative. For instance, Shamshuddin’s (Tigmanshu Dhulia) subplot of assisting or rather misguiding Salim seems completely unnecessary.
Sanjay Mishra solely carries the film on his shoulders. In hilarious scenes, he has a poker face, but still manages to move you and make you laugh. In emotional scenes, where he’s grappling with an unfortunate incident in his life, Mishra draws you in. However, one cannot say the same about his appearance because his wig is the most distracting element from the beginning of the film. Mukesh Bhatt pulls off a convincing act as Salim’s one and only friend Rambo. Their camaraderie leaves you in splits.
Sadiya Siddiqui, in a supporting role, captivates viewers with her interesting dialoguebaazi with her on-screen husband, Salim. Tigmanshu Dhulia is hilarious in parts, but the writing is just too weak to explore his finesse as an actor. Nawazuddin Siddiqui also makes a brief cameo appearance in the film, which is produced by his wife Aaliya Siddiqui.
The title track ‘Madari’ by Sukhwinder Singh, and ‘Gaiya Kahaan’ by Rev Shergill (which plays frequently in the background), both have meaningful lyrics that add to the drama’s impact.
At a time when meaningful and nuanced roles are being written for character artistes, ‘Holy Cow’ stands out for its story and the way it’s told. Overall, this 90-minute satire has its heart in the right place but could have been deeper.