Critic’s Rating : 1.5 / 5
Hurdang Movie Review : A weak drama about strong students’ agitation
REVIEW: There’s no time like today to make a conscientious and thoroughly-researched film about student politics of the 1990s, fuelled by caste and class divide. But when someone attempts a film around this crucial subject, without sufficiently sinking their teeth into the topic, the events that took place then, and the scene behind the key happenings of the era, the result looks like Hurdang, directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat.
Spread over 122 minutes of run time, the film sets up a love story against the backdrop of the agitation among students in Allahabad (today’s Prayagraj) in the year 1990 against the Mandal Commission report’s implementation. Neither has the backdrop been researched and displayed well, nor has the love story been fleshed out in a way that it churns your insides.
Even though the actors have done their bits right, they could only go as far as the written material could take them. The fact that an artiste like Vijay Verma didn’t have a solid character to play, an arc to display or Nushrat and Sunny didn’t have enough to elevate their performances is hard to miss. Issues like continuity jumps and the lingo that changes every few seconds in the film stand out like a sore thumb.
Had the issue in the backdrop been thoroughly researched and been put to better use visually and otherwise, the film would not only have been more layered in its approach, but it would have had more etched out characters, deeper conflicts and stronger resolutions, some humour and a message that would travel far and wide in the country today.
Despite everyone’s best intentions, and the saving graces, also known as the efforts of the actors, trying to bring life into an otherwise aimless drama, the film starts failing from the writing department, all the way up to the final executed product. This, when it had the potential to become something way bigger.