After losing his parents in a car accident, Mukesh stays at his Aunt’s house in Delhi. Enrolled in a good for nothing course in college he finds peace by playing chess at the local cemetery, the rest of the times he worries over ways to make a living and taking care of his sisters. ‘B.A.Pass’ is a story looking at the fatal promise of a new life. When Mukesh meets Sarika ‘aunty’ at a kitty party, little does he know of the city and it’s ways and means to survive. Sarika seduces Mukesh, shy and inexperienced he falls for her. What follows is a twist of destiny, a kind of story that appears in the tabloids as ‘heinous acts of crime’.
Country: India (Bollywood)
Language: Hindi, Punjabi
Director: Ajay Bahl
Writer: Ritesh Shah [Based on ‘The Railway Aunty’ by Mohan Sikka]
Cast: Shilpa Shukla, Shadab Kamal, Rajesh Sharma, Dibyendu Bhattacharya
I must concede to the fact that most Indians watched this film for a glimpse of the erotic mature raw adult content which is ever so rare in the conservative censorship controlled Bollywood film industry. But, most of these people were also severely disappointed because despite their being sex scenes, there was not a single show of nudity in the entire film.
Even I along with my friends was anxiously waiting for the film release (admittedly for the same reasons above guilty laugh) but unfortunately it did not release in my city. I had heard that this movie is quite erotic, and I wanted to see it more for its boldness and break from the Bollywood stigma rather than the story.
So, by now you might have guessed that this film is quite a bold move considering the Indian film standards. I may even be one of the boldest movies in Bollywood history, a least as far as I can recall. There definitely are many movies with a lot erotic and adult content in India but not in the A-list mainstream cinema. The movie has high standards, great story and every scene in it serves a purpose, that is to say, there are no filler scenes or other dance numbers populating the movie. Probably the reason for its briefness as well as the movie is just about 90 minutes in length as opposed to the average movie length of 150 minutes for Bollywood films.
B.A. Pass is based on a short story ‘The Railway Aunty’ from the book ‘Delhi Noir’. A neo-noir story of a college boy Mukesh, whose parents passed away in his last year of schooling and now he must live in the care of his Aunt who lives in Delhi while his two younger sisters are forced to stay in a girl’s hostel. While staying with his Aunt, Mukesh feels burdened and practically lives like a slave. While running some of his Aunt’s errands he happened about Sarika Aunty, a sexy adulteress friend of his Aunt who lures the naïve Mukesh in her MILF fantasy land. He introduces Mukesh to the world of sex, lust, infidelity and prostitution. The inexperienced gullible Mukesh follow’s Sarika’s lead and finds himself trapped in a nightmarish situation with distress, depression and hopelessness clinging to his very soul and he can’t seem to get out of this labyrinth of the world of adults.
This is not your typical Bollywood entertainment full of levity and merriment or a casual flick to pass the time. It is quite dark and sinister with moral conflictions and a lot of sin. Definitely, prepare yourself before you decide to watch this movie. Even the erotic scenes can leave you with an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Also, the on-goings in the girl’s hostel is quite baffling and can make you sick to your stomach while questioning the humanity of those people. I would expand on this but it would just lead to spoilers so I suggest you watch the movie on your own to find out the reality of the situation. However, it is quite realistic because I have quite a few such accounts and cases in the newspapers. The dark business surrounding these girls’ hostel is frightfully real and disgusting. It’s scary to know the lengths people can fall to.
The acting is amazing and deserves all praises. She carries the whole film on her own while at the same time Shadab Kamal also gives a powerful performance. Rest of the cast is also great and supply the story with praise-worthy performances. Recently, there has been a steady spike in low budget art films and also non-commercial actors storming Bollywood. I’m happy to see more and more unique films being made here with importance on content rather than on the masala factor.
Overall, a dark, unique noir film from Bollywood in which I couldn’t find any faults. So, why only a rating of 7, you ask? It’s because of the entertainment and emotional value of the film. My ratings are heavily dependent upon entertainment and emotional attachment. I love these types of stories but this film didn’t leave any emotional impact on me so I give a 7 which, in my eyes, is perfect for this film.
- Acting/Cast: 9
- Story: 7
- Music/Sound: 6
- Overall: 7