Anaarkali of Aarah Story

Anaarkali of Aarah is the tale of a woman, Anaarkali, from Aarah who sings and dances in a troupe to earn her livelihood. It’s the story of her fight against the unjust society and men of rank who use their power for all the wrong reasons. When VC Dharmendra Chauhan misbehaves with Anarkali during a show in front of thousands of people, Anaarkali slaps him. The rest of the movie shows the different realms of Anaarkali’s struggle as she tries to fight off Dharmendra Chahuhan who has the police in his pocket. Will Anaarkali find justice? Will she be able to fight a battle where she stands against a mammoth? And, can she win?

Anaarkali of Aarah is directed by the debutante director Avinash Das and the film is Swara Bhaskar’s first movie as a lead actor. She has earlier worked in supporting roles in Tanu Weds Manu, Raanjhana, and Nil Battey Sannata. The Vice-Chancellor of Veer Kunwar Singh University showed his dissent over a scene from the movie where an item number is being performed at the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the university. He said that the scene maligns the image of the university.

Anaarkali of Aarah Review

The very first thing that needs to be understood is that the movie might take place in Bihar’s Aarah district but its central theme resonates with women present in each and every sphere of life. We saw Pink, where three urban girls fight for justice, but this movie gives an even clearer picture when it comes to consent, where it boldly states that the woman can come from any profession or any sphere of life, but her ‘NO’ means ‘NO’.

Anaarkali of Aarah boldly takes the right foot forward, giving power to a woman and her sexuality. There is an authenticity to the whole movie. The background of Bihar serves as the perfect backdrop where Bhojpuri singers are not respected and the dancers are stated as prostitutes. The movie handles the crude, real picture with finesse- be it corruption or the misuse of power or the false labels put by the society – the movie stands true to every aspect. And not just Bihar, it portrays the real picture of Delhi with its black Yamuna and dinghy rooms for overtly charged rent and a typical landlady.

Anaarkali of Aarah

The director has to be praised for nurturing the movie through the proper channels for one wrong execution could have led the movie towards vulgarity. The characters of the movie have been well augmented – from Anaarkali to Anwar or Khan Chacha or Rangeela. The supporting actors especially have not been left to feel like surrogate children, like they generally are. Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi play their role with effectiveness. Sanjay Mishra’s role as the antagonist of the movie is very well penned down. He is not the typical villain but more of a lecherous, sweet and innocent looking wolf in the garb of a sheep.

But amidst all, it’s Swara Bhaskar that rises. She imbibes the personality traits of Anaarkali with utmost diligence. She is a fighter and an emotional woman who understands and values true friendship. She fits perfectly into the character with crude dialogues and a resolute will. She says, ‘main koi doodh ki dhoolinahi hu’, but at the same time, she clearly states that being an erotic singer doesn’t mean that her consent is of no value. The final scene where Swara walks on an empty road and pauses for a second and then changes her walking stance is a pivotal one.

Yes, the story could have been strung tightly. It slacked during pre-interval. The flashbacks could have been curtailed.  Also, the role of Anwar could have given more substance. The relationship between Anaarkali and Anwar could have been given a little more screen-time to blossom. But, the movie breaks all barriers and rises among the fancy cinema today.