Film: Wah Taj

Director: Ajit Sinha

Actors: Shreyas Talpade, Manjari Phadnis, Hemant Pandey

Review: ***

The premise is set. Tukaram Marathe and his wife travel all the way to Agra from their village in Maharashtra to reclaim the land that was given to their forefather by none other than Humayun himself. It doesn’t matter to the farmer couple that ‘their land’ on which stands the Taj Mahal is not anyone&’s property but a national treasure. When confronted by the authorities on the absurdity of their claim, they bring forth with them the ‘official’ documents and then on starts the story of this young couple&’s struggles.

The Ajit Sinha directorial venture, Wah Taj is a perfect example of something which is more than meets the eye. It might come across as a comedy feature in the beginning, but as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the story&’s protagonists are not just Tukaram (Shreyas Talpade) and his wife Sunanda (Manjari Fadnis) but thousands of those farmers across India who is struggling to make their ends meet.

The story line is direct and engaging. It does loses its grip a few times, but those are minor glitches  that it can be easily ignored as the film forces the audience to view the bigger picture and bigger hindrances involved in the whole trap game.

Lead performances by Shreyas and Manjari are believable and come across as a genuine portrayal. The couple&’s entrance scene is full of comic drama which could have easily been overdone but thankfully that&’s not the case. The court room scene is the one to watch out for. Shreyas and Manjari&’s character is well supported by the important characters in the movie that fill in the spaces quite well and makes the plot more interesting.

It is not the first time that the filmmaker has tried to address a bigger social issue in the guise of a comedy-drama. In the past, movies like Munnabhai MBBS and OMG- Oh My God have tried the same formula and became quite successful too. It cannot be said that Wah Taj is as strong as these two movies but it sure has the potential to do well.

It might be felt that the director has restrained from delving deeper into the farmer issue gripping the country, and a little wider coverage on the issue could have provided the film with more validity, but the sincere effort cannot be brushed away and must be recognised. Wah Taj is a clean and simple story with a message, definitely worth a watch.