Halla Bol

Halla Bol is an invitation to come together and raise your voice in unison on an issue of common concern.

The film by Rajkumar Santoshi like some of his previous films Lajja, Damini, Ghayal etc tries to bring to screen another tale with a social context interwoven into the motivation of the protagonist. In this case a popular film star Sameer Khan (Ajay Devgan) who came up from a theatre troupe of a reformed dacoit Sidhu (Pankaj Kapur) and has slowly forgotten the cause of the theatre group he belonged to which used drama to highlight social issues. A murder he witnesses and subsequent events make him doubt his own purpose and look for a reason to be who he is, while regaining the admiration and affection of his wife (Vidya Balan) and the trust of his mentor Sidhu.

You have the usual baddies right from a Liquor Baron to a politician, corrupt police officials and spoilt children. for those of you familiar with the Jessica Lal murder case which gathered media momentum, you will see that it has its influences in this film. there are the usual exposures of the way the film industry functions, the on-night stands, the casting couch, the actor getting the co-star's role edited etc Pankaj Kapur shines in his role purely by his presence, look and performance. Ajay Devgan does not have too much to do and Vidya Balan does whatever the role lets her do.

There are a couple of wonderful scenes such as the street play being done when Sameer Khan used to be Ashfaqullah Khan in Sidhu's troupe, the scene between the media and Vidya Balan etc. Sadly, the movie fails to strike an emotional chord with you, possibly because you are already familiar with the outcome of the Jessica Lal murder case or possibly because the film although trying to highlight a larger issue invoking the public to rise, looks at a single instance and ends it in finality.

I couldn't help comparing it to Rang De Basanti a mega hit in 2006 which also had a single event as the portrayed issue and motivating factor for the protagonists but the treatment and the ending ensured a kind of euphoria or inspiration that carried on beyond the movie. Hall Bol fails to evoke any such feeling. I must commend Rajkumar Santoshi though, for trying to blend the social context he had in mind with a modern story. The movie could be watched once I think.


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