Movie Review: Khap - Trivial Flick on a Serious Issue

Movie Review: Khap - Trivial Flick on a Serious Issue

Anitha S
Daijiworld Media Network - Entertainment
Rating: 1.5/5

Mangalore, Jul 30: The only reason a distinguished actor like Om Puri could have agreed to do a film like Khap must have been his sense of social responsibility, or an extreme level of affection for the director. There is nothing else to recommend it. Unfortunately, the film is such that social responsibility alone is not enough to compel viewers to watch it. In fact, it makes smithereens out of a serious social issue.

One wonders what the director, Ajai Sinha, was trying to achieve in the movie. It doesn't move you, and even if you feel for an issue like honour killings, the innumerable songs and dances will kill your feelings in no time.

For those who do not know, 'Khap' is a term for a powerful community system in north western India, particularly Haryana, where the movie is based. The Khap panchayat is dead against marriage between people of the same clan or 'gotra' and those who violate the norms are subjected to honour killings. The age-old practice still continues in present-day modern India, and such a serious issue needed an expert to treat it with sensitivity and insight. Sadly, Sinha has neither.

Om Puri plays the head of the Khap panchayat, and the flagbearer of its principles. His son Madhur (Mohnish Behl) is against the Khap ideology as it had killed his friend and leaves the village to become a human rights activist. But predictably, he returns to the scene when he's asked to probe an incident of honour killing.

Meanwhile, the village head's grand daughter Ria (Yuvika Chaudhary) is enjoying a fling with Kush (Sarrtaj) over the internet. Loads of kitschy romance and dance sequences later, they get married and that is when all hell breaks loose. Incidentally, Kush and Ria happen to be cousins, and therefore of the same clan, and marriage between them is illegal according to Khap rules. What follows is about how the Chaudhary of the village copes with the situation when his own blood has gone against his dictum.

In between we also have Alok Nath giving a long lecture on the demerits of same-clan marriages and upholding the Khap sentiments, obviously to appease certain sections of north India. In fact, the movie has not been released in Haryana fearing outrage.

Nevertheless, Ajai Sinha does deserve praise for attempting to deal with a sensitive issue like honour killings. One only wishes he had a bit more sensibility. Known for his social heroisms with tele-serials like 'Hasratein' and 'Astitva', sadly, he turns his movie into a soap opera rather than an issue-based cinema. True, it is hard to work the balance between the demands of a commercial movie and serious cinema, but not impossible, as we have seen at the hands of some expert Bollywood filmmakers.

Needless to say, Om Puri stands out in his powerful performance, but the rest are just about tolerable.

All in all, it would be wise to give Khap a miss.


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Comment on this article

  • Mangesh, Delhi

    Sat, Aug 27 2011

    Yuvika is the worst actress i have come across in recent times. She needs acting lessons desperately.I think she is suitable for Grade C films

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • ajay, orai

    Fri, Aug 05 2011

    very nice film for improve of society

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vivek Baliga, Bangalore/Abohar

    Sat, Jul 30 2011

    I handle Haryana State for my organization, this particluar thing exists only in Rohtak,Bhiwani, Hisar Belts, this is basically Interior Haryana with Feudal Landlords, just like the reddys in Chitoor or Cudappah District,The honour Killing happens not only for marriage within family, but also for outside the caste relationships, this is the major issue here, the worst part is the way the ladies are treated here, its sad, really sad, what gets reported in the news is only 5%

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  • HENRY MISQUITH, M'lore/Bahrain

    Sat, Jul 30 2011

    'Khap' is a honest effort that deserves to be encouraged. Om Puri's performance was fine, Govind Namdev is always impactful in a negative role. Lead pair Yuvika and Sartaj r ok in their respective roles.
    Thumbs up to the director.
    Henry Misquith/M'lore

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