Director: Chandra Prakash Dwivedi
Starring: Sunny Deol, Sakshi Tanwar, Ravi Kishan & Saurabh Shukla
Screenplay: Chandraprakash Dwivedi & Kashinath Singh
MOHALLA ASSI is the story of an idealist Sanskrit teacher deals with issues like the commercialization of religion as things around him change and he struggles to keep up. The film is an adaptation of the popular Hindi novel Kashi Ka Assi by Dr. Kashinath Singh. The film begins with Sunny Deol’s Pandit Dharmanath Pandey, a rigid and conservative priest who practices on Assi ghat and prefers to live in the past. While others in Kashi like Ravi Kishan’s tourist guide are on the get-rich-quick path by marketing exotic India to foreigners, Pandey refuses to let them even enter his ‘mohalla’. He prefers to live in poverty and gets shot in the leg when he goes for ‘karseva’ to Ayodhya. Sakshi Tanwar, as his wife, is steeped in the same ethos but is clear-headed and knows right from wrong. She is not afraid to give her husband a piece of her mind, either. The film, as per the novel, revolves around the time from 1988 to 1998 and how the Indian politics has affected the lives of the residents of Assi Ghat in Varanasi.
The story is interesting, however, there’s too much happening and neither of the various tracks makes the ultimate impact.
Technically, the film is good. The cinematography by Vijay Kumar Arora is decent and is quite effective. Aseem Sinha’s editing could have been much better. There is no scope for music and it doesn’t stay with you. the original source material is good but the writers have failed to adapt it nicely for the screen.
Performances from the cast have been fine. Sunny Deol is in a fine form. Sakshi Tanwar is great as the angry wife. Ravi Kishan is very entertaining and keeps the viewers interested. Saurabh Shukla delivers a fine performance as always and doesn’t let you down. The rest of the cast have offered abled support.
Chandra Prakash Dwivedi’s directing is quite simple but is ineffective in some places. With a better script, he could have directed much better too.
At the box-office,
The film is a non-starter.