On Saturday, I watched Soni. Sunday brought Fraud Saiyaan. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Soni is nuanced, beautifully subtle and painstakingly real. From there, we plunge to this trash of a film called Fraud Saiyaan. From the trailer, it was clear that wasn’t a film for me. It tried to focus on the lowest common dominator sex and male entitlement. But I wanted to see how much can the film maker’s stoop? I got my answer and how. This could really be a film Warsi shot in his pre Munna Bhai days and they used to CGI to make him look older. Oh, they also added some justification scenes, because you know #Metoo and stuff.
Bhola Prasad Tripathi (Arshad Warsi), is a conman without much game. Women, fall of him as they walk the street because the script told them to do so. He has 12 wives across cities. He marries rich but broken hearted, divorced and lonely women to spread ‘happiness’ (the film says so) and of course rob them of their assets. These women are different yet they are the same. They lust for Bhola’s body because the script says so. One is desperate for a Chota Bhola, other wears a nighty and presents herself as dinner. Husband’s prolonged absences forgiven within seconds as Bhola repeats every cheesy line said in the past 40 years in Bollywood. He’s far from the slick conman the film aims to portray him as. Even if the film is taken on face value for entertainment (which it isn’t), Bhola has no “game”. There is no charm, no gimmicks, just simple lines which a 12 year old could write in this day and age. Yet these gullible women are in love.
Saurabh Shukla as Murari or ML Chaurasia, in what the film makers think of as a clever plot twist ends up as the being the sidekick of Bhola. Shukla, who has delivered wonderful performances in the past is left to use persisting farts as a comic relief. He looks unconvinced of the Bhola’s prowess. A few dialogues here and there land because the man’s own comic timing but it’s all in poor taste.
The weightiest female character is of Payal ji played by Sara Loren or Mona Liza. She is looking a million dollars but plays a women who is sensual even at the funeral of her husband. She breathes like she lives at a high altitude at all times. Again, it is to make her more of an object for men. Or perhaps it’s a subtle hint at the air quality in Delhi. She doesn’t live in Delhi so, it is to attract the male gaze.
The film takes an all too predictable turn. For a few minutes there is genuine friction between characters. Between Chaurasia to Bhola and Bhola and Payal ji. But this is a sprinkling of gold on crap and makes little difference. Talking of sprinkling gold there are two sexually explicit item songs. One is used to bring a ‘frozen’ Bhola back to life. It’s all kinds of weird.
The film is all kinds of sexist and full of misogyny. You can understand Sara Loren signing the film or the bunch of girls who have little choice other than to take the work that comes to them. But it must have been a fat pay cheque for both Warsi and Shukla to sign for this film. Everyone has a son or a daughter that has to go to University. Lack of state funded education can lead to such trash!