The oldest profession [prostitution] has inspired many a film-maker to attempt a film on this issue. Over the years, several films of this genre have left an indelible impression on the minds of the viewer. Films like MAUSAM, BAZAAR, MANDI, UMRAO JAAN and more recently CHANDNI BAR recounted the painful saga of women who have been used and abused by society.
Tirumalai Pictures' MARKET combines realism in the garb of popular cinema and keeps your attention arrested.
Muskan [Manisha Koirala] is a prostitute in the infamous Mehndi Bazaar of Hyderabad. Tracing her tragic past, Muskan hailed from a small town in Andhra Pradesh. Her poor parents were coaxed into marrying off Muskan to a rich Arab.
The Arab, after exploiting her innocence, divorces her a week later. Muskan's family files a complaint of marital torture with the police, but the Arab's lawyer bribes the judge and wins his bail.
Muskan continues to fight for justice, but after eight long years, the Arab wins the case and is acquitted by the court. Muskan is shattered.
In the turn of events, Muskan comes to Mumbai. Here, she comes across a police officer, Sawant [Sayaji Shinde], who introduces her to Juicy, a pimp for high-class call girls. Juicy accepts Muskan and introduces her to call girls Lisa [Suman Ranganathan] and Isha [Shweta Menon], who are entrusted the job of transforming Muskan from a Hyderabadi prostitute to a sophisticated call girl.
And thus follows Muskan's [now re-christened Mallika] new journey as a call girl.
Muskan meets Babloo [Aryan Vaid], a criminal from Kanpur, who falls in love with her. He offers to marry her, but she turns down the offer.
Meanwhile, Isha is killed by a local criminal [Makrand Deshpande]. This brings to the fore Yashwant Anna [Govind Namdeo], the don who resides and conducts his operations from Dubai.
But things take a turn when Yashwant calls Lisa and Muskan to Dubai for a show. There, Muskan bumps into the Arab and past wounds flare up once again. Now, there is only one thing on Muskan's mind ï¿½ to seek revenge.
A genre like this relies heavily on the reality aspect. And fortunately, the film doesn't disappoint. Right from selling a minor in a brothel to their mental and physical torture, besides the language, setting and modus operandi, are all effectively portrayed.
The Hyderabad setting and the flavour of the language compliment the stark reality of life in a brothel perfectly. In fact, in the first hour, there are many well-executed sequences which jolt you. The scenes where a newly-married is sold by her husband and how she is forced into prostitution are sure to give a lump in your throat.
Director Jai Prakash has done his homework well. He puts his message across very convincingly. Effort has been taken to look into the minutest detail of life in a brothel. Besides, Jai also dwells into the hazards of the life of a call girl, when a small-time criminal kills Shweta Menon.
Though the pace slackens in the post-interval portions, the film gathers momentum towards the climax. Also, too much footage has been devoted to the Shweta Menon ï¿½ Makrand Deshpande track, which could've been easily done without.
Music [Altaf Raja] doesn't boast of chartbusting tracks, nevertheless it gels very well with the mood of the film. Cinematography [Thomas Xavier] is good. The Dubai locales, where majority of the post-interval portions are shot, are captured well on celluloid. Dialogues [Masood Mirza, Meeraq Mirza] are punch-packed and clapworthy. They also hold tremendous mass appeal.
Of the cast, Manisha Koirala is the pick of the lot. She is in form after a long time. Her outbursts ï¿½ first when Sayaji Shinde confronts her in the police station and the second, towards the climax ï¿½ are brilliant. Suman Ranganathan looks sensuous and acts well. Shweta Menon is passable.
Well-known model Aryan Vaid doesn't get a dream launch, but he does leave an impression in the latter half of the film. Sayaji Shinde is fantastic. Govind Namdeo is first-rate. Anupam Shyam is competent. Prathima Kazmi is superb as the brothel owner. Pankaj Berry and Vallabh Vyas lend adequate support.
On the whole, MARKET has two factors going in its favour its title-value and the issue it depicts [prostitution]. At the box-office, the film has the merits to pick up gradually on the strength of these two factors.