Mindblowing Movies' PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE, directed by Sanjay Jha, is a story of middle class people living in a chawl and their fight with their new owner, who is hell bent on vacating the chawl and constructing a huge complex in its place.
The current owner, Praveen Seth [Sachin Khedekar], is the grandson of Popatlal, who originally constructed this chawl. The grandson wants to vacate the chawl and make it into a huge complex.
The ensuing war between the residents and Praveen Seth starts tilting in favour of the owner, until Laxmi Rathod [Raveena Tandon], a resident of the chawl, plays a trick.
Now Praveen Seth is afraid even to be seen anywhere near the chawl. The rest of the story is all about the struggle of the chawl residents to find an answer to somehow save their homes.
PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE is nothing short of an experiment in terms of its story and narration. Although several films have been made with a chawl as the backdrop, this particular venture centers entirely around a chawl. Also, the narration is different in the sense that everything is satire-based.
To an extent, PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE reminds you of JAANE BHI DO YAARO. There are references to every issue that one encounters in our daily routine. But, mainly, the film depicts the grit, determination and spirit of the common man, who is trying to survive in the face of adversity.
Director Sanjay Jha must be complimented for tackling a theme that defies the norms of commercial cinema. However, a concept like this is Mumbai city-centric, which should find patronage mainly in Mumbai/Maharashtra.
Certain sequences between Sayaji Shinde and Shweta Menon or the much talked-about scene of Divya Dutta do leave an indelible mark. But, on the other hand, there are several sequences that not only look long drawn, but also seem to be forced in the goings-on. The Sati track is one such example.
Also, prior to that, the enmity between Sachin Khedekar and Aman Verma should've been treated seriously. Giving it a filmi touch takes away the much-desired seriousness.
From the writing point of view, there are scenes talking of the upliftment of the fairer sex, but simultaneously, referring to them as prostitutes or using expletives is in bad taste. Dialogues [Sanjay Pawar] are witty and at times, superb. However, families may not appreciate the generous dose of foul language in several scenes.
Music [Daboo Malik, Nitin Raikwar] is merely a gap-filler. Cinematography [Rajeev Shrivastava] is alright. The set of the chawl [art director: Sudhakar Manjrekar] looks authentic.
Amongst the performances, Vijay Raaz towers above the rest with a spellbinding performance. He is brilliant in the sequence when he talks about his deceased wife and kid. Aman Verma is a complete natural. Extremely confident and camera friendly, he essays his part with utmost sincerity.
The six leading ladies ï¿½ Raveena Tandon, Namrata Shirodkar, Diya Mirza, Rinke Khanna, Divya Dutta and Shweta Menon ï¿½ fit into their roles comfortably. Raveena gets the maximum scope and her expressions towards the latter half show the growth of an actress. Divya Dutta is excellent.
Mahesh Manjrekar, in a small role, is just about okay, while Shivaji Satam, Sayaji Shinde, Vivek Shauq, Sanjay Narvekar, Bharat Jadhav, Abhijeet Satam and Sachin Khedekar don't get much scope.
Sushmita Sen, as the sutradhar, is wasted. Her song with Mahesh Manjrekar comes towards the end and is also not connected to the story.
On the whole, PRAAN JAYE PAR SHAAN NA JAYE has some well-executed scenes, but when viewed in totality, the outcome fails to convince. Also, in terms if its setting, language and the overall ambience, the film is targeted at the Mumbai/Maharashtra audience, thereby limiting its prospects in other states. Business in Mumbai/Maharashtra should prove to be better.