Cast: Shadab Kamal, Shilpa Shukla, Rajesh Sharma
Director: Ajay Bahl.
Producer: Ajay Bahl (Tonga Talkies)
Genre: Neo Noir
Music: Alokananda Dasgupta
Duration: 95 min.
Plot: B.A. Pass marks the debut of director Ajay Bahl and he couldn’t have started his direction career any better! B.A. Pass is a dark story exposing the cold side of the heart that lies beneath that serene, courteous coat of middle class life in Delhi. Shadab Kamal is a teenage boy who has lost his parents in an accident and is forced to leave his small town in Punjab for Delhi into an aunt’s home in Paharganj railway officers’ colony.
Shilpa Shukla plays the role of an insatiable wife of his uncle’s boss (Rajesh Sharma) and is drawn into the luscious body of Shilpa. He quickly gets sucked into the path of male prostitution as he needs money for his studies and his two sisters’ stay in an orphanage. The voracious lady puts him in contact with similar other ‘aunties’ in and around the colony and he begins minting money enough for himself to dream about an escape from his worries.
His only friend is a cemetery caretaker (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) who he befriends because of a common passion for chess! This movie is very impactful as all the characters go hand in hand with the movie making it even more believable. Every minute detail has been covered with perfection. The sex is rough and leaves bruises and scratches lingering over the body, enough for the young lad to sulk into depression at the receiving end.
Technical-aspect: B.A. Pass is a nicely written, sharply edited and exceptionally shot with a perfect sense of ambience that Ajay Bahl left. Those long pauses and silence just complimented and intensified the scene in the most tactful way. Focusing on the plot and exploring a just a few more characters unfolds the story with minimum fuss. The plot is very tight and explains everything you need to know under a middle-class delhiite’s life! Ajay Bahl comes out as a winner with his impeccable direction without any superfluous moments anywhere in the movie.
Performances: Shadab Kamal’s transformation from innocence to despair and doom is perfectly done and he has given us one hell of a performance. Shilpa Shukla portrays her character very beautifully, impressive with her acting skills and building onto her strong performance in Chak De India! But Shadab is simply put one fabulous discovery for Bollywood. Dibyendu Bhattacharya who plays the role of a cemetery caretaker has taken care of his performance unmistakably.
The Last Word - B.A.Pass is an outright and brutal film which explores the darkest depths of human consciousness. Such films rarely come around and should never be missed!