‘BARAH X BARAH’ REVIEW | 24 May, 2024

Amdavaad Pictures’ Barah X Barah (A) is the story of the last death photographer of Varanasi. The death photographer, who makes a living out of shooting pictures of the dead and their last rites on the Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi, sets out on an exploration of the cycle of life and death.

Sunny Lahiri and Gaurav Madan have penned a story which is so sketchy that it becomes irritating after a point of time. In the absence of a solid story, the duo’s screenplay meanders aimlessly, trying to capture the life of the photographer and his family and friends but without a direction. Therefore, the audience are unable to get invested in the drama as anything could pop up anytime and anywhere. Dialogues, also penned by the duo, are basic.

Gyanendra Tripathi does well as Sooraj. Bhumika Dubey is natural in the role of his wife, Meena. Geetika Vidya Ohlyan makes her mark as Mansi. Harish Khanna is average as Parbat. Akash Sinha (as Dubey), Prithvi Singh (as Anshuman), Aashit Chatterjee (as Tathagata) and the others provide ordinary support.

Gaurav Madan’s direction is fair, but he ought to have started off after making sure that his script was fit for a film. Neil Mukherjee’s music and background score are functional. Gaurav Madan’s lyrics are nothing to shout about. Sunny Lahiri does a fine job of the cinematography. The film has been shot on Super 16 mm. Naveen Lohara’s production designing is alright. Hira Das’ editing is reasonably sharp.

On the whole, Barah X Barah is too philosophical to be appreciated by the public. It is more a festival film than a commercial film.

Released on 24-5-’24 at Metro Inox (daily 1 show) and other cinemas of Bombay thru Platoon One Distribution. Publicity & opening: poor. …….Also released all over. Opening was disastrous everywhere.