Lined up against one of the most beautiful films Hindi cinema has seen Barfi, comes a gritty and coarse film on the underbelly of Bihar Jeena Hai Toh Thok Daal. Whether it stands a chance against Barfi or not let's find out.
Jeena Hai Toh Thok Daal is a story of the conscientious journey of four outlaws, Chandrabhan (Ravi Kissen), Atka (Manish Vatsalya), Mahkoo (Yashpal Sharma) and Rahul Kumar (Bitwa), who set out to Mumbai for a mission. They take to devious means to fulfill their needs, they lie, they cheat, they steal, they lust over women etc all together. But soon enters one woman who starts developing cracks in their bonding. The four set out on a mission to Mumbai where Chandrabhan falls in love at the first sight of Shrishti (Hazel) only to realize that it is her that they have been ordered to assassin. Caught between the dilemma of choosing family ties over love or vice versa, Chandrabhan causes friction between him and his brother which leads to a horrendous end. What happens follows through the rest of the plot.
Jeena Hai Toh Thok Daal starts off decently. There's some constant humour here and there making it an easy watch. However, soon after the flaws that you initially ignore become too big to avoid and start testing your patience. There's barely a connection between the first and the second half and the latter could well be a film in itself by just taking the first half as montages to establish the premise.
Moreover, in a bid to depict the coarseness o f the setting and the characters, filmmaker Manish Vatsalya resorts to gross and vulgar humour neither of which entertains you one bit. Quite an essential commodity of films these days, even an item song gets placed right in the initial few minutes of the film and I must say it is one of the most vulgar ones of the recent times.
The dialogues are far too cheap, crass and incomplete bad taste as the actors mouth them unabashedly. I am not against the usage of crude mannerisms or dialogues; however, anything done in a hideous and pretentious manner doesn't make for a worthy watch. There's excessive stress over the dilemma of Chandrabhan making the story lull. Even the climax is extremely bizarre.
Performances by almost all the actors are fairly good and an ensemble cast of Ravi Kissen, Murli Sharma, Yashpal Sharma, Sharat Saxena, Govind Namdev, Ashwini Kalsekar etc try very hard to salvage the downward spiraling plot. Manish Vatsalya who also acts in this film shows more promise as an actor than a filmmaker!
To sum it up, Jeena Hai Toh Thok Daal is a very hideous and pretentious film that doesn't make for a good watch. Manisha Vatsalya should take to acting a lot more seriously than make a film.