1 out of 5 (Poor)
Riwayat fails to do justice to a serious subject. Courtesy shoddy execution and tacky production values, the film turns out to be best avoided.
Mansha Rastogi Sat, 08 Sep 2012
A very over enthusiastic PR drive of this film had media releases issued out claiming this film to be based on the "killing of female feoticide". One look at it and it was enough to gauge what more would lay in the film. Only a week back a brilliant children film by national award winning filmmaker Nila Madhad Panda's Jalpari released which too dealt with the topic of female foeticide. Now it only remains to see whether Riwayat too manages to convey the message as beautifully as its predecessor or not.
Riwayat revolves around Anita (Samapika Debnath) a NGO worker who is socially very active and fiercely works to steer away social issues. She gets married to her beau Raj (Khalid Siddique), a rich business tycoon's son. Soon after marriage she sets off to a remote village named Gangapur, where a female child is considered to be a burden that must be eliminated without much hesitation. From there on starts her battle against female infanticide. Though Anita faces opposition from everyone from policemen to the village sarpanch to the resident doctor Gupta (Rajendra Gupta), not to mention her own in-laws, who want her to take up her duties as the family bahu, she battles on to provide justice for her Gangapur maid Radha (Gauri Kulkarni), whose female child is killed by Radha's alcoholic husband Gangaram (Aditya Lakhia). How Anita manages to fight for her ideals, with the help of a good friend Kabir (Narendra Jha), forms the rest of the plot.
Though there isn't an iota of novelty in Vijay Patkar's Riwayat, films tackling the issues of female infanticide have been done to death. Even the small screen medium has taken to the topic with various television shows, but the subject still holds relevance in today's times. However, when you have a serious subject such as this, the key element becomes the execution of it all and that's where Riwayat falters.
From the word go, Riwayat appears a product of shoddy execution and insipid and uninspiring screen-play. The film despite having the heart in the right place doesn't strike the right chord with the masses. Worse still, the performance of the actors only ruins the experience further more. The performances in the film are very mediocre and barring renowned actor Rajendra Gupta, who plays a cynical a Public Health Centre doctor and Saurabh Dubey, who plays the stern patriarch Girdhar, the rest of the cast only tests your patience.
To sum it up, Riwayat fails to do justice to a serious subject. Courtesy shoddy execution and tacky production values, the film turns out to be best avoided.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
1 out of 5 (Poor)