Review of Nasha, a 2013 Bollywood Film Directed by Amit Saxena,Starring Poonam Pandey, Shivam Patil

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Nasha gives teachers a bad name. Consider this. Anita is a newly appointed extra-curricular activities in-charge at an apparently urban high school (with probably the most dirty-minded students, whose behavior is supposed to be justified here only because they’re ‘coming-of-age’). She plans to conduct a romantic play during the academic year and wants her students to rehearse at her home (why? And she gets an enthusiastic approval from the headmistress, who’s totally lost it, it seems). Surprisingly, only the protagonist Saahil and his bunch of loafer friends turn up every time, as if there are only ten students in the entire school. The boys are only there to ogle at her, and our ‘innocent’ Anita never notices their constant staring, like she’s got partial vision or what?

Our drama teacher is so liberal-minded she joins them as they all sing a song together on erection. On field i.e. during rehearsals at her lavish home, she wants them to get into character (drama teacher Stanislavski would be rolling and weeping in his grave) and demonstrates to Saahil’s girlfriend how a lady should flirt. The character Anita most probably chose to play was a dominatrix, as only that can explain the manner in which she corners Saahil and gets on top of him while his friends gawp open-mouthed (who wouldn’t?). Saahil is infatuated with her and masturbates every night in bed fantasizing about her. That’s until Anita’s beau Samuel turns up and the movie takes a different albeit equally predictable track. What’s disturbing, very disturbing here is Anita’s conduct as a teacher. She openly smooches and probably even french-kisses Samuel in front of the kids during rehearsals. In one scene, he lifts her in his arms and takes her home in front of the students (since when is that considered professional?). When Saahil flubs during one rehearsal, Samuel tells him “Tere se nahi hoga, chal (You can’t do it. Move!” and then waltzes his partner romantically; I’d probably have left that instant and never returned.

Now believe this. The two guys arm-wrestle and later race one another to prove who the better man is. Samuel pushes Saahil to the ground during the race and the kid starts bleeding. While Anita nurses Saahil’s wounds, Samuel whispers to him inappropriately that he’s finally got Anita’s attention. Samuel proceeds to dab whiskey on Saahil’s wounds, which irks Anita all the more. To make up, he takes Anita to one side (about two steps away from Saahil) and whispers something to her. They make up immediately and start smooching. Saahil gets up and leaves in a hurry. Once they’re done kissing, Anita notices Saahil’s absence and says ‘Arre, yeh kaha gaya?‘ (Oh, where did he go?). Next time, why not get a room instead of making out in front of your student, that too one who totally digs you?

After a while, the play is completely forgotten. The major problem in this film is that Anita is not shown as a bad example of a teacher, even though she’s setting a very poor one. Those who’d seen Cameron Diaz in the average comedy Bad Teacher would remember how her character took a pleasure in acting obnoxiously with her students and colleagues. There’s nothing to hint that Anita’s behavior transgresses a teacher’s code of conduct; even the background score played for her is a sweet and positive one. What’s also surprising is that the headmistress had no reservations or objections regarding her wardrobe, which mostly included revealing tops and mini-skirts (am not being a prude, here. Any Indian middle-aged female headmistress would have outrightly objected).

If teachers are given a bad name, wait till you hear how male relatives are depicted in Nasha. Saahil lives with his dad and uncle; we also get to know that mom is dead and the two men make jams for a living. Now try listening to this without exclaiming “What!!”. As Saahil is masturbating one night, his uncle (or dad. It’s interchangeable, really) enters the room and tells him something like “Aur kitna karega?” (How much longer will you continue?). Saahil feels embarrassed and stops, of course. Now, why on earth will a person enter the room knowing that his son is masturbating inside? Even if he unknowingly does, wouldn’t he stop on realizing and hurry back outside? Why would he embarrass his nephew by telling him that he’s caught in the act? In another scene, Saahil’s father tells him “Porn dekhne ke bajaaye achi movie dekh” (Why don’t you watch some good films instead of porn?” (Saahil is jerking off to porn at that time). What!!!

Nasha is also plagued with three of the most ridiculous songs in memory. What’s worse is that we don’t get enough of what we had come for i.e. nudity and sex (anyone who says “No. I came for the direction and acting” is a fat liar). Poonam Pandey, known especially to cricket-lovers as the ‘girl who posed naked in a magazine after Kolkata Knight Riders won IPL’, will surely join the ‘Muses of Mahesh Bhatt’ brigade alongside Sunny Leone soon. Pandey has long and sexy legs, a bodacious bust, a beautiful back and a bootylicious butt, plus she’s certainly more expressive than Leone. She has a wide manly-looking lower jaw, but she looks very flattering nevertheless, especially with appropriate lighting. But Nasha doesn’t let her go all the way because of the Censor watchdogs. Whenever the focus is lifted from her body to her acting (not bad considering the ridiculous part she’s given to play), the result is a disappointing detumescene. The filmmakers don’t know what to focus on in Nasha, the sex or the story. And sadly, both get a bad name.

write by Eirlys

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