Naseeruddin Shah's raw and startling performance in the dark comedy 'Mandi'
Naseeruddin Shah is one of India’s most prolific and influential actor, known for his riveting and realistic performances. As an ode to this talented actor, Zee Classic, driven with its core proposition ‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’, is all set to telecast one of his most acclaimed performance in Shyam Benegal’s dark comedy ‘Mandi’ on Friday, August 28th at 6:10 PM. Mandi is a cynical film, throwing a light on the hypocrisy of middle-class morality. Based on the short story ‘Anandi’ by Pakistani writer Ghulam Abbas, it is a superb satire on the tussle between prostitutes in a brothel and holier-than-thou politicians.
Replete with a brilliant performance by Naseeruddin Shah, the film is about a group of prostitutes led by Rukmini Bai (Shabana Azmi) who wants to flourish the flesh trade in the city and runs her brothel with a stern and demanding hand. Aided by her depressed houseboy, Tungrus (Naseeruddin Shah), Rukmini is protective of her girls especially the brothel's pride, Zeenat (Smita Patil). When a sanctimonious moralist, Shanti Devi (Gita Siddharth), flexes her political muscle in an attempt to drive the brothel out of town, Rukmini turns to her landlord Mr. Gupta (Kulbushan Kharbanda) for assistance, but finds him a conditional ally as his daughter Malti ( Ratna Pathak Shah) is to marry the mayor's son shortly. Caught in the crossfire is the town's Mayor, Agrawal (Saeed Jaffrey), who is under the powerful Shanti Devi's thumb but also smitten by Rukmini, incase she make public his own dirty laundry. The complications set in when the Mayor's son Sushil (Aditya Bhattacharya) refuses to marry his father's choice, and wants to marry Zeenat.