Manoj Vashisht, New Delhi. Even the most expensive dish of a high-end shop becomes tasteless by adding uncontrolled amounts of spices and dissolving the bitter juice in the mouth. Then you do not swallow it thinking that let’s eat it, because a lot of money has been spent or the owner of this shop is some ‘veteran cook’. Food can be swallowed only when all the spices are added in balanced quantity.
Veteran filmmaker of Hindi cinema Subhash Ghai’s first OTT release 36 Farmhouse is a classic example of spoiled recipes. The random sprinkling of spices in this film has spoiled the cinematic taste to such an extent that after watching the film, the mind gets distracted. It seems that the film was not under the control of the director. Somebody seems to be doing something. If a great artist like Sanjay Mishra is not seen in his own right, then a good actor like Vijay Raj seems to be a victim of antaranjatna.
36 Farmhouse is a comedy-thriller to say, but seeing it, neither does one laugh nor feel any thrill. This question definitely comes in the mind, after all Ghai Saheb took the trouble of making this film to pay off which ‘debt’! However, with the kind of story and background chosen, there was a lot of potential to show and do.
The story is mainly based on mutual enmity for the property of sons of a wealthy woman Padmini Raj Singh (Madhuri Bhatia). An ailing aged Padmini lives with her eldest son Raunak Singh (Vijay Raj) in a luxurious bungalow named 36 Farmhouse on the outskirts of Mumbai. There is also a 300 crore farmhouse with this bungalow. Padmini has given all her property to the eldest son Raunak Singh. Raunak has two younger brothers Gajendra (Rahul Singh) and Virendra. Gajendra is a bit of a badass, while Virendra is straightforward, but his wife Mithika (Flora Saini) is cunning. Both of them want their share in the property. There is also a murder mystery there.
The story of 36 Farmhouse is set in the period of 2020, when the corona virus pandemic was at its peak and due to the lockdown, migrant laborers and small business or jobseekers living in the metropolis are unemployed to escape the famine. There were mass migrations to their home towns and home states. Jai Prakash (Sanjay Mishra) and Harry (Amol Parashar) are one such father and son, who have become unemployed due to the lockdown. The two live separately and share a Tom and Jerry relationship with each other. Jai Prakash is a cook, who used to work at a dhaba. After a chance meeting with Benny (Ashwini Kalsekar), the caretaker of the bungalow, Jai Jai Prakash gets a job as a cook at 36 farmhouses.
Padmini Singh’s granddaughter Antara (Barkha Singh) visits the farmhouse on vacation, meets Harry on the way and takes him with her to 36 farmhouses. Antara is soft hearted, innocent, happy and away from conspiracies. She wants to become a fashion designer. Now the rest of the story progresses with the tussle, fun and frolic between these characters and Raunak’s tussle with his brothers.
36 Farmhouse marks the OTT debut of Subhash Ghai as a producer. He himself has written the story of this film and has also given music. Ghai sahib wrote the story, but forgot to detail the character graph of the characters. The characters of Jai Prakash and Harry seem very superficial. There is no depth to them. Harry is said to be an assistant to celebrity designer Manish Malhotra, who has left Mumbai for his village in Bihar on foot after being unemployed in lockdown. But seeing Harry, it does not seem far and wide that this man has been hit by the lockdown.
Same is the case with Jai Prakash. Seeing the neat lining of Jai Prakash’s beard, who left for his village on foot in lockdown, it seems that even though there are cravings for food in lockdown, the fellow has not let the style fall. It hurts to see an artist like Sanjay Mishra like this. Same is the case with Vijay Raj too. There is a sense of carelessness in his performance. In some places, he looks unnecessarily loud.
The song and music of the film seems outdated. Singing and slowing down the already running pace. The irony is that the film fails to evoke any sympathy even for the message of the economic gulf between the two sections of society that Subhash Ghai has tried to convey. Director Ram Ramesh Sharma must be applauded for the fact that he has made all the characters wear masks as much as possible in view of the backdrop of Pandemic and that is also the biggest message of this film.
‘The danger is not over yet, definitely wear a mask.’
Cast – Sanjay Mishra, Vijay Raj, Amol Parashar, Barkha Singh, Ashwini Kalsekar etc.
Director- Ram Ramesh Sharma
Producer- Subhash Ghai
Duration- 107 Minutes
Rating- *1/2 (one and a half stars)