200 Halla Ho review: A story that needs to be told

200 Halla Ho review: A story that needs to be told

Cast: Amol Palekar, Barun Sobti, Rinku Rajguru, Saloni Batra, Sahil Khattar, Sushama Deshpande

Director: Sarthak Dasgupta

Streaming on : ZEE5

Stars: ***1/2/5

There are many movies being made in recent times that are inspired by true incidents. '200 Halla Ho' is also one such movie. It is based on an incident that had occurred in Nagpur in the year 2004. In this incident, 200 Dalit women lynched a gangster, robber, serial rapist, and killer in an open court.

The movie starts with this incident with no backstory or what caused them to take such a drastic step. We see a group of sari-clad women that had covered their faces with a dupatta or their sari's palu or pretty much any cloth they could find running out of the courtroom. It is revealed that these women in the broad daylight and in the courtroom just before the hearing slaughtered the man arrested for allegedly molesting. As the incident happens, police stand as a bystander as they are caught unaware. 

Soon the investigation starts and without getting into the motive or the reason, these women are charged because for a simple reason that they are dalit.

 The movie is directed by Sarthak Dasgupta who is also the co-writer of the movie. It deals with the sensitive issue of caste oppression and systemic violence. While the subject is dealt with sensitivity. 

The movie follows a non-linear format of storytelling, as shared above the movie begins with the 200 women killing the alleged perpetrator. And as the story unfolds we are then slowly explained how why, and what ignited this fire. We are given an insight into what these women were subjected to for 10 long years before taking this step, the constant fear that people in that colony had to live with and the repercussions.

It is the return of Asha Surve (Rinku Rajguru) that marks the beginning of the end of Balli Chaudhary's (Sahil Khattar) reign of terror. Her biggest ally in this fight is lawyer Umesh Joshi (Barun Sobti). Not only does he extend free legal services to the arrested Dalit women, but he also nurtures the hope of marrying Asha despite the latter's reservations over the caste chasm that separates them.

The writers do not waste time in setting up the story, which works for the betterment of the entire product. However, would have liked it better if they would have left the murder to the way it was at the start of the story. I am not a fan of gory stuff and the way the mobster is shown to be killed was a tad bit much for me. 

It was a treat to watch seasoned actor Amol Palekar (back on the screen after a long break) headlining the cast. He manages to shine in all the scenes that were given to him. Some of his monologues are watchable only because he is the one delivering the same. 

Sahil Khattar too does a good job given that this is the first movie that we are seeing him in. The actor was to debut with the movie 83 but that has been delayed due to the pandemic. As the bad man, he does manage to get some chills down the spine but not really get your blood boiling. One could have done with a little more impact. 

Rinku Rajguru and Saloni Batra, too, are in their elements. We wish that there was more in store for Saloni and Flora Saini. Barun too had a small role. He manages to do justice to the part.

Overall, the movie leaves a lasting impact on your mind and one wonders that no matter how much we talk about equality, there are certain sects that are still struggling to get the respect that they deserve. 

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