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29 October 2014

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Meenaxi - A Tale Of Three Cities
Director: M F Hussain
Tabu, Raghuvir Yadav, Kunal Kapoor
Film Information:
Contains mild language
2hrs 40mins
1st April 2004 (video release only)
pg cert camera
Tabu in Meenaxi
Three faces of Tabu in Meenaxi
Meexani is purely reserved for those who admire art.


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View a printable version of this page.
Painter turned director M F Hussain tries his hand at film making one more time after failure of his previous release, Gaja Gamini, at the box office.

This latest offering is a tapestry of colours which captivates your eyes throughout.

The film opens on Nawab (Raghuvir Yadav), a writer who is facing a dilemma. He simply cannot think of a subject he can write about.

But when he meets Meenaxi (Tabu), a total stranger, his luck changes. She prompts him to write a book about her. Reluctant at first, he later agrees to the idea.

For the story to proceed, Nawab finds a male lead for Meenaxi who he calls Kameshwar.

He does not have to look far for this character. He uses Kunal (Kunal Kapoor), his drunken car mechanic. Kunal once wanted to become a singer.

In the novel, these two characters meet in Jaisalmer. Smitten by her beauty, Kameshwar becomes drawn towards her. She reciprocates his affections in return.

But at this point, the story takes a twist with the introduction of Karanvir (Sagar Arya), the villain.

We are then taken back to reality where we see an argument brewing between Meenaxi and Nawab. She finds the story boring and in utter disgust, she burns the script.

But that does not dishearten Nawab. He starts afresh once again using the same characters. This time the story is set in Prague.

Meenaxi is given a new name in this novel - Maria. She is seen as a carefree character who walks around with her bicycle - that's because she cannot ride a bike! Another strange concept introduced by the artist (M.F.Hussain).

This time she meets Kameshwar at a railway station and falls in love at first site.

In this story, Nawab also plays a part. He is there to ask if Meenaxi really loves Kameshwar. But she does not give him a straight answer.

Parts of the film are difficult to digest but the climax soon clears this confusion.

The main drawback in the film comes from the screenplay. Hussain never explains the characters in the film. They just appear from nowhere and he uses them to make up the story.

Tabu excels as far as performance is concerned and is presented beautifully by the director.

Kunal Kapoor makes a pleasant debut. He portrays the various shades of his character with ease.

Musical score by A R Rahman is excellent although you will find that the film is overloaded with songs.

These should have been kept to a minimum so as not to disturb the narration of the story on screen.

Overall, Meenaxi will appeal to those who appreciate art. It is definitely not one of your run of the mill Bollywood's masala films. Don't say I havent warned you.

Reviewed by Manish Gajjar,
BBC Shropshire’s Mr Bollywood.

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