Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Khap: Good intention but fails to register
There is much to be said about “Khap”. Let’s get to the story first. The movie is about a village which adheres to the khap panchayat system under which two people from the same khap or clan cannot marry each other.
Whoever goes against the khap rule is killed to keep the gene pool from being spoilt and to keep the honour of the clan and tradition intact. The audience knows them as honour killings.
Sajod village falls under this panchayat and is home to the khap chief, played by Om Puri. The movie begins with a couple trying to elope and shows their bloody end when villagers catch and kill them.
From here the movie migrates to another space and time disconnected from the former world. A young girl and guy, who are chat buddies but do not know each other’s identity, go to the same college (which looks like a shopping mall). They eventually fall in love and through the course of the film find themselves not only closely connected to the Sajod village but also land on the wrong side of the khap panchayat after marriage.
There is a plot, but it drags on listlessly and beats around the bush way too much to get to the point.
The movie has a feel apt for a limited-episode TV series and it turns out that director Ajai Sinha has not graduated from a serial formula — rather a bad one at that.
To elaborate, he makes good actors like Om Puri and Govind Namdeo look and more importantly, sound silly. There are glaring technical flaws and continuity breaks that have been ignored during the shoot as well as post production. Also featuring mind-numbingly slow and out-of-place song and dance sequences that are nothing more than a waste of precious reel space and screen time. And camera work so bad I’m surprised the director chose his DOP.
Unfortunately, the seriousness of the subject is lost in “Khap”.