Well Done Abba (transl. Well done dad) is a 2009 Indian political satire Hindi film directed by Shyam Benegal, starring Boman Irani, Minissha Lamba and Sameer Dattani in pivotal roles. It is the remake of the 2007 Marathi film, Jau Tithe Khau. It was based on three short stories: Narsaiyyan Ki Bavdi by Jeelani Bano, Phulwa Ka Pul by Sanjeev and Still Waters by Jayant Kripalani. The screenplay was written by Jayant Kripalani and Ashok Mishra, who also wrote the dialogues. It won the 2009 National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues.
The film tells the story of Armaan Ali (Boman Irani), a Muslim driver working in Mumbai, who takes a one-month leave from his employer to find a groom for his daughter Muskaan (Minissha Lamba), who lives in a village near Hyderabad, India. Armaan does not turn up for three months, and his employer makes the difficult decision to sack him, but he asks his boss to listen to why he could not come. Getting soft, his employer allows him to drive to Pune where he has a meeting. Armaan starts the story from here.
In Armaan’s village, many problems include a rising drought situation and financial difficulties due to the antics of his twin brother, who has a bad reputation for debt addiction and theft. In the opening, a man named Arif demands 500 rupees from Armaan. Eventually, Muskaan pays the debt to Arif and Armaan’s brother is arrested, later on released. To solve the drought problem, he goes to a government office to build a well, with a friend. There, he goes through stages such as explaining what he wants and even having his photo taken. Muskaan, on the other hand falls in love with Arif, of which Armaan does not approve at first but later is pleased with.
Armaan does not receive the well he wanted and sits in despair. He and Muskaan try to tell the police inspector about the well that was ‘stolen’, but the inspector finds the story rather silly and is even stubborn enough to not listen to what they have to say. Disturbed, Armaan and Muskaan launch a protest with several villagers against the police inspector, later on to the justice minister, where the minister punishes the inspector for his slack behaviour. The inspector, realising his mistakes and behaviour, then starts to approach the people in a more orthodox way. The justice minister then allows the government people to build the well for the villagers and punishes them all, for not doing what they are supposed to do.
With the drought problem solved, Armaan decides that Muskaan should marry an Arab sheikh. Muskaan does not accept her father’s offer and even has an argument about this. The issue is even more heated when she receives a letter from her friend, Sakina, which involved her getting beat up by her sheikh husband and getting kicked out, shocking Armaan and Sakina’s mother. Disturbed, Armaan then decides that Muskaan should marry Arif, much to her delight. With the two of Armaan’s problems solved, he ends his story at an awards ceremony, which in his perspective was a ‘big drama’, as the stage literally collapsed, delighting people. With his employer convinced, he then allows Armaan to work for him again.
Boman Irani as Armaan Ali / Rehman Ali
Minissha Lamba as Muskaan Ali
Sammir Dattani as Arif Ali
Ravi Kishan as Sub Engineer Vikas Jha
Ila Arun as Salma Ali
Salim Ghouse as Janardhan Reddy
Sonali Kulkarni as Vikas Jha’s wife
Rajit Kapur as Inspector Rishab Reddy
Akhil Mishra as Arun Mishra – Tahsildar
Yashpal Sharma as Constable Ramiyya
Ravi Jhankal as Constable Rustam
Deepika Amin as Lata (Inspector’s wife)
Rajendra Gupta as Irrigation Minister
Rahul Singh as Rohan Kapoor (Arman Ali’s boss)
Anaitha Nair as Sakina
Preeti Nigam as Sakina’s mother
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