Mohalla Assi Reviews (Top Critics)
By Rahul Desai (1.5/5)

The only thing satirical about Mohalla Assi is that it's too verbose, too simplistic and too densely staged to be a satire. It is the cinematic equivalent of six self-important men routinely discussing everything from religion to politics and world peace at the local teashop - ironically, a scene that features repeatedly in the film. Each of them is like that annoying neighbourhood kook who simply cannot shut up; not passing an expert comment on the air that surrounds them is worse than religious blasphemy.

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The Hindu
By Namrata Joshi

At the heart of Mohalla Assi is a lot of noise. Most of it emanates from the iconic Pappu Ki Dukaan, the tiny real-life shop at Assi Ghat where tea is always on the boil and politics, economy, class, caste, corruption and other earth-shattering matters are discussed threadbare, often amongst strangers, over a shared copy of Amar Ujala.

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By Umesh Punwani (2/5)

The story revolves around many little stories revolving around one man Dharmnath Pandey (Sunny Deol) who as his name is 'dharam ka rakhwala' - a priest residing on the Assi Ghat in the holy city of Varanasi. Being a Brahman, he hates people who eat non-veg in his area and keeps looking for if there are any bones scattered around.

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By Udita Jhunjhunwala (2/5)

The film opens circa 1988 and progresses to the late 1990s following the story of Pandeyji (Sunny Deol), a Sanskrit teacher and part-time priest, and the other sundry characters that populate the banks of the Ganges. Sakshi Tanwar plays Deol's fickle and frustrated wife. The livelihood of most of the residents of the community depends on wide-eyed western tourists seeking quick-fix moksha.

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By Bollywood Hungama (1.5/5)

MOHALLA ASSI is the story of a man with principles forced to make compromises. Dharmnath Pandey (Sunny Deol) is a priest who sits on Assi Ghat in the holy city of Varanasi. He attends to the pilgrims during the day and teaches Sanskrit in the afternoon. The income is meagre and unlike others, he doesn't compel his visitors to pay him exorbitantly. This causes lot of distress to his wife Savitri (Sakshi Tanwar) and she's forever cursing him for not earning enough.

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Hindustan Times
By Jyoti Sharma Bawa (2/5)

Mohalla Assi, like the country whose spirit it is trying to capture, is a volatile and unwieldy mess. At its best, it is a combination of faith, philosophy and politics; at its worst, it is just sound and fury signifying nothing. Mohalla Assi in Kashi -- or Benares, or Varanasi - is a microcosm for India in the film. Set in the early '90s, the film directly pits us into a tumultuous time for the country with the Mandal agitation and the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi issue raging.

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By Nandini Ramnath (1/5)

Sunny Deol, his bulk concealed beneath shapeless kurtas and dhotis, plays a Brahmin priest facing a crisis of faith in Varanasi in Chandraprakash Dwivedi's Mohalla Assi. Adapted from Kashinath Singh's 2004 novel Kashi Ki Assi, the heavily-delayed production plays out at the Assi Ghat of the title.

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The Times Of India
By Reza Noorani (2/5)

Made around the politically charged topic of Ram Janmabhoomi, 'Mohalla Assi' was delayed for six years before it could be released. But when you see the film, there is literally no reason for that to have happened. But it may have helped the film considering the Ram Temple issue has heated up again and more people will be curious to know just what is in the film.

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The Indian Express
By Shubhra Gupta (1.5/5)

Kashinath Singh's novel Kashi Ka Assi is a wonderfully sharp observation of the people of Assi Mohalla in Banaras. It's also a commentary on the social and political turmoil that India was undergoing during the 80s and 90s, when the Ram Janmabhoomi and Mandal movements were growing and spreading and heading towards their inexorable peaks.

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By Saibal Chatterjee (2/5)

Television and film director Chandraprakash Dwivedi's long-delayed Mohalla Assi brings to the big screen Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singh's Kashi Ka Assi, a no-holds-barred, insightful take on a Varanasi locality seen through the prism of India's political and economic churn in the 1990s. The majorly flawed, exasperatingly uneven film, which has faced more than its share of censorship trouble, springs to life sporadically in the first half and then loses its way irretrievably in the second.

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