Monday, April 13, 2009

A poem on celluloid- Thirakkadha

Yesterday I had watched and reviewed a small but effective malayalam movie named Thalappavu. Today it happened that I was able to watch another movie that was made at the same time and was much similar to Thalappavu, Thirakkadha, directed by Ranjith.

Ranjith is an extraordinarily talented filmmaker and script writer who has made several good movies. He is comparable to RGV. Like RGV he is intelligent but makes many bad movies due to overconfidence. After brilliant Nandanam, he made craps like Prajapathi, Kayyopu, Rock n roll etc. But in this film we can find a director who is quite sure of what he want us to see.

A similarity between Thalappavu and Thirakkadha- other than the presence of Prithvi and the same time of release is the way story is narrated. Makers dont show any respect for time. It just skips from present to past leaping years together some times and it is done without us getting confused or bored.

The movie is about the magic world of celluloid where dreams are made and demolished in a single friday. Story is similar to some major movie stars real life and some characters are much similar in physical appearences too. But it is not mimicry, we dont feel any awkwardness when they do that.

An aspiring director want to make his next movie about the private life of a superstar's first wife. Movie is about how he travels to find out their past life and long buried secrets and how he manages to make their love story end beautifully.

Prithvi and Anoop does a great job. Anoop never let us feel irritated about his imitating Laal. Priyamani's Malavika makes you feel sorry. Samvritha has nothing much to do. This movie does not hit your conscience or make you think deep like Thalappavu. But still it is beautiful like a small pom and worth a watch.

The Great Indian Thamasha 2009

The great indian Carnival is happening all over the nation, the one that happens every five years- Election to Parliment. All political parties are geared up to lure towards them with promises and accusations about opposite parties. Different caste and religious organisations are out with a list of people they will support if their demands are met. Crores will be flown to the arena as black and white to meet the monetary needs of campaigning, coming from our over democratic crorepatis. Even our second biggest Thamasha- Cricket has given its place to Election and immigrated to Africa this year. News channels are out with 24 hour coverage of election news, exit polls and mud slinging happening. Election commision like a head master, is trying to enforce discipline among all those leaders and politicians who behave worse than kindergarten kids.
And we voters- audiences of this carnival gives the final verdict in few days without any notion what will happen afterwards. UPA, NDA, third front or any forth front- who will be our rulers for next five years? Lets wait and see...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thalappavu- where the killer and the victim units

Just now I was watching a Malayalam movie called "Thalappaavu" (The Turban) directed by debutant director Madhupal. From a long while there is nothing worthwhile to watch out for from Malayalam movies. If any one makes a worthy movie it never releases. This was not the case some time back. There were some extremely competent pack of directors with a powerful grip in craft who made every genre of movies with shoestring budgets. Talented actors- be it a hero, heroine, side kick, villain or comedian gets meaty roles that taps their potential. World class movies where made shown around the globe by the likes of Aravindan, Adoor. And now Malayalam movie is in a pathetic state, talented actors like Mohanlal, Mammootty and Jayaram sleepwalking through some excuses named as cinema. Cheap comedies and worthless action films releases every other week and makes no impact. Many directors passed away and many lost their sheen.

In this darkness some sparks happens rarely some where and we, the greedy audiences gulps it down our throats forgiving the film maker of all its faults.

Madhupal's Thalappavu with all its faults and shortcomings is praise worthy due to its seriousness and sincerity. The story starts with the character of Laal, a cop, shooting the character of Prithviraaj a naxalite.The movie shoots some very basic questions at the audience.

If some one is forced to do a crime , does he have to bear the responsibility of it?

When the whole world turns against you, and your whole existence is under threat, do you have the responsibility to keep a vow of silence?

Do you as an individual have any moral responsibility to prevent injustice happening to your fellow men?

The story is based on a real life incident happened some time back when a police constable agreed hat he had to kill a naxalite leader due to pressure from top, and years later his conscience tortured him to tell to the world. Madhupal has captured the pain of the protagonist very sincerely. The narration is also brisk and fast paced. The movie is not sequential, it jumbles the time frame every other scene, and it never makes the audience confused too. Madhupal has shown a good grip in narrative too.

Actors have done reasonably well, Laal steals the show with his extraordinary performance. Prithviraaj looks a bit out of place in costumes and dialogues, but he cannot help it as a heroic character. Side actors has done very well especially Raju...

What makes the movie unique and great is the theme where ultimately the killer and his victim unites to fight for justice...

Tear jerker

I had to visit a friend last week who was admitted in a hospital after a severe road accident.... I knew it will be awful, and it turned out more than that.

I should say we had become very close friends in a short while of time, in course of three months to be precise. He works in the same place where I works. When I joined there he was on a long leave and then he used to come on two wheeler for work. I travels in company cab, so we never used to meet often, just were aware of each others existence.

Then one day when we were returning in the cab he was there, sitting in front of me with another friend, and they were talking about old Hindi songs, which was my weakness too. Slowly I joined the conversation.In the end we had a wonderful time together...

After that three of us used to meet together at a nearby Dhaba, used to have a great time discussing and singing Kishore, Rafi , Mukesh and Yesudas. We became great friends in course of time. He had a great talent of mimicking singers especially Kishore and Yesudas. We were stunned by the quality by which he can sing in Yesudas voice. When we tell Yesudas he starts "Sarade..." an old Kannada song sung by the master singer.

When my mother was there with me he had come a couple of times. We had dinner together, once he brought sweets after coming from an on duty.

All was going fine, when I received a call on a sunday afternoon... ' V had a serious accident just a few moments back... heard it is serious'. He was coming back after doing overtime in company, when a truck hit his bike very badly... truck was overtaking another vehicle and came to the wrong side. He tried to avoid, but couldn't help getting hit on his right thigh. Truck sped away with out stopping. He was rushed to hospital immediatly.

Barring some minor wounds on his arms, nothing had happened any where on his body except on right leg, right thigh bone was crushed to powder, other bones also severely cracked and deformed. Doctors were recommending amputation, but later tried surgery. All bones replaced by steel rods and waiting for a major plastic surgery.

I had went to see him... Due to heavy medication and less food he has gone totally weak. Heavy pain prevents his voice from coming out, and when I saw his leg I was dumb, I didnt knew what to sayall flesh and blood. I just muttered a get well soon and rushed out. Tears were gushing down the eyes... Just wiped them out because his parents were there. Told them my condolences and came out...

Wish I will sit with him soon and he will sing with the same mood and spirit.... " Sarade"....

Devdas for Gen X

I happened to watch Anurag Kashyap's Dev D last week....

Anurag Kashyap is a talented film maker who made gem of a film called Black Friday about Mumbai blasts. His next movie No Smoking were he tried a Kafkaesque approach of story telling didn't went down well with mass audiences and many critics, who accused him of self indulgence. But many celebrities like Rahul Bose has this movie in their personal favorite list.

After the debacle of No Smoking Kashyap decided to make a movie with more commercial elements. He selected remaking Devdas, an age old love story by Sarath Chandra Chatterjee, told and retold many a times by many film makers, the last one being Bhansali, who made it a costume drama with huge sets and period setting. Kashyap has taken Dev from traditional Bengali setting and made him a contemporary Punjabi youth who flirts with Paro on phone and compels her to send him her nude pics.

Paro is more bolder than original and the decision to abandon Dev is taken by herself. But the show stealer is Chanda (Chandramukhi), who allows Dev to share her room and supports him when he slowly drifts towards self destruction by alcoholism and drug addiction. Contemporary Devdas rechristened DevD is stylish takes the aspirations, madness and mental agonies of today's youth.

Kashyap's best contribution is the twist in ending where, Dev who inches slowly towards death by addiction when confronted with sudden death decides to change his fate and returns to life and Chanda, thereby making the film to end in positive note. Kashyap has not allowed his Dev to die, may be he feels todays youth is much more practical in approach than their counterparts 50 years back.

Acting department is too good, Abhay Deol is superb as Dev, Kalki who did Chanda's role is a real talent box, she is too convincing for the role, other supporting cast is also good. Music is excellent and contributes much to story telling. I think Rock music in its true sense has entered Bollywood now with Nayan Tarase, and rock version of Emotional Atthyachaar.

All in all I will recommend Dev D for all who hate Davdas and pity him for being the drunken loser that he is.