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Elektra- malayalam film by Shyamprasad Rajagopal


“Elektra”, a film by Shyamaprasad Rajagopal , had not been released on the big screen because of some technical reasons. From the first frames onwards, as I watched it on Amazon Prime, I kept wishing it had.

The first thoughts that came to mind as the titles rolled on through the slow moving, fleeting images of a tiny puddle of water in a woody glade, the criss-crossing branches overhead, the tips of thin bamboo branches bending over the stream, the patches of brown wet earth around the closely growing trees, a barbed wire across which hung a few sprigs of tender green leaves lit up by the sun and others full of holes and hued with age, was how the element of music can imbue a scene with the emotions chosen for them, to set the mood so to speak.

Alphonse Joseph’s background scores definitely added a sense of sombre foreboding right from the very beginning.

Arrangements were being made for Abraham’s funeral. There is a mystery around his death as there had been, we learn , surrounding the deaths of many, many others in the “Amaram” tharavad, through their years of wealth and associated power. He had just returned from his estate in Jaffna, where he was rumoured to have a parallel life of love and lust, knowledge of which left his wife Diana cold and unresponsive to his intimacy on those occasions he chose to return to her. It also left her longing for love and a not so veiled anger towards her daughter Elektra, who adored her father and seemed to sponge away whatever tenderness he carried with him when he was with them. Diana’s resentment to both is accentuated by her strong feeling that they had been in complicity in sending away her son to Jaffna to be with Abraham. The son’s attachment to his mother, had been her sole rudder and with his going away, she felt closed in and drifting at the same time, hopeless and filled with longing to find an anchor in the swirling currents of despair.
That Diana finds release from the darkness of her existence in that huge sprawling house, which seemed to carry shadows of the inglorious deeds of its past occupants, in a secret affair with a cousin of Abraham, who had been kicked out of the family , creates further fury in Elektra’s mind, already seething with jealousy in having to share her father’s affections for her, with her mother.
The scenes go back and forth giving peeks into the disturbed mental frames of the mother and the daughter and for much of the time, the viewer is actually left guessing as to what is the truth of what they say and what is a figment of their illusions. Did Diana kill her husband towards fulfilling her aching desire for freedom and love? Did Elektra cause her father to have a heart attack by revealing the details of her mother’s extra-marital attachment?
Later , even when Abraham is interred, the complexities of the family he leaves behind, find even more bleak outpourings in words and acts. Elektra convinces her brother, who has returned from Jaffna , about his mother’s amorous trysts and about her suspicions of their father’s murder by Diana, by administering sleeping pills instead of his medicine for his heart problem. The scenes of that night are explicitly shown , but the audience is still not sure. Which of the versions is the truth? Did he die naturally of the agitation caused when Diana determinedly told him about her affair? Did she indeed hasten his death by giving the wrong medication?

The Amaram household , in spite of its grandeur, is covered in all shades of grey and black with very little light pouring in. The tones and filters used in filming the scenes ensures that the desolateness of the minds of its inhabitants seeps into you without respite. Demons lurk in all their minds.The daughter’s confused love for her father  sets her mother in her perturbed psyche, as th enemy. Her attempts at winning over his confidence in her the story about their mother’s misdeeds, their complicity in the murder of her paramour, Diana’s suicide thereafter, the son’s complicated attachment for his mother which then finds its way through incestuous hints towards his sister in perhaps a kind of transference, his tragic death …everything that follows adds darker and darker shades to the story .

You feel tense and sad with the awareness of the darkness that can take hold of human hearts in their longing for love, and their distorted perceptions of reality . You wonder about the extent of suffering each such individual goes through in the process and despair that their existences carry no chances of redemption , at least in the cases of those whose journey ends in the middle of those stretches of darkness.

There was another film by Ingmar Burgman I had watched long ago, about which i had written in an earlier blog.

https://nadirafromkannur.wordpress.com/tag/through-the-glass-darkly/

I went back to that blog after watching the film, to the conversation between the father and son towards the end of the film. That gave me some relief.

Shyamaprasad’s films always touches upon all kinds of shades of human psychology and the myriad complexities of relationships. I have found almost all of them very, very interesting, urging one to reflect and review our roles of the judge.

Nayantara as Elektra and Mainsha Koirala as Diana, were superb.

Biju Menon’s character as the police officer , who is also close to the family, did not leave any imprint , but raised a lot of unexplained doubts .

Who was the caller who told him about Abraham’s death being a murder early that morning? It couldn’t have been Elektra because she didn’t seem to have left the house that night or early in the morning after her father died. And she needn’t have gone out to telephone . She could have called him from the landline in the house. If it was Diana’s lover, why ? What did he stand to gain ?

The poor chap, the officer, who does nothing that he should have done to check on the suspicion of murder, wasn’t even given enough scope to dwell on his secret affections for Elektra or may be the Director decided to go slow on that aspect lest the spectator gets swamped.

And of course it is such a pleasure to take note of my friend Sakhi Elsa’s costume designing for the film. Loved them all.

The film has English subtitles.

And now i am waiting for Shyamaprasad’s next film based on the book of Anees Salim,”A small Town Sea”

I have already read the novel , but keenly waiting to watch the story unfold on the screen with the favourite Director’s stamp on it.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2019 in Movies

 

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Aligarh-hindi movie by Hansal Mehta


I’m glad I went to see  the hindi film “Aligarh” this afternoon. I almost missed it . My daughter had booked my ticket online , but at the counter I was told that it had been booked for yesterday . I rechecked the message delivered on the mobile and realised that it was sadly true. Fortunately, lots of tickets were still available for the current show and so apart from the money  she lost, all was well.

 

One vaguely remembered reading about the newspaper reports that spoke of a professor of  Aligarh Muslim University, in North India ,  being caught on video in a compromising position with a young rikshaw-puller  and his subsequent suspension from his post , at a time when a High Court had revoked Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code  which made homosexuality a criminal offence.  Some journalists had broken in into his house, barged into his bedroom and filmed them. Almost immediately, four of the faculty members had turned up at the place and from that point onwards, life had become a nightmare beset with persecution and humiliation for the sixty four year old professor who had spent over two decades , teaching Marathi in that University.  Two days after the petition filed by him in the High Court was decided in his favour for revoking his suspension , he was found dead  in his rented house. The post-mortem  had revealed that there were traces of poison in his blood.

professor siras

 

Hansal Mehta’s cinematic version of this true-life incident is remarkably well executed.  Manoj Bajpai ,  enacting the role of Professor Srinivas Ramachandra Siras is superb. As the soft-spoken, unobtrusive, almost nondescript professor whose lonely evenings were spent with a glass of spirits and old hindi songs of Lata Mangeshkar,  his portrayal etched the character indelibly in the viewer’s mind, I felt.

 

Raj Kumar Rao, in the role of the young  Delhi based journalist  Deepu Sebastian Edmond, then working with the newspaper Indian Express, who had followed this case along with his photographer colleague Tashi Tobgyal, is also very impressive.

deepu sebastian.jpg

 

It was Deepu  who had  highlighted the culpability of the persons who had intruded upon the right of an individual to his  privacy and against whom no action had been taken.  In actuality, Deepu and Professor Siras, had never met and there had been only one conversation on the phone after the judgement was delivered. In the film,  they are shown to have met several times and the mutual understanding , respect and affections that developed between them have been very   touchingly depicted.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JezwsQKpXuU

 

“I don’t like the word gay”, the professor objects in the film.” To me it is like poetry, an indescribable urge”

And how can that be a crime if that relationship is  between two consenting individuals , if it doesn’t  impose or intervene or disrupt another’s space or rights or well-being?  That it is  unnatural , is the reason provided by  almost all religions and the law. How can an individual help the way he feels about love or it’s expression if that is how his nature is ? Isn’t Nature itself a testimony to the fact that homogenity is against the very nature of Nature itself , with it’s myriad forms, colours, contours , climates, niches and nurturing ,  food cycles and courtship and reproduction.

 

In this age of taking sides , of information and counter-information and misinformation,  of strident voices dominating  every aspect of human existence , of confusions and helplessness, how does one sift through the incoherence and arrive at any conclusion? How does one know for sure that what one is standing up for is indeed the Truth in the shifting sands of morality , patriotism, religious beliefs, definitions of propriety, social norms, traditions , culture   and so on?

The truth is perhaps that one may never know . May be the only way we can justify our perceptions is by gauging the truth of  our own feelings . For me, the touchstone would be whether  my alignments are motivated by love or animosity for my fellow human beings. Which side I am on is not perhaps of  any significance .

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Community, Movies, Uncategorized

 

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“Human”-film by Yann Arthus Bertrand


The film opens with a remarkable aerial view of a line of ant-like figures moving slowly along an incline in a desert, the men and beasts casting shadows that bears no semblance to their shapes or sizes. “Human”, a documentary by Yann-Arthus Bertrand, has many such breath-taking frames. Not surprisingly perhaps, as he is reportedly one of the best in the field of aerial photography. But “Human’ is not about that. It is a peek into one’s own soul, the myriad emotions that have been in play since the beginning of time as we know it, that have driven and depressed us, tweaked our heart-strings and made it sing, flung us into fires and kept us in fetters, darkened our desires , made us love and hate , made us scared and insecure, strong and resilient, weak and vulnerable , ripped us asunder with guilt and made whole again with love. In short, it is precisely about what the title says ; it is about what it means to be human.

The canvas is stretched across continents and the painting encompasses all colours and contours of the human race. Faces that beckon you compellingly to look at them , their eyes staring unblinkingly at you from the screen in silent monologues and faces that speak to you making you revel at times in the uniqueness of being alive and the vastness of our potential for goodness and joy and at other times squirm at the degree of defilement that we are capable of.

What brought me to this film was an excerpt posted on the Facebook wall of one of my friends. It was an interview of Jose Mujica, President of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015. This is what he said, “ I am Jose Mujica. I worked in the fields as a farmer to make a living in the first part of my life. Then I dedicated myself to the struggle for change, to improve life in my society and now I am the President and tomorrow , like everyone else, I’ll be just a pile of worms and disappear.” He goes on to tell us what his churnings in life, ten years of which had been spent in solitary confinement (seven years without reading a single book) had led him to conclude. “ This is what I discovered”, he says, “Either you are happy with very little, free of all that extra luggage because you have happiness inside or you don’t get anywhere……we have invented a mountain of superfluous needs, shopping for new, discarding the old. That’s a waste of our lives. When you buy something you’re not paying money for it, you’re paying with the hours of life you had to spend earning that money. The difference is that life is the one thing that money can’t buy”. This and everything else he said made so much sense to me that I just had to find out more about the film from which this excerpt was taken.

I was pleasantly surprised to find all three volumes of this documentary, each stretching on for over an hour, was available for public viewing on the You Tube. And reading more about this film here: http://www.human-themovie.org/#home
only made me more impressed about this project.

As those interviewed speak, looking into the camera and so straight at us, sharing their experiences about love, loss, death, poverty, war, guilt and redemption , as they pause to control their emotions and check their tears, as they grow silent with the weight of the feelings that overwhelm them , as their eyes light up with joy and the calm of wisdom gained through trauma and tribulations tone their words with gentleness, we experience all of it too…. the proximity that is generated is such.

When Leonard from U.S.A talks about how he finally understood what love means from the woman who was the mother and grandmother of the woman and child he had killed, the tears that start streaming down his cheeks haunt you for a very long time.
When Sylver from Ruanda rakes up his tormented memories of his family members being hacked to death with a matchette, the shudder that runs through your spine doesn’t ease your guilt.
When Crepin from the Central African Republic tells us that he took to arms to avenge his brother’s death and that killing now gives him a sense of calm, you shudder again.
Zoher from Israel , “ One evening, while in the reserves, my unit had to stop a suicide attack by capturing a terrorist in a village near Nablus. I deployed our forces. To flush him out, we shot at the walls as a demonstration of our strength. A woman came out of the house carrying a girl and holding another by the hand. It was 3 A.M. The girl panicked and ran towards us. I was afrais she would blow herself up. I yelled at her in Arabic to stop. She kept on coming. I fired above her head. She stopped. At that moment time stood still. It was the shortest and longest moment of my life. The girl remained alive. So did I. At the same time, something died in us both. When a child is shot at, it kills something inside. I don’t know what. When an adult shoots at a child, it kills something inside. Something dies and something else has to come to life. I was ashamed of shooting at her. A painful shame. And above all this sensation of my finger pressing the trigger and shooting at the girl..from this finger pressing the trigger something had to come to life” and he turns his head away from the camera saying a lot with what he left unsaid.

These are not scripted conversations..they are raw and unrehearsed …naked slices of truth cut out from real experiences . Everything that may have seemed distant and disconnected is brought uncomfortably close to confront and unsettle you . You can no longer delineate yourselves from the other. You become the other and for a short time at least, you are forced to look beyond the shadows and focus your vision on the reality of human existence plodding through the sands of time.

Please watch and share.

Here’s a link of the trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-Retnj3TsA

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2015 in Movies

 

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The fabric of our reality is extremely fragile


I remain pretty indolent on days when my grandson is not around . I love his chatter , but the quiet is not entirely unwelcome either.

I walk around the house, staring long out of doors and windows, have tete-a-tetes with my plants and long distance communions with the trees in the neighbourhood, listen to sounds of everyday life that get carried in from the next door houses, do some cleaning and no cooking, making do with left-overs in the fridge or fruits etc. I spend lots of time surfing the internet and some reading.

Sometimes, I go back to read or listen to links that I’d earlier shared on Facebook which had held my attention. This interview of Richard Gere was one of those.

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365567973/

In his new film “Time out of mind” , Richard Gere plays the role of a homeless man in New York City.

In the interview, he talks about the very first shot of the film , in which he hangs around at a corner, in character,near the Cube in Astor Place, New York City, with the cameras placed at a distance for almost forty five minutes. None , who walked by in that busy section , paid any attention, he says.

And this is Richard Gere!

Very few cues worked towards that judgement of the people who passed by, of him being not worthy of a second glance , he observed.

May be it was the dishevelled clothes, the indistinctive hair-cut or may the body-language of a homeless guy, which Richard Gere being such a wonderful actor would surely have carried off to perfection.

“Nobody can imagine being homeless”, the interviewer remarks.

This was Gere’s reply, “No, you can. I think that’s really it. People sub-consciously know how close they are to having all of it taken away. I don’t think anyone is that secure, especially in these times. They lose their jobs..the violence..”

“Do you feel that…that it could be that close?’

“I feel that mentally I could go and I could feel that, playing this guy in the street. I could feel how easy it would be to lose integration, that mentally I could come apart, physically, spiritually…..
The fabric of our reality is extremely fragile….in all ways”.

From the kitchen door, I can watch a building being constructed in a plot near by. The basic structure is being put into shape . The labourers are seen busy building up the walls of the third level, laying brick by brick, throughout the day and the sun is pretty hot at this time of the day.

I think guilt is gnawing at me for having the comforts I have , of knowing peace and tranquillity in a nice house, having all the time in the world to put to use as my mood beckons, although I keep trying to convince myself that may be I deserve it .

But why I went back to watching that interview again was because of that one line uttered by that actor I hugely adore kept coming back….
“The fabric of our reality is extremely fragile …in all ways.”

This is a clip from the movie.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Movies, Reflections

 

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Manjhi, the Mountain Man-hindi film


The_Man

“Much Madness is divinest Sense –
To a discerning Eye –
Much Sense – the starkest Madness –
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail –
Assent – and you are sane –
Demur – you’re straightway dangerous –
And handled with a Chain ”

Nobody could have portrayed the madness of Dasarath Manjhi better than Nawazuddin Siddiqui. That’s what one felt as the film directed by Ketan Mehta ended.

To single-handedly break through a mountain with only a hammer and a long chisel and flatten it out to carve a 360 feet long road to remove the impasse that the villagers in Gehlour (near Gaya, Bihar) countered and to do it through a kind of insane obsession urged by the love he had for his wife who met with an accident while trying to manouvre herself through a narrow gap between the rocks , while carrying food and water to her husband working on the other side of the mountain… all that seems to be the kind of stuff myths are made up of. But this Alpha male was for real!!

He had laboured on for 22 long years and had died at the age of 73, his entire youth and energy having been dedicated to the road , now named after him. Nothing much has actually changed in that hamlet despite Manjhi’s story having found it’s way to mainstream media and in spite of it having caught the attention of the Government. The moosahari (so called because they ate rats) tribe stands somewhere quite low in the social heirarchy in Bihar and what is shown to have been meted out to them for generations cannot be too much of an exaggerated depiction. Reports say that there is a hospital there now on the land that was donated to Manjhi by the government. But the family of Dasarath Manjhi and his community is still in indigent conditions. And that is a shame!!

The film is powerful, the camera catching the terrain in all it’s formidability and it may yet be the best tribute to Manjhi’s spirit.

In the film, the character playing the journalist Alok Jha , who was responsible for breaking Manjhi’s story to the world outside Gehlour, asks Manjhi about what he felt after having achieved his goal . Manjhi replies that one should not always depend on something being done by God, for who knows God may be depending on you to do that something.

For sure Manjhi left no stone unturned.

Watch the film .

Watch this documentary to catch a glimpse of the real Manjhi

 
 

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“Ivide”- a film by Director Shyamaprasad Rajagopal


My son had done the online booking for me, so there was no need to rush. Leisurley gardening  in the morning , leisurely  lunch  at noon  which I hadn’t cooked and leisurely lolling around listening to some old hindi songs later, I realised I had just about half  an hour to get to the Multiplex  and be seated and ready to watch “Ivide”, the latest film by Shyamaprasad  who is my favourite malyalam movie director.

So I didn’t get to wear  the intended  sari, a habit I’m almost losing touch with after leaving my job, as the underskirt had no string and there was no time to pull out one from another and string it through this one using a safety pin .Nor was there time to iron a pair of salwar-kameez …so I just got into one which didn’t need ironing , snatched a duppatta, which, once out of the house ,  I realised was a dark navy blue one instead of  the black , which was to match my salwar. But I really didn’t care as my spirits were high as is always the case with a Shyamaprasad film.

The skies were sombre and trees along the road were trembling and shedding their leaves….the ambience provided by the weather was a perfect prelude  for the crime thriller that “Ivide” was reported to be.

And I’m a die-hard crime-thriller fan.  I love watching TV serials which involve crime investigation, current addictions being “Monk” and “ Mentalist” on Star World.

I love watching them for the reason that the better scripted ones  exposes us to the darker shades lurking inside people  who are perceived most of the time as normal and harmless  . When the story unfolds  in ways that allows for a peek into the mental state of the crime-doer and his  or her  circumstances , or the reason for the crime ,  one does wonder  if we can be so damn sure that we would have behaved differently if we were in his or her shoes.

I’m not so sure that viewers who will go to see this film because it has been labelled a crime thriller , will be entirely satisfied.But  a fan like me  who would have gone to see it with or without any tags, because of past experiences of watching this Director’s  films , will not be disappointed.

The story, scripted by Ajayan Venugopal, who had also done the scripting for Shyamaprasad’s earlier film “English”, is set in Atlanta  and revolves around three main characters. Varun Blake, a police officer played by Prithviraj;  Krish Hebbal (played by Nivin Pauly), a self- made IT professional who has helped build up the company he works for  during the eight year span since his arrival in America as a software programmer and is  an aspirant for the position of CEO, which he thinks he deserves ,  and  Varun’s ex-wife ,Roshni Mathews, who has newly joined Krish’s firm enacted by Bhavna.  It also turned out that Krish and  were old schoolmates.

There are quite a few undercurrents  to the story which moves forward even as Varun tries to investigate the murder of another  IT guy whose relevance to the story is that he is an Indian immigrant in the land of dreams.  Varun’s broken relationship with Roshni  whom he still loves, his discomfort at the growing closeness between her and Krish, the manipulative tendencies winning over Krish’s integrity when he sees his future  being threatened  and Roshni’s  anguish when this aspect of his personality  becomes apparent  all play out during the course of the film.

This surely is the most well emoted role by  Prithviraj. He has slipped into the role of  the young man with his personal demons,  who as  a six year old orphan in India  had been  adopted by an American couple and who  grew up in that country , with the same  ease with which he carries off the body language and  diction  of a police officer adept in his job. One was left wondering at the cause of his explosive anger, which estranged his wife and left him to maintain  a physical distance away from her after the divorce came through , because of a restraining order , till it was explained in an exchange he had with his adoptive mother , some time after the interval. One may hold a view that his contained animosity towards his adoptive parents   may have been a matter of his perception and hence not justified. In fact, there is a hint that he himself may have questioned the validity of his angst , when the background narrative in his own voice, which acts as a thread to the story right from the beginning, wonders where in life he would have been , had they pointed to another child in the orphanage as their choice .

How many of us wonder about the pyschological confusions that such adoptions may possibly generate when a poor / orphaned  dark-skinned child has to grow up in a white-skinned dominated society  ?  How much do those societies  reflect on it?  I wouldn’t know , but the reverse is hardly the case , isn’t it….a white skinned foreigner being adopted and growing up in India? Would we have made it easier for them?

And what about the mindset of those who look upon the society they migrate to  as inferior  in morals or cultural values  and deserving of disdain as individuals , even as they partake of the opportunities of that land  to further their prospects in life?

And yet, in such and all other cases of human interactions, we do hold on to grudges , sometimes merely on the premise of our perceptions, don’t we?

Nivin Pauly’s role as the upwardly mobile IT immigrant from South India  ( the fact that his virtual conversations with his mother was always in  malayalam  from his side , while she spoke in Kannada, was slightly incongruent  or may be I missed the explanation) was performed well enough, but definitley did not match Prithviraj’s prowess. I guess youngsters sailing towards greener pastures that they perceive the developed world to be, can relate to the uncertainties that plagued a career like his , once they start trying to and succeed in getting a foothold there.

Scratch any scar of tension between two communities anywhere in the world and  at any time in history  and one will perhaps find the fear of being overpowered and being  left bereft , in either or both.  It is the same fear, which many a time plays out into reality,  that feeds the underlying and often overtly expressed animosity between an immigrant community  and the local  population. Why Indians fear the Bangladeshi  influx or why  the UP  “bhaiyyas” are resented in Maharashtra  or why the Bihari  and Bengali labourers are not open-heartedly welcomed in Keral a or elsewhere isn’t really different from why an American who has returned from the warfield in Iraq  is likely to feel when he finds that the job he takes up after returning to his civilian life in his homeland is lost because of outsourcing, is it?

These nuances of human relationships  are the forte of Shyamaprasad’s films  and “ivide” does  full justice to that genre.

The background score  was excellently merged into the scenes, softly and unobtrusively. I liked the two songs too.

Loved the way the camera took us along.

I also liked the way the film ended. Have always suspected the veracity of the quote ascribed to Buddha though , notwithstanding the fact that tis a beautiful one, “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Movies

 

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“Artist”-a malayalam film by Shyamprasad Rajagopal


“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it. Remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “Its not where you take things from, its where you take them to” – Jim Jarmusch”

This was the status update that Shyamaprasad Rajagopal, well known Malayalam film director put up some months ago on his Facebook page. And most certainly, he is one of those who celebrates that “thievery” with a great deal of authenticity. Most of his films take off from works of literature and he has always acknowledges the fact with a great deal of comfort that I guess comes from the confidence that he can present it convincingly in his own style. His latest film , “Artist” too, is based on the book “Dreams in Prussian Blue “ by Paritosh Uttam. .

Creative people do indeed spark off a strange chemistry in others who appreciate the finer things of life. There is a certain awe that they inspire because they are able to evoke something in us that allows us to rise above the mundane , even if fleetingly. There is something remarkable about sentences strung together that help you forget the dreariness of one’s own routine and help you get into the skins of other people and places. There is something magical about the way composers can translate your emotions with accentuated emphasis , into melodies and about singers who can make you feel that their voices come straight from the chords of your own heart. Strokes of the paintbrush across the canvas depicting varied aspects of our lives, both external and internal, makes the artist too a charismatic person. Somewhere , somehow, we begin to believe that our lives would be richer, our existences would be more interesting, our personalities and our emotions would be better understood by such differently endowed people, that their sensibilities and empathy would be greater than the “normal” man or woman , you meet on the street.

People do talk of and assess art and writing and the individuals who create them in “objective” terms. May be that IS the right and sensible approach. And yet…and yet…..and yet….I’ve never admired Picasso. “Geurnica” doesn’t move me , not since I read about his life and the self-centred way he dispensed with the relationships in his life. Does genius absolve a person with skewed sensibilities? Can abstract ideas put forward by someone still move you, when you come to know that there is a dichotomy in the way that person has lived his life and the philosophy he professed. It doesn’t work for me .

“Artist” is a very sensitively made film. All of Shyam Sir’s films explore the light and shadows of relationships. His canvasses never depict images only in black or white , but are always splashed with all the hues in between. That “authenticity “ which he quoted is clearly evident in all of his characters. They are never “larger than life”. They come to you with all their flaws and weaknesses and their vulnerabilities and endearing qualities , so that you can decide whether you can relate to them or not , like them or not.

I did not like Fahad Faasil’s character in this film.( Oh how it breaks my heart to say this) and yet, if I was really, really honest, I would have been just the kind of young girl at seventeen or eighteen that Anne Augustine was in the film , playing the character Gayatri and I would have gladly perhaps been bewitched by Michael, the crazy,handsome, utterly confident artist . Rebels who dare to break away from the beaten track are strangely exciting , one must admit. Even their self centredness appeals to your senses. One is made to feel that it is the self -awareness of their potential that makes them shy away from false modesty and indeed that if they did not indulge in self appreciation, then that would be dishonesty. But then may be it is just as well that one doesn’t have to live with them, not the Michael kinds.

Fahad is an excellent actor. One has to say that again and again. I had watched some of his interviews. The guy admits very humbly many times that he trusts his directors implicitly and just goes about doing what he is asked to do. That may be so…and Shyamaprasad Sir has taken care not to let the scenes become melodramatic or garrulous; but it takes a really good actor too to understand what the director intends to convey and how to convey it, to internalize the emotions involved in the situation being captured on the screen and carry the spectator along with it. Fahad does it beautifully and most remarkably in the scenes immediately after his accident when he is slipping into total darkness. The stillness on his face spoke volumes. He carries off the negative shades with such aplomb and make the characters come alive…you know they are real…22 female kottayam, chaappa kurishu, anju sundarikal…loved all those roles. I can’t put my finger on how he does it…but those glimpses that he allows into the tender, lovable part of all those characters keeps the female hearts palpitating , I guess

And there was this scene , where one teeny-weeny teardrop, peeps out from under the closed eyelids of Michael, as he lies down in complete stillness on the hospital bed. My heart missed many beats there.

Ann Augustine too is very promising. In the opening scene , when she is waiting for Michael in the cafeteria , for the meeting she had arranged for him with the curator of the Arts Museum, her impatience and nervousness did appear a trifle too overt. I still can’t get used to verbalizations of ones’ thoughts on the screen and when she mutters to herself quite loudly, Michael..pick up the phone and the way she kept fidgeting …I thought …oh no!! But I was wrong. She went on improving on herself. Not many actors can cry convincingly on screen. Ann Augustine can do that just as heartwarmingly as she can smile. Her helplessness , torn as she is between he love and admiration for Michael and the growing realization that she and her dreams would always have to play second fiddle , the frustration that she occasionally allows herself to reveal, all are well emoted.
I was awfully glad that Gayatri could walk away , her head high on her shoulders and with calm acceptance of the fact that some relationships do run out their course and that even the deepest and strongest of them are better given up when they become debilitating nightmares instead of being the dream that was supposed to be dreamt and lived together. Success may have knocked on Michael’s door of blindness , with splashes of Prussian blue.. One tiny part of you feels happy for him , but the empathy disappears when he answers the only question he agrees to respond to. Why Prussian blue? , asks a reporter at the exhibition held of the paintings he had done after he became blind.”Because, it is the colour of betrayal and that is what you see all around you” , says he.
The way Michael and Gayatri’s friend, Abhi gradually transforms his character from an apparently trustworthy ,well-meaning guy to an almost cruel manipulator as the circumstances change, rubs in the fact that the potential for treachery and betrayal is there in all of us and that there all kinds of betrayal. You come out of theatre asking yourself….who betrayed who ? Are dreams the monopoly of a chosen few? Do dreams have to have the same textures and hues? Can one dream be allowed to accord itself higher priority because its fulfillment will have greater visibility and greater reach? Isn’t happiness the right of every human being? Can a person’s selfishness be justified on the basis of his or her talent? What is the purpose of art? Is all art and are all artists worthy of admiration just because it is art and they are artists?
The background scores were really nice too and were not patchworked on to the scenes and the two songs were quite melodious .
I was so glad to see my friend Sakhi Elsa on the screen in that concluding scene. She is the one who has done the costume designing for the film. Costumes shouldn’t intrude on the scene. Unfortunately, in our films, instances where the colours and designs of the dresses impinge quite disadvantageously, are galore. Elsa’s dresses mould itself into the scenes and sits on the characters with unobtrusive comfort.
A film you can spend your money on . Watch it.

artist

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2013 in Movies

 

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Celluloid- a tribute to the pioneer of malayalam cinema


Watching the malayalam film ”Celluloid” directed by Kamal , was somewhat like repaying a long outstanding debt , one which I wasn’t aware I owed. It’s most certainly one which every malayalam movie lover must watch, both for a peep into the beginnings of malayalam cinema , as well as for the finesse with which that phase has been depicted in the film. I regret the fact that I couldn’t see this film on the big screen when it was released and have had to depend on a rented DVD to catch it.

I was shamefully ignorant of the name of j.C. Daniel and of his relevance to the film industry as ,I’m sure, must’ve been the case with many others, till I heard of “Celluloid” . Now that I’ve seen it, the sense of remorse is overwhelming.

j.c.daniel

Back in those days , when the film making in India, was beginning to take a foothold in Bombay, Madras and Calcutta, it was J.C.Daniel who got bit by the bug of film-making in the Taluk of Agasteeswaram of the then Travancore Principality. Independence from the British rule was still a long way off and the fences of casteism were deeply grounded in Kerala’s social scenario. Acting was not a profession espoused by women and Daniel’s dilemma of finding a suitable heroine for his film , “Vigathakumaran” (The lost child) , which he embarked upon after selling off most of his landed property, could be resolved only when a dalit girl, Rosamma, agreed to play the role. Her family had just recently converted to Chrisitianity and they had their hut in a corner of a feudal landlord’s holdings. Her father had worked as a cook for the priest of the local church and she and her mother worked in the fields from morn till dusk. The beautiful landscape has been beautifully captured.

“Celluloid” is a period film and Kamal has been able to recreate the ambience of the 1920s for the present day audience. The eagerness of the nascent film-maker , Daniel, , who is the producer, director and the male lead of his film, as he goes about arranging for the funds, procuring the equipment, setting up the studio and getting together a crew , is palpable and infectious. One realizes how much more courage, hope, determination and imagination goes into any kind of pioneering work and how much more the costs of failure impinges on one’s life , when everything one had was invested into the attempts to fulfill a dream .

Daniel’s film, the first motion picture made in malayalam (well not in malayalam , really, as sound had not then yet been introduced ), was doomed from the beginning , not because of any flaw that could’ve been ascribed to any of the aspects of the film itself, but because some upper caste representatives of society deemed it blasphemous that the heroine was from a lower caste. Daniel is forced to sell off his house and remaining property and leave for Madras with his family, where he manages to pick up his life and even prosper as a dentist. That is, till the bug bites him again and he plunges himself into a disastrous second attempt at making a film. From there on, it was a steady downslide, left alone to linger slowly into old-age and blindness , with just his wife , who continued to be his support , despite all the adversities and traumas that had plagued them.

Daniel’s story would’ve been left undiscovered had it not been for the tenacious diligence with which a film journalist tracked him down and traced out the story from the conversations he had with Janet, Daniel’s wife and later engaged in with Daniel with a lot of initial resigned reluctance from the latter’s side . Chelangat Gopalakrishnan’s role (played by Srinivasan) @ in restoring Daniel’s rightful place as the path-breaker of malayalam cinema is indeed praiseworthy as is Kamal’s effort through “Celluloid”.

The film is beautifully made. Prithviraj as C.J. Daniel and Mamta Mohandas as his wife, Janet, have done remarkably well. Even the songs were in tune with the music of those times . The make-up , particularly in the matter of Daniel’s and Janet’s aging countenances , is subtly executed and doesn’t stick out , except for the aberration l of Janet’s smooth hands, which did not show the same ravages of time that was depicted on her face and hair. If that’s nit-picking , well, these are the small nuances that either dilute or enhance otherwise perfectly made movies.

I’d say that the proof of a well-made film is that the emotions of the audience run parallel and yet in the same groove as that of the characters in it and this “Celluloid” did achieve as far as I was concerned. One felt the same impatience and frustration at the snootiness of the Bombay heroine whom Daniel had initially chosen for his film, as he himself is shown to have experienced. The sense of elation after the filming of the first scene and the rush of pride and contained thrill when he looks at the first ribbon of celluloid with the visible fruits of his maiden efforts could be instantly transferred. When Rosy , the lower caste heroine is found squatting in a corner of the verandah outside, having her humble gruel from a small carrier, instead of joining the others at the dining table, one feels a twinge of that collective guilt. It was heart-rending to watch Rosy being pushed aside on the screening day, because the dignitaries, so to speak were scandalized to learn that they would have to watch the film in her vicinity. Chandni, who performed the role of Rosamma(Rosy) in the film, does steal our empathies and when she gulps down her emotions , standing outside the theatre , hearing her name being announced , but unable to watch herself on screen, one begins to choke as well. And one was ripped by anguish when she had to flee away from the hostile group who had burned down the hut they lived in and was bent on killing her. As a viewer , one felt horrified too at the kind of exclusiveness that had marred the social fabric of those days ..

p.k.rosy

There are many such touching moments in the movie, like when Daniel places some money in the hands of the projector operator, as a token of his happiness, just before the film starts rolling and the abject look on Rosy’s face when she is told that all her scenes had been completed. One could gauge her sense of loss , not just because the joy of acting had come to an end, but also for the fact that during the brief spell when she enacted the life of an upper caste heroine , the reality of her real life drudgery had been sublimated. One’s heart was heavy too, as she slowly removed the jewellery that she had been wearing for the role and the make-up artist smeared oil on her face to remove the pancake that had transformed her dark-skinned complexion to match that of the role she was playing .

Daniel’s story is also that of the not so common marriage in which a spouse totally shared the dreams of the partner, even when the outcome was shrouded in uncertainity and of unconditional moral support even when those dreams hit the dust. Often the loneliness brought about by failure is accentuated when the one closest to you becomes your most vociferous critic. At least he was fortunate that way.

j.c.daniel old

Malayalam cinema indeed owed this tribute to J.C.Daniel.
This post is my tribute to Kamal who went about doing it with this beautiful film on our behalf. I’d even say that if “cinema Paradiso” earned international acclaim, why this film surely deserves it no less.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Movies

 

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The Color of Paradise-a film by Majid Majidi


Sometimes when you are afflicted, the doc will ask you to run through a few tests, he’ll ask for your blood sample , have the slides analysed under a microscope and then tell you that you’re suffering from typhoid or pneumonia or whatever. He would’ve tracked down the virus or the bacteria , but he’ll never be able to tell you when and where exactly you got it from. All you can arrive at , while attempting to do that yourself , is a probable guess.

That’s pretty much the scenario when I try to pin down my addiction for movies . The conclusion is only an intuitive guess. I think I contracted the germ while sitting on the bench in the school hall waiting for the projector to start crackling. The hall , for the rest of the time were partitioned by wooden screens into different classrooms. Their removal would kickstart the excitement. We would help in arranging benches in close rows so that all of us could be accommodated. Some days we got prior notice, but at times the announcement would come unexpectedly and you can imagine the ensuing chatter and ruckus.

Mostly , they were documentaries. I remember films where tractors and acres of golden brown wheat figured a lot. I wonder where Mother Gabrielle, our Principal managed to procure them from. Probably a visiting relative from abroad. I don’t remember any follow-up discussion or explanation ever being given to us by the teachers on what we were shown. But it was such a welcome distraction from the normal routine.

And sometimes we were shown films ….real films with stories…”Do aanken baarah haath “, I remember and “Sohrab and Rustum”, though of that I don’t remember much.

As I said, I think I picked up the infection from there. But it’s one I wouldn’t want to be cured of. “The Colour of Paradise”, originally named “Khuda ke rang” , which I just watched ,sort of underlines that resolution.

The story of this film by Majid Majidi of Iran, revolves around a blind boy, Mohammed, whose sensitivity is so sharpened that he seems to in synch with all of nature . At the beginning of the film, he and the other children of the residential blind school, are getting ready to be picked up by their parents for the three month long Summer break. He is picking up all kinds of knick-knacks from below his bed..”Souvenirs” he corrects his teacher when the latter refers to them as junk. They are little gifts he has kept ready for his dear ones back home. All the kids leave one by one , but he is still sitting there on the cement bench , near the gate, waiting for his dad. He listens to the sounds from amongst the trees, recognizes the helpless cry of a little bird who had fallen from its nest and walks with tentative steps to locate it amidst the scattered leaves below the trees, shooing away an approaching cat and climbing all the way up the tree to restore it safely in its nest with its sibling. That is how we are introduced to this gentle lad .

His father arrives and his countenance speaks of a nature that is at total variance with that of his blind son. He seems weighed down by life , frustrated, angry, helpless and he would rather have the child continue staying there in the school than have him back at home. But he is compelled to take him away.

We weren’t familiar with Iran and Iraq, when in school. But we knew of Persia and Mesopotamia, from our history lessons about King Alexander and so on. In my mind then , these were deserts with a dreary terrain. I wonder why , but the image has stuck with me . It was such a wonderful surprise therefore, when this film suddenly burst upon my senses with the scenes of the forest, which the father and son traverse to reach their little village, and the beautiful landscape all around it….with rolling green meadows and stretches and stretches of flowers of all colours and quaint little houses with mud walls . The children looked so cherubic .His sisters looked like little angels and the three were so happy to be together again. They had lost their mother, which is when the father must have started feeling burdened. It’s their grandmother who takes cares of the kids…a gentle old lady with such a beatific smile on her wrinkled face. The affection is palpable . It comes out from the screen to envelope you in a warm embrace. The old lady’s hands are darkened from working in the fields and calloused..but the boy asks her…”how come your hands are so white and beautiful” ? and we realize that he can see through his blindness in a way we can never see with our “seeing” eyes.

The father is all tensed up. He is all set to get married again but dare not disclose the fact that he has a blind son. “They will be at her service” , he says of his two daughters , when he visits the girls’ parents to ask for her hand. They regard him a good match . They want someone dependable this time as her earlier engagement had not worked out. Back home , he talks of sending Mohammed away as an apprentice to a carpenter who is himself blind but is well established in his trade now. The grandmother is upset . She accuses her son of being concerned about himself rather than his blind son. He eventually carries out his plan .

There with the blind carpenter, the boy breaks down..”My teacher told me that God loved blind children more ..but why had he made us blind then , that we cannot see him? My teacher had said that God is everywhere and that we can feel him with our fingers.” The carpenter reassures him.”What your teacher said is true”.

The boy gradually settles down, learning about the textures of the different pieces of wood, always listening to the sounds around him, feeding the swans in the pond, finding alphabets and words in the breeze and the tips of leaves, the chanting of numbers in the call of the birds …he is one with nature.

The grandmother cannot stand it that her darling boy has been sent away and she decides to leave the house herself. Her son, Mohammed’s father, is overwrought .Hysterically he tries to explain his helplessness..how hard life has been for him, losing his father at a very young age, his wife dying to leave him behind to take care of two little girls and a blind boy..it had been five years and his life had been such a grind and he was scared of becoming old without anyone to take care of him. She listens , but continues walking. Hours later, he goes after her on his horse and finds her in a state of near collapse. He carries her back to the house and tends to her.

A few days later, he comes in to tell her that he had visited the boy and that he was well. She gives him her consent for the marriage. In a scene following the one in which her face is shown to be lit up with a strange peace and joy, we come to know that she has died. His engagement with the local girl is broken up as the death of his mother had made them feel that the match was not auspicious for their daughter. He is dejected.

You don’t feel the actor is just portraying a role here. You feel he is living it. So intense are his expressions and his body language. You feel sorry for him even while you wish that he could feel the love and tenderness that was breathing though every pore of his son’s body.

The father decides to bring his son back home. It starts raining and it is getting dark. Halfway across an old bridge , the planks crack and the boy lurches into the waters along with the horse. There are a few seconds when the father stands transfixed in his dilemma..should he find deliverance from the burden of a blind son and let him be washed away by the swirling waters….or should he try and save him.?Just a few seconds…the camera focusing on the man’s face captures the internal trauma so effectively…its like going to hell and back…just a couple of seconds…. before he rushes ahead along the river bank and dives into the water.

A few shots of the father battling through the tumultuous waters and then he is shown washed up on a deserted beach. He opens his eyes to the morning rays and looking aside catches a glimpse of his son lying on the sands ,a little further away. He staggers across to take him in his arms. He is dead and the camera catches him from the rear, one outstretched hand of his son catching the sunlight ..slowly ….the fingers are seen gently twitching ..as if he was feeling God through his finger tips.

Hossein Mhajoub as the father and Mohesen Ramezani (who is really blind) as the son ,were wonderful in their roles , as were the others. It was as if the camera just became a silent spectator to some scenes from the real lives of that family, whom destiny seems to stalk, with distressing surprises, at every turn. And yet we know , seeing the joy internally wired into the boy’s sightless vision and the angst of the father who could only dwell on what was missing from his life and never on the wealth of love that he had in his old hardworking mother and his children , that it is all a question of “seeing” life in the right way…to see the colours of paradise around us.

P.S. You can watch the film on You-Tube , if you want to.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Movies

 

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“Akale” and “The Glass Menagerie”


Think about it…..if we couldn’t read the stories that others wrote , if we didn’t internalize the songs that poets composed and recite them as if they were our own, if we didn’t imbibe the colours of an artist’s imagination , if we didn’t get moved by the sounds of a string or the rhythmic drone of a drum , how impoverished we would be !!
Story telling must surely be as old as verbal communication or may be older still. May be as old as the time when Man started drawing pictures on the walls of the caves he lived in. How strong is our urge to communicate, to express our feelings, to speak of things that brings us delight , as also that which frightens us and fills us with awe!! He that can be alone and yet feel connected with everything and everyone without feeling this need to speak or sing , he who becomes part of the music and mystery is perhaps the enlightened one. But for us lesser folks, we will always feel the need to talk and be spoken to, to express and receive sensory inputs, to reach out and touch and feel the vibrations trembling to merge into our own.

A story well told touches a chord , not just in the immediate group of listeners , when communication was only verbal, or the immediate readers, when scripts came into being , but finds echoes through generations and ages hence, it evokes just the same feelings of helplessness, of admiration, of sadness and joy, as it did when first conceived in somebody’s imagination. All our myths and narration of anecdotes , many of which form the very basis of our religions, are but stories well told that have gripped the imagination of humanity because of certain values that have been applauded through these annals and which are still relevant .

Human emotions have not changed even as the material world has and drastically at that. Love and hate , pride and patience still jostle for space along with insecurity and frustration and hope and despair in our psyches . Only the externalities that evoke these feelings in us , have changed. They , of course will keep on changing. If the pre-historic Man felt scared by the flash of lightning in the sky and interpreted the mystery of it to be the presence of something huge and awesome and exalted it to the status of a God, we , in the Modern Age, have still not been able to quell our fears. We’re afraid of different things, that is all, of not being socially accepted, of not being rich enough to own the things that would bring us at par or above those in our neighbourhood or fraternity or group of peers. We have created other Gods, Success being one of them, although we pretend to be chanting prayers in the temples and mosques and the churches to other deities.

We still swear by love , but our ability to love has actually been shrinking from its dispersed way of spreading from one’s heart to another’s and from the limitless way of existing between Man and Nature to being confined to the tribe and then to the wider family , the smaller joint family , the nuclear and now perhaps primarily to the Self. Our sense of angst has not disappeared , only increased perhaps, as our ability to love has found smaller and smaller boundaries to confine itself and that is proof enough of the failure of all established religions.

All these train of thoughts were provoked by a really well made film I watched on the You Tube yesterday. The film, titled “Akale” (In the Distance) is by Director ShyamaPrasad and is based on the play by Tenessee Williams, “The Glass Menagerie” which was premiered more than sixty years ago. Shyam has been able to adapt the story and place it in a relatable atmosphere in South Kerala without the least bit of dischord. Compared to the crores that are being spent on lavishly made movies with inane scripts and marked by lacklustre performances, this film ,which surely wouldn’t have demanded too big a budget, is hauntingly etched through the four characters , within the spaces of an oldish house and a very few shots outside it. That it can still create a lasting impact on the viewer’s sensibilities , is as much an indicator of the strength of the script of the original play and the Director’s finesse and the stellar performances of the actors in the different roles , as also a tell-tale sign of the basic fact that we tend to recognize and relate to the emotional content in a story or film , more than the superfluous props of songs and settings. Those are our distractions and we need them too perhaps, but deep inside we still want to sit around that fire outside the cave and listen to stories that tell us of our own emotions, of things that make us sad and happy, of our insecurities and of heroes who manage to overcome them , so that hope remains alive in us . We also want to hear of those who succumbed because we realize that not all of us have the gumption or the destiny to go beyond our limitations and then it consoles us to know that there are others who have been and are like us, vulnerable and weak and worthy of our love still.

The story itself is not elaborate or complicated. There is this mother , in this film, an Anglo Indian,who is almost always in a wistful mode, harking back to her youth, when her beauty and charm had according to her own version, brought her a line of most eligible suitors. She had settled for a sailor, who had loads of charm , but who hadbecome an alchoholic and had eventually abandoned her to take care of her two children all alone.. In spite of her disappointment , she still seemed to hang on to that which gave solace to her, instead of being swamped by regret. And she wished the best for her children. The son who was older , worked in a warehouse. He is hedged in and suffocated by the circumstances of a missing father, an overbearing, yet affectionate mother and a limping sister whose physical disability not only restrains her physical mobility but also seriously curtails her capacity for involvement in society and negates her confidence in her worthiness for another’s love. She lives like a recluse, her only source of joy being the tiny, fragile, glass figures that she has collected.

The boy isn’t really selfish , just frustrated by the vision of a hopeless fate , stuck in a job which gives him no satisfaction and the responsibility of looking after his mother and sister , affection for whom binds him from escaping to find his own green pastures. And yet, that is the arrow the mother keeps flinging at him…that of selfishness . The ability of the Director to let the audience feel the overwhelming love of the mother for her son, even when she berates him, is what makes the film different from the loud and overly verbose dialogues that others deem it necessary to make the audience grasp anything. It is this underestimation of the intelligence of the film viewer by the Producers and Directors and script writers that make them dish out one gross film after another with the same bunch of oh so predictable characters and same attempts at comedy. The bar , sadly, is never raised . This film is an exception.

The Mother’s role has been acted out by Sheela remarkably well, the glamorous heroine of so many of those films one had seen while growing up. How much a good director can do to bring out the talent s of those he has in front of the camera , is clearly visible in this film. One also remembered the performances of Hindi Actors like Shashi Kapoor , who otherwise sang and danced his way through his film career, when given roles by a Director like Shyam Benegal. Geetu Mohandas as the sister , was excellent. She could exhibit the vulnerable , fragile, uncertain demeanor of the girl in a very endearing manner. She doesn’t have much to say in the film, but her expressions said it all.

One could even begin to relate to the hope that started fluttering and spreading wings inside the cage of her feelings, when her brother brought home to visit them , at the mother’s behest, a young colleague from the warehouse. She immediately recognized him as her young hero of their schooldays, when he had been the heart throb of many a young lass. The intervening years had changed his circumstances too and put fetters on his dreams , as he recounted to her in an attempt to make her understand that life is not hunky dory for anyone.
In between the time she reluctantly opened the door to receive him into their home, and the moment he took leave, he had managed to wake her out of her shyness, paint a picture of herself in her own mind as an extroadinary human being , delicate and different from the run of the mill kind of girls that thronged outside, made her forget the limp as he made her sway and swirl to the music floating towards them from the community centre where some revelry was on , in the warm glow of candle light , ( as there was an interruption in the electricity) and then finally breaking the very dreams he had slowly been building in her by the news that he was already engaged. A sigh escapes us too at the cruelty of destiny. She is like the glass unicorn , whose horn he had broken , the act inadvertent , both the times.
The film is in flash back mode , brought to us through the lines of the book the brother has launched upon to tell the story of his sister , whose life is so intricately webbed with that of his and his mother’s. It is a process of catharsis for him as he leads us through the days following his friends visit, when Rose his sister had become more withdrawn and eventually admitted to a sanitorium . She had died there and it was as if a part of him had also died.

The story is only another reminder that our lives are not entirely our own. The more sensitively inclined we are, the more tangled we become in the lives of those we become related to, not just as family and friends , but even as distant acquaintances. And if a story is well told or if a film is well made , we become affected by imaginary characters as well, because at the end of it all, the emotions that held sway in those tales, hold sway over us too.
It is also perhaps true that the cause for all our grief is that we tend to dwarf the possibilities for joy within the boundaries of our individual selves and those closest to us. Our capabilities then appear to us multiplied and grandiose and swells our ego and our failures and weaknesses deflate our spirits because we cannot let our cognition look beyond and understand that strife holds no monopoly over a single soul but is the underlying echo of all of Mankind.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Movies, Reflections

 

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