Sunday, October 08, 2006

The thread grows stronger ...

For people who don't know me very well, the title of this post may not seem very significant. However, the subset of my family and close friends who read this blog will certainly be surprised, if not shocked. I am perhaps the most vocal critic of the drudgery that has been churned out in the last 5 years by the Bombay branch of largest movie industry in the world.

However, don't file this story under the tags "man" and "disaffected" yet. Sure, my faith in the venerable film institution only hangs by a very thin thread but it's a thread nonetheless. Each strand in this thread represents a movie that is NOT an aimless blob full of inane songs and dubious entertainment value.

Dor is another such movie, and a brilliant one at that. It has a very decent plot, an excellent assemblage of actors and brilliant direction by one of my favorite directors, Nagesh Kukunoor. And that's not all. It has something that I never thought a hindi movie made after the 1960s could ever have - cinematic metaphors. If you pay attention, you can find that every seemingly unrelated event in the movie has a metaphorical bond to the underlying story. I could talk about the various scenes here (and believe me, I want to !) but I would rather keep this post spoiler-free.

Of course, Dor is going to be a box-office failure. I am pretty much resigned to the fact that almost every movie I find stimulating is rejected outright by the Indian public. I don't want to get too much into the whole "masses vs. classes" debate except to say that all the masses seem to want are unfunny jokes, unhealthy vulgarity and unoriginal scripts. I know I probably come off as an arrogant snob here but I assure you, that is not my intent. There are plenty of movies that lie at the intersection.

With that disclaimer in mind, I wish Dor all the success in the world (I wish it was the official Indian entry to the upcoming Academy Awards, but I am also a big fan of the movie that was ultimately selected).


life is like that only.... said...

Incidentally, the storyline of Dor had much in common with an award-winning Malayalam movie called Perinmazhakaalathu(~ At the time of the year when it rains very heavily - don't ask me why:) which I happened to see at a recent Film Festival at SiriFort, Delhi(not because I am an art-movie freak, only since I am a Malayali:). Only, the character played by Shreyas Talpade was not there in the original, and it ended somewhat more tragically (though the Muslim husband does escape the death sentence).
Which reinforces my belief that the only original good cinema in India is in Malayalam and Bengali.

DesiLinguist said...

Thanks for pointing that out ! You are probably correct in that the regional movie industries in India foster more originality than Bollywood itself. Unfortunately, since I don't speak any languages other than Hindi and English, I will take your word for it.

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