July 10, 2009

One of the Best Poems You'll Find on Celluloid

Chakravyuh mein ghusne se pehle,
Kaun tha main aur kaisa tha,
Ye mujhe yaad hi na rahega.

Chakravyuh mein ghusne ke baad,
Mere aur chakravyuh ke beech,
Sirf ek jaanleva nikat-ta thi,
Iska mujhe pata hi na chalega.

Chakravyuh se nikalne ke baad,
Main mukt ho jaoon bhale hi,
Phir bhi chakravyuh ki rachna mein
Farq hi na padega.

Marun ya maaroon,
Maara jaoon ya jaan se maar doon,
Iska faisla kabhi na ho paayega.

Soya hua aadmi jab neend se uthkar
Chalna shuru karta hai,
Tab sapnon ka sansar use
Dobara dikh hi na paayega.

Us roshni mein, jo nirnay ki roshni hai,
Sab kuchh samaan hoga kya?

Ek palde mein napunsakta,
Ek palde mein paurush,
Aur theek taraazu ke kaante par
Ardh satya.

by Dilip Chitre for the Govind Nihalani film 'Ardh Satya' (1983)

More Hindi Movies....Some New, Some Not So New

Watching lots of Hindi movies these days, for a change. An earlier post talks about 'Barah Aana'. Following and preceding it were the following, in no necessary order:
  • Mumbai Meri Jaan: Definitely worth a watch. But to be honest, I felt the theme and the performances were bigger than the movie. The theme and the sub-plots are so powerful, it leaves you moist-eyed more than once. And some great performances by some of the best in business. Just felt the post-climax was a little too stretched out and pretty much predictible. But my heartfelt thanks to UTV for backing such a project.
  • Tahaan: It began too good. But gradually lost its grip. Children are so wonderful to look at. And it is sad to try to save a deficient script with the help of some great kids. It is not possible, well, most of the times.
  • Oh My God!: It was a good one. Keeps you smiling throughout. And at times it gets pretty much serious. Good piece of cinema. Reminds you of the Hrishida-Basuda period.
  • Maharathi: When you have acting giants like Paresh Rawal, Naseeruddin Shah, Boman Irani and Om Puri in each of your frame, do you care for more. I can't. I can keep watching them forever. And the movie was quite decent. Felt good after watching it. But soon got to know that it is based on a James Hadley Chase novel. Felt sad. Not because it is not original. But for the fact that the makers didn't acknowledge it. I don't think I would be able to respect this otherwise fine film any more.
  • Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!: Only on my second viewing could I realize what this film is. It is just too good, among the best made films in recent times. I would like to talk separately about it as there is so much to talk. Just one thing - although 'Khosla ka Ghosla' might appear as a better film, Dibakar Bannerjee has matured even more in his second venture. Looking forward to his entire film career. Insha Allah!
Now small takes each on the recent releases:
  • New York: Barring a couple of scenes, I felt it was amateurish. Sorry to say, as many people seem to have liked it. It is a certified hit. Good for the industry. But I felt it is a perfect illustration of the theory of EDR. (Will go into its detail in a separate post later.)
  • Kambakkht Ishq: They say it has made 100 crores in its first week worldwide. I cached it in the cheapest single-screen theater you can find in Mumbai. The crowd was roaring most of the time. I was feeling tortured, almost. But thanks to this film, for opening the floodgates for a desperately starved industry.
  • Short Kut: Perhaps the publicity-wallahs need to be thrashed. It was marketed as a laugh riot. And it was an unbearable, emotional experience. This time even the crowd was with me, at the receiving end of this torture. Just wanted to confess something. I went for Amrita Rao. Indulging in guilty pleasures once a while is OK, I suppose.
And now I conclude by talking about two films by Govind Nihalani that I watched recently:
  • Droh Kaal(1994): Perhaps it could have been better written. And there were some portions that demanded a better take and editing, esp. those involving the extras. Otherwise the film was fine. I am being so critical because I know what Nihalani is capable of. I rate his 'Drishti'(1990) as among the most perfect films in Hindi cinema. His trademark style of characters indulging in long dialogue is always a pleasure. But somehow it wasn't as magical in 'Droh Kaal'.
  • Aakrosh(1980): I was so happy to know that this film bagged six Filmfare awards. One of the best acting performances by Naseer Sa'ab. One of the best films from Hindi Parallel Cinema. One of the best films anyway. In fact, this film is so good that I would like to dedicate my next post to Govind Nihalani. It is the title poem of his 'Ardh Satya'(1983). This along with 'Hazaar Chaurasi ki Maa'(1994) are other Nihalani movies that I can watch forever. And I am thrilled to realize that about 5-6 of his movies are yet to be seen by me!
So, these are the films that I viewed recently. Looking forward to 'Sankat City' and 'Morning Walk'. And dying to catch 'Harry Potter 6' FDFS. Signing off...

July 05, 2009

Highly Recommended!

Let me apologize for not watching this in the theater. But it released with three other films - 'Straight', 'Aloo Chaat' and 'Firaaq'. And I could not afford more than one film per weekend. So I chose to go for 'Firaaq'. And it was tonight, just an hour ago that I watched 'Barah Aana'.

I strongly believe in independent cinema and hope that small films can actually help in bringing about a much-needed change in the film-making temperaments of the Hindi Film Industry. But on most occasions, these films are not as good as they promise. And they hardly make money, even if they are among the better lot.

'Barah Aana' is definitely well-made. If you believe in this kind of entertainment, it actually manages to do that. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And it enlightens. It is deep. It has layers. And it makes you think. I had heard people were not sure about the ending. A leading film-critic mentions in his review that there are surreal elements in the film. Not sure what they are talking about. It is just smart storytelling, with a sense of purpose and economy of words.

My heartiest congratulations and thanks to the makers - the gutsy producers, the director and his crew and the fabulous actors. One word for Naseeruddin Shah, not about his acting, which everyone is talking about, but for his nod to act in this film. Films like these need the support of veterans like him and it is exceptionally pleasant to find him gracing this brave attempt with his charming presence. And thumbs up for the dialogues by Raj Kumar Gupta. Wish I could write like him.

I highly recommend this 95 minute venture to those who want to spend a quality time smiling. And sorry once again for watching a pirated version. Hoping this article helps me in making up for that.