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Monday, 31 October 2011

Judgement day (Bicharak)

When a director is successful in cooking up a compelling drama out of a small but important event from one's past, he has surely passed the litmus test. More significantly, the screenplay of Bicharak continuously flits in and out of flashbacks constantly whetting our appetite to learn of Gyanendra's secret past. What did he do that makes him continuously weigh his actions? Why is there such an eerie discomfiture between the exchanges a man has with his wife? Why does his mind travel back so much to his past? And most importantly, why is the question incessantly raised as to whether Gyanendra is right enough to decide a man's fate?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Marrying a widow (Prem Rog)

There is something that makes Raj Kapoor films immensely enjoyable. Even if you do not like some aspects of the films--say the melodrama, the OTT quotient or the excessive stretching of the plot, his films do rev up my interest in the happening. What mostly attracts me is the believable social thread that he ties his characters with. His characters are part of a community that suffers from some social malady or the other and through his story-telling method, he strives to drive home a point about this evil custom and how the protagonist struggles and succeeds to overthrow this societal sickness. This process is presented by Raj Kapoor extremely well through his films. They start off as family dramas, but in the folds of the plot, he sheds light on some social custom that needs to be demolished. His films become social commentaries without resorting to pontification. And that is the best part about the RK films. Look at Shree 420, Awara, Jagte Raho, Ram Teri Ganga Maili and the like. If you watch them carefully, you'll know what I'm hinting at.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Two misleading letters (Devar)

The cast is as perfect as Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anupama. The story is believable, the songs are in place, the performances commendable. Then why is it that Mohan Sehgal's Devar left me with a niggling feeling in my heart. The movie starts off so well and as the script is penned, it should have thrown up plenty of firecrackling histrionics. But somewhere down the line, even the talented actors lose steam, or find the going rather tedious. Adapted from Tarashankar Bandopadhyay's short story, Naa, Devar  is a tale that could have been one of the best dramas of 1966. Could have been for sure...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Till death do us part (Yeh Vaada Raha)

As a teenager, I suddenly got gripped by Danielle Steel romances. It was then that her Promise impressed me. Fate construing against two lovers, only to have the tables turned back against it by the sheer power of their love-- this theme really touched my heart. Then one day, I saw a film called Yeh Vaada Raha, Kapil Kapoor's adaptation of this romance, and I realised how perfectly the story turned out in reel life. Here the love between the young souls appears even more sweeter, the mishap is much more unfortunate than it looks in the book and the incidents that count up to the halcyon ending is so well stitched together. Yes, this 1982 romance is one film I'd recommend to any hard-core mush lover.