Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Movies that I am looking forward to watch:

Well, they are Raavan and Rajneeti. Its funny that the movies for which I am eagerly awaiting start with R and are inspired by the bedrock of Indian cultural heritage, folklore or whatever you want to call depending on the side to which you belong to i.e Ramayan and Mahabharat. Raavan is supposedly inspired by Ramayan. One man’s lust for another man’s wife. An exciting theme. And more exciting if the lusting man is a powerful guy and cares three hoots for the rules of the world. ‘Thou shalt not covet neighbours wife’. And if you add to it Stockholm Syndrome, wouldn’t it become a lip smacking story. I mean what if Sita was wee bit disappointed with her law abiding/rule quoting husband and somewhat felt drawn towards Raavan for his dare devilry! This is what I thought Mani Ratnam’s Raavan would be before buying the music album.

Theres Mani’s introduction to the movie in the album. Is it a practice nowadays for directors to make a statement in the music album? I don’t know. The statement is a kind of preface to music album as well as the movie (I expect to see similar words on the big screen). It opens window to the inner world of Mani, I guess. Mani puts some pertinent questions. He asks ‘what is the line that divides Good from Evil? Does our understanding change when we look from the opponent’s perspective? Is there a Ram inside Raavan and a Raavan inside each of us?!’ Well, interesting words and definitely tells us that the movie is not only about Raavan’s lust, which is exactly what I wanted the movie to be.

‘Does our understanding change when we look from the opponent’s perspective?’ This question from the maker of ‘A Peck on the Cheek’ (Tamil name is difficult to remember) is not quite unexpected. These are the questions each one of us has asked ourselves at one or the other time. It’s the story of Elephant and 5 blind men. Each has his own ‘vision/version’ of what is an elephant. Or we know that a mountain looks different every time you change your location of looking at it. These are the standard arguments everyone uses to negate objectivity. Through Raavan perhaps Mani has made an effort to show that there is no black and white and the common color in life is grey which is what I also believe in. But deep within I have always felt the need for black and white simply because it makes life so much easier. The definitions of good and evil has not remained same through the ages. I have several times wondered whether the young 3 freedom fighters hanged by British in1931 were looked upon by them more as terrorists and less as freedom fighters. We all see things as good and evil from our own definitions of them. But they might be altogether different for the other person who knows? Name the virtue and vice which has stood the test of times. Incest was okay for Egyptians but we frown upon it. But 100 years down the line it may change? Huh. To hell with meaningless speculations. I wanted to write about Raavan.

After listening to its music I have a feeling that social, caste, class conflicts find a place in the movie. Mani is no film maker who can dwell on relationships though his debut movie Pallavi Anupallavi in Kannada was so good. He has to address some ‘issues’. I just hope Raavan is not about naxal problem in the deep jungles, those jungles which otherwise would have existed only in the geography text books of school kids or do they? I just hope it does not provide a platform for Leftist propaganda. Where are the directors who can give us Arth, Daddy, Masoom, Ijaazat type movies? Shekar Kapoor should make a movie based on his life. It would be a super hit. Alas, who listens to our demands?

If I want to watch Raavan for cinematography, music, Abhishek as rustic/junglee Beera and beautiful and delicate Aishwarya since the movie is not exactly about Man’s lust and passion, I am waiting for Rajneeti for its speeches and the plot. But why Nana Patekar should get the role of modern Krishna. The ever smiling Nitish Bharadwaj as Krishna in tele-serial Mahabharat has planted firmly in our minds that Krishna was a handsome guy. And now we have to see always-frowning Patekar as modern Krishna. What a pity! One complaint I have had against Prakash Jha was that he cannot see beyond Bihar politics and it is not right to equate it to national politics. He always gives the impression that the movie was completed in a hurry. Nevertheless Rajneeti’s promos look promising.


Anonymous said...

for me movie is about characters. I watched gharshana (agni nakshatram in tami) and that reaffirmed mani's credentials for me.

That said, bachan couple.. what a dharti ki bhoj these 2 ppl are. I mean, they plundered guru. For me they are mediocre.

Ravan is a time tested epic. Mani wil probably bring crumble it. Somewhat like ashoka and devdas movies which took an epic and pundered it.

I heard they were remaking sahib biwi aur ghulam and had a similar reaction.

What do you think of subhash ghai's fall from grace?

-your friend

alice said...

well, I didnt know Agni Nakshatram was Mani's.I guess, Ilayaraja scored the music for the movie which was awesum! I dont mind if they give a different perspective to any epic or novel like Anurag did with Dev D( though he heardly changed the plot, he just retuned the novel to our present times which is not I always look forward to). Yeah I didnt watch Guru so cannt comment on it and I have not seen any of junior Bachchan's movies. Better he has done a good job of his character in Ravan. I am sure Vikram would win hands down if one were to compare these two since Vikram is potraying Beera in Tamil Version.
Subhash Ghai, I mean he was creative and ambitious thats what I liked abt him. Taal was great but Kisna was not. I dont know any other his recent ventures, I guess he is the force behind many young guys who direct movies..