Storms ruled the first thousand years of life.
By the time I claimed my room, I turned into a zombie...
Suspended somewhere between the worlds within and outside...
Vaguely aware of either...
But then, existence needs more meaning, and spectacles need a windowpane...
Right here, I found mine…

Who am I? An average woman - trying to work on my share of maze through layers of haze...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

On Bollywood...

I am not a movie buff. Ask me out for a latest release the world can’t wait to watch and you may get a least interested lethargic yawn in reply! Kax (aka Kakoli, my dear old buddy) will readily bear witness to my confession. Poor soul! I wonder how this ‘hot-n-happening’ lady manages to bear with me till now!

But the last week has been a movie-watching week for me. Call it peer pressure, chilling out (these are the very last days of my student life) or the good luck of the film industry. So when I finally made up my mind to write a blog, this is the topic that hit upon me.

Arranged chronologically, the movies I saw in the past few days are Gangster, Fanaa and Ladri Di Bicyclette (aka The Bicycle Thief).The last one is an Italian movie released in 1948 that can be called a landmark in the history of films. I prefer to postpone further discussions on this movie till a later blog as this belongs to a genre markedly different from the other two mentioned. I repeat, the difference lies in the genre and treatment of the film and not in the time gap between their makings, for, just as all great works of literature and art, Ladri Di Bicyclette has a message that remains relevant irrespective of time or context of interpretation.

Coming to the Bollywood releases, many of you must have watched the two movies by now. Did u like them? Did u not? Nevertheless, the movies must have made you wonder at the maturity Hindi film industry is gaining these days. In fact I have been visiting the cinemas a bit more frequently than what is usual for me since the last year , and Bollywood has marveled me quite now and then with its venture into a spectrum of fresh new subjects. Beginning from the much acclaimed Black in 2005 , followed by Paheli, Sarkar, Virudhh, Bluff master and Rang de Basanti to the recent Gangster and Fanaa, innovation is the word that seems to be buzzing in the alleys of Bollywood these days. Talking of innovation, remember ‘Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hu’ and ‘Naach’? Notwithstanding the fact both these films proved to be box office duds, kudos to the makers for daring to be so individualistic.

Let’s take up the movie ‘Gangster’. Directed by Anurag Basu, this film is supposed to be inspired by the underworld don Abu Salem and his sweetheart, Monica Bedi. It centers on the life of Simran (Kangna Ranaut), a bar dancer, whose thirst for a home brings her close to the gangster Daya (Shiney Ahuja). But her dream of having a peaceful family life turns out to be a mirage as Daya is continuously chased by the intelligence agencies and their foster child Bittu is killed during one such run. While Daya goes hiding in Mauritius, an insecure and lonely, emotionally shattered Simran resorts to heavy drinking day and night, until Akash (Emraan Hashmi) steps into her life with warm promises of a new beginning. A love triangle full of suspense winds up which ends in betrayals, remorse and self-devastation, baffling our known concepts of justice and injustice.

Gangster is an intensely woven story delving deep into the intricacies of a range of human emotions. In one particular shot, we are shown a snap in which Simran, Daya and the child Bittu cuddle together happily – radiating the warmth of a perfect happy family. But the paradox lies in the fact that it is not quite a ‘real’ family. The cravings of the two lonely human hearts had been all that was required to connect Daya and Simran together , almost without verbal communication , and it was again the cravings for parenthood that made them take up Bittu . This same very thirst for love that established a bond between the three otherwise unrelated souls in the first part of the movie, is ruthlessly taken advantage of to arrest Daya in the later part by the protectors of ‘justice’.Marked by strong acting , lilting musical scores and an intense yet subtle handling, Gangster should be one of the best films Bollywood produces this year.

Ah well, time seems to be running a little too fast. It is already 1:40 am and I haven’t touched upon Fanaa yet. Let me put it in brief. Well, Fanaa has a storyline that is much less matured than the one I have discussed so far. Sudden change of mood in the second part and coincidences that may need a couple of Hajmolas to be digested, reduce the credibility of the movie. But friends, watch it for the sake of Kajol. What a magnificent comeback! With the radiance of ‘a complete woman’, she is fresher than ever! Even as a blind lady, her face is vulnerable enough to portray the most delicate of feelings and emotions – even with Ameer’s towering presence ,she is the one who induces spirit into the movie. And yah, Fanaa’s script is one of the richest scripts among the contemporary Hindi films. Watch out for a gust of beautiful ‘shayari’-r that can make you fall in love with ‘shayari’ even if you are an outright ‘shayari’-hater( as was the case of one of our friends-Deepali)!

Gone are the days when the heroines could get away simply with a lovely appearance and a few song and dance numbers in the male-dominated Hindi film industry. The roles of the actresses are getting more and more intelligent and challenging, and look at the confidence with which newcomers like Kangna are handling them! How does one compare the innocent and playful Divya Bharti or Juhi Chawla with the unapologetically bold and matured Antara Mali, Bipasha Basu or Vidya Balan of today?

And the best part is that, both the films discussed portray the simultaneous presence of the angel and the demon within the same human heart.Bollywood has finally learnt to recognize characters in grey!

So… with this, friends, I sign off for today …

(One more big BIG yawn!)

Good bye,



  1. First n foremost Kax herself never knew that she is hot n happening!!!lolz!!!Jokes apart,Antara.........y didnt u choose ur career as a film journalist????Ur film reviews were good.....must say.....very frank!!!

  2. Anonymous1:51 AM

    nice review!!jst one simple qn tht comes in my mind,n tht i wanna share wth u....who is the hero of the film? its true it daya? it akash!!....who?...n why?