August 23, 2010
Movies which have stayed with me - 2
1) Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (1987)
Remake of Sidney Lumet's 12 angry men, this Hindi version exposes the fickle nature of human mind and multiple layers of behavioural patterns usually prevalent under "different" circumstances. Plagued by shoddy production values and jarring cinematography, it is a difficult watch in certain portions. But beneath all these shortcomings, lies a taut, absorbing and compelling drama that reaches beyond its normal court room setting. Excellent performances from the cast, specifically Pankaj kapoor and Annu Kapoor keeps the viewer spellbound. The closeup of most of the artists were deliberately taken to create an atmosphere of claustrophobia of being confined in a single room. I watched the English version undertaking a case study in one of the MBA units of Organisational behaviour. Later on, as soon as i came to know about our own desi version, i latched on to it and was pretty pleased with the movie. Try it!
2) Lamhe (1991)
Based on a story by Honey Irani...Lamhe is considered to be way ahead of its times, a reason generally construed for its lackluster box office performance. History repeated itself for Yash Chopra (who had a similar fate with Silsila) - a movie well appreciated by critics, still loved by the public but failed at the box office at the time of its release. Sridevi, (who actually lost her mother just before the shooting began) is absolutely mesmerising as a mother-daughter duo and delievered a powerful performance, be it in comedy or dramatic scenes. Soulful music, graceful Waheeda Rehman, great locations and on top of that, all exclusive one time wonder, a moustache-less Anil Kapoor...my personal favourite scene is the confrontation between Anil and Anupam Kher just before the climax, where (hold on your breath) Anil is slapped by Anupam five times (or four, did i count it right!!). One of the top romantic movies of Hindi cinema.
3) Andaz Apna Apna (1994)
It is astonishing to even imagine that a movie starring two of the biggest stars of the industry (in AK and SK) and directed by Raj kumar Santoshi (who made Ghayal and Damini immediately preceding that) will actually fail to even take a proper box office opening. It bombed miserably at the time of its release but have gained a strong cult following after that. Not only this, it is one of the highest grossing movie in the Indian Home entertainment section. Long time after Sholay and Deewar in the 1970's came a movie, whose dialogues were so uncommon, yet was on everyone's folk language. The flick in its deeper layers was actually a satire on the Hindi movie industry itself...larger-than-life heroes and the ever confused heroines of the 50's, the old 60's style music reminding how we have lost touch , the stupid see-saw games between villains and heroes (of the 80's) with weapons in a film climax, the extra-ordinarily stupid cronies of the main villain (of 70's). It was a remarkable performance by the ensemble cast where it is really difficult to choose who was better than the other. One of my all time favourite!
4) Swades (2004)
Swades was inspired by the true story of a NRI couple who returned to India from US and developed the pedal power generator in order to provide light in off-grid schools in and around their native village. To start with the shortcomings, the movie suffered due to lot of issues - a sluggish pace, an over-indulgent director, too many songs in the middle and trying to cram too many social issues in one space. It failed to do well at the box office, but over the past few years have gained popularity. Prominent reason is attributed to the "non-heroic" performance of SRK and the soulful AR Rahman's music. There are some tear jerking scenes and poignant moments in the film, but majorly it stays in your mind long after the end credits have rolled in because it makes you think about your country without being judgmental. it makes you think about the issues of our society without providing any concrete solutions. Because, honestly it should be left to an individual how one want to make it's own country better, if at all.
PS: After the first part here, I have been a little short on following up with this series on a consistent basis, but will surely provide more soon. In the meanwhile, let me know any of your favourite movies which may not have done well at the box office, but remain special for some reason. Happy movie watching....cheers!!