Here’s a write-up from a true movie buff, who has jot down his thoughts on how he loves Indian cinema and that Indian classics should be given equal respect in the World of Cinema. Read on:
In India it is very common to sue an Indian and praise others, cinema is no exception to that. Whenever I ask anyone about their favorite film I get the name of some Hollywood flicks. I have nothing against that because praising something good is always admirable. But when I ask them about Indian movies (mainly Bollywood) many answers I get are nearly same. Movies like Sholay, Mother India, Mughal-E-Azam or DDLJ are some example of classics for Indian cinema goers. But I am just adding that there are lots of movie that are classics but very few of us have seen these. Here I am mentioning 3 movies that are classics in their own way. If you’ve never watched these movies go watch it, because I am sure after watching these your classic collection of Indian movies will increase.
This classic was directed by Shyam Benegal. When we hear the name Shyam Benegal we think about “Ankur“, “Trikal“, “Zubeda” and many more. But to me, this movie is special than his other brilliant works. Those who don’t know, this movie is an adaptation of Ruskin Bond’s novel “A flight of Pigeons”. The specialty of the movie is the mood. Shyam, being a south Indian brilliantly set the mood of north India in 1857. The cinematography which is done by none other than Govind Nihlani is outstanding. But what empowers all the technical aspects is its magic. There is some magic from the storytelling to acting and to the narration by Amrish Puri that hypnotizes me whenever I watch this master piece. The Sufiana feel that is moulded into the film is par excellence. The chemistry shown between Shashi Kapoor and Nafisa Ali is so fresh till today. I will mention 2 magic moments – one is the Introduction qawaali performed by Rajesh Vivek and the last meeting between Sashi Kapoor and Nafisa Ali, where she runs out of home to see him for the last time. That moment actually touches the cord of my heart. Performances of its lead character from Shabana ji, Sashi Kapoor, Naseer sir, Nafisa Ali and Jenifer is just marvelous.
But the movie is not about technical aspects or storytelling or performance; it is more about the soul which has been lost in Indian cinema. It gives that effect that any classic does. And believe me you will not be able to free from its effect like myself and that you will enjoy the most.
The movie bagged number of awards including 3 National Award. As a cinema lover, I will always be thankful to Shyam Benegal ji for directing such a beautiful cinema and more to Sashi Kapoor ji for producing it. And lastly the songs “Aaj rang he” and “Ishq ne todi sar pe qayamat” will be with me forever.
Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989):
This movie is one of the most under rated movie (by viewer, not by critics of course) like its leading man Pavan Malhotra. Although he is a superb actor he has not get the reward he deserves. Coming to the movie, this is directed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza who has also directed the famous TV series Nukkad. This movie shows the life of a poor Muslim boy of Mumbai and his struggle. Unlike Junoon this movie is more reality than soul. It shows the rough world and the things that are necessary to survive in this cruel world. Apart from Pavan Malhotra actors like Makrand Despande, Rajendra Gupta, Vikram Gokhle have done wonders with their role with Ashutosh Gowariker. Yes you heard it right Ashu the actor. This movie is very true to its background and you can sense it with its dialogue and the set up. Some dialogues in the movie makes you feel so so special like while narrating about his mother, Pavan Malhotra says, “Yeh meri maa he, bahut pyari aurat he, maa jo he.” and what I like is the way he says it. What connects me with this movie is its style. Style does not mean clean get up and branded attire; style means presentation. The way Pavan walks, the way Makrand behaves and talks; you will wonder how stylish they are! In less than 2 hours the movie describes everything from relations to riots from love to frustration. The relation shown in the movie be it between father and son or brother and sister is very truthful. I completely broke down when I watched it first time in a scene where Salim asked forgiveness from his father. The way he asked made me feel that as if I was Salim! And the ending! It took me by surprise.
The thing about classics is whenever you watch it you will find something new. Even today whenever I watch this movie I find something that I have not found earlier. This movie not only tells about the joy, the frustration, the hope and the limitation of Salim, but it tells something more. It asks a question to all of us, if the world is so cruel to live in, why do we still want to live ?
Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1991):
After making clasics like Kabuliwala (Bengali) and Galpo Heleo Satti (From which Bawarchi was made) in his early days, Tapan Sinha probably directed his best cinema in his later part of career with Ek Doctor Ki Maut which is a fiction based on a true story. If I am not wrong Koimoi also had written about this movie some months ago. Yes, it is so so special. The movie mainly moves around the protagonist Pankaj Kapoor and his world. Right from his anxiety to do something in his research field to his struggle to be a normal person Pankaj Kapoor has portrayed all with ease. The performances from Shabana Azmi and Irrfan Khan is also brilliant. Pankaj Kapoor shouldered this film with his hope, care, love, frustration and his anger.
Two of the scene which showed me the true color of society was when the students made mockery to his research when he was describing his process and when Pankaj Kapoor’s senior who had no knowledge about his research says “Tumhe mere under research karna chahiye tha, me tumhe guide karta”.
This movie not only follows the life of crazy researcher but the impact of it on his family and personal life. In a particular scene, Shabana says, “Tumhare liye abhi bhi mere dil me pyar he, jise me bhulana chahti hoon”. And it shows the jealousy in the professional field as well. In a scene Vijendra Ghatke says to his wife “Wo itna achha student nehi tha, jahan me first aata tha wo sirf pass ho jata tha” after knowing that Pankaj Kapoor has invented a vaccine for leprosy. This movie tells how system works. “News paper bigyapan se chali he bigyan se nehi” proofs it.
It is not the movie where a single hero thrashes a bunch of goons and gets his desired thing. Here is a common man just like us who fights with the world and with himself to get what he wants. This movie which was made 23 years ago shows the social life of us in today’s time. But I guess that’s what classics are all about.
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