Ok the date refers to when I watched the movie. I’ve been waiting for permission (sorta). Then I went and watched the movie again on Sunday, with Ramblings, AquaM, AFJ and all of Ramblings’ hostel mates. Apparently they all cried. I didn’t. Although I tried very hard to cry (kept saying to myself… “Oh oh…That’s really sad…you are going to cry now…”). Anyway.
So the movie is quite ok. Uuh yes that really what I think of it. I mean I love the concept of it – the whole past and present juxtaposing and jazz but then I thought the movie tried to kill some 5-6 birds with the same stone. To start with, there was the whole Britisher coming to awaken (or is it re-awaken) the country, primarily the youth. And then the several rather obvious parallels to the past. Also there is the love story, tragic even. Patriotism. Fundamentalist political parties. Corruption, police brutality, rebellious youth. Wow! Now how many birds is that?!
On to a more detailed look then. In short the movie is about 5 pretty much aimless boys doing something extraordinary, if almost by accident. The film even takes a shot at national integration (in terms of religion) – there is the Hindu-Muslim clash, the aggressive Sikh. There is the Christian jailor (and his grand-daughter) who holds the main thread of the movie.
There are some very interesting points that the movie makes though. For example: it subverts the whole younger generation going wild and western myth. There’s that scene in the beginning where Lakshman Pandey (Atul Kulkarni) beautifully comes and kicks down a music system saying something to the effect of “stop this ugly western dance. You are ruining/insulting the sanskriti of this country.” And yes even more beautifully nearly pounces on Aslam (Kunal Kapoor) calling him a ‘Pakistani’. What a! But of course later in the movie Lakshman has to eat his words because he sees how his own party head has sold his soul to Mammon.
Also the movie doesn’t just stop with emphasizing the power of the youth of this country. Apparently the clothes and the choice of music don’t mean that one is patriotic or not. (What a surprise huh?). The suave flight lieutenant with the videshi (and super cool Honda, or so it looks like) bike and fancy leather jacket is also portrayed as fiercely patriotic. And the boys-the boys themselves all rebellious and breaking rules, screaming “lose control” to no one in particular, dancing to ‘ugly western tunes’ come out fine in the end after all. And they weren’t even keen on doing anything with themselves forget about for the country. (Remember how Diljeeth a.k.a ddijjay remains on campus 5 years after he finishes his course?)
Some nice social messages have also been nicely included:
Please to start with the man in the mirror.
Ask not what the country can do, but what you can do for the country.
United we stand, divided we fall.
To list just some of them. It also very smartly tries to take back the violence. Kill the defence minister in cold blood (and let’s not forget the bad-corrupt-arms dealer father), then say, “I’m sorry.” when on AIR. No, but seriously, the Q&A session I liked. I thought that was handled very well. And of course, the five boys gave surprisingly good performances (yes yes i know not all of them qualify as ‘boys’). The friendship is of the coolest. Very awww worthy too. Let’s not even start on the music. Rehman’s music as usual has infected the brain – that’s all is playing over and over in my head now. Man! And I’m not even a fan. And then of course the fact that it has been beautifully integrated into the movie.
So what went wrong?
THE END!!! For crying out loud, what the hell was that?!!! I mean, police brutality yes yes and all that but hello! Open fire at unarmed youngsters, that too while they are on air. Raaight then. The lathi charge was bad enough. But that last bit was just too strange. Totally ruined it for me. Not that the whole plan of ‘maar dalo use’ had me jumping with joy. But yes compared to that last bit (Yes I know I’m repeating. What can I say, I am/was severly affected.), sheez!
Yes I would give it a 3 on 5. Most of which will be for the vision and the background score, the rest for the performances. Guess where it lost out?