Archive for July 20, 2010

And the names are – Naseeruddin Shah, Irrfan Khan, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Russian actor Alexander Dyachenko, Annu Kapoor and Vivaan Shah (Naseeruddin Shah’s son). We were sure about the other five, but had no clue about Annu Kapoor and the name of the Russian Actor. Hindustan Times finally got the list. Aha, relieved!

And our Twitter Khabri Svetlana Naudiyal passed on some exclusive dope too, though we are not sure about it. It seems Ruskin Bond is also doing a cameo in the film. Wooho! The name is Bond, Ruskin Bond! And here is her tweet..

as told so by his (Ruskin Bond) bookshop owner friend in mussorie.. a shop that Ruskin Bond visits every saturday.. he said that Ruskin Bond didn’t come for last two saturdays since he is busy with Saat Khoon Maaf and that he’s doing a small role too in it.. probably of a father or something.. though i don’t remember any such character in the story..

There is more to her (Svetlana’s) story. She even met Mr Bond after her khabri dope but admits that she was too starstruck to ask him anything. Aha, Svetlana…..Kuch Kuch Hota Hai…hum samajhte hai!

Back to Saat Khoon Maaf – its based on a short story by Ruskin Bond titled Susanna’s Seven Husbands. To know more about the story/plot/synopsis, click here to read our previous post on the film.

BTW, Jahan Bakshi has got a damn cool idea to trend Saat Khaan Maaf on Twitter. How about #7KM ? Is anyone listening ?

And this one comes from far east. Or you can say far North, North of Bengal. Jahan Bakshi, a member of U-25 gang, is currently stuck in the tea gardens of Dooars. Bored with the smell of tea and too much green all around, he traveled to Siliguri (some 95kms) to watch Udaan. And thinks it was worth every penny. Since he was non-stop tweeting about the film after he saw it (No, he wasn’t paid to do so), we asked him if he can go beyond 140 characters and write a post for us. So, here it is…read on…

(And a clarification…No, he was never thrown out of Mayo College, Ajmer or Calcutta’s St Xaviers  College from where he graduated in Mass Communication. Current Status – Still flying high!)

Okay. Have been tweeting since the screening like a man possessed. Not, however out of bored frustration like @moifightclub during #Lamhaa screening. But because I take Anton Ego’s monologue in Ratatouille rather seriously. You see, unlike Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, I don’t think a critic is someone ‘who knows the way but can’t drive the car’, but someone who encourages the new, because the new needs friends. The new needs US – you & me. And hence before I talk about the film, I urge you to please (get over/ delay watching Inception and) go and watch this film. You’ll do yourself and good cinema a favour.

I genuinely haven’t felt the way I felt after watching Udaan this afternoon seeing any Hindi film. Forget about the emotional richness of the film- I’ll probably see the film again to absorb it fully. I was stunned by the maturity and delicateness with which Motwane crafts this film. As treatment goes, this is as un-Bollywood as it gets. As opposed to the Bollywood hammer and tongs approach, here is a film that feels like it’s been created with forceps. Nothing goes overboard or out of hand, thanks to the amazingly controlled direction. Each character and emotion has nuance and heart, thanks to some of the most sharp, sensitive writing I’ve seen in some time. Each frame breathes with life, and Jamshedpur becomes a character in the film, thanks to the wonderful cinematography. And each frame is allowed to speak, thanks to the absolutely exquisite pacing. This is a film with a texture (yes, Kartik Krishnan you can laugh) that truly echoes international cinema.

Rohan Singh (Rajat Barmecha, whose eyes speak volumes, and who I described earlier in the day as ‘twice as cute as Imran Khan and a 1000 times more talented’ and his ‘despotic’ Bhairon Singh (Ronit Roy, mind-blowingly brilliant, who knew he had this in him?) are both men with scarred souls. No one really understands them, and they certainly don’t understand each other. Rohan, however distills his pain into his writing and poetry (watch out for the hauntingly beautiful poems recited through the film), while his father chooses to drown it in, well, distilled spirits. He may be a well built monster on the outside, but inside, he is a lonely, pathetic figure, swallowed by his hopelessness and personal demons- a fact that comes through brilliantly in the end.

Troubled growing years are something that inevitably change you. Even if you come out of it as a healthy, ‘functional’ human being, you bear scars that people mostly can’t see or imagine. And even when those wounds occasionally surface to fester, you can’t expect other people to understand. But the amazing thing is- you feel you’re cursed, but what you may not realize is that it is the reason you can feel things and sense emotions no one else can feel. And in that sense, you’ve been blessed with something beautiful- the ability to appreciate beauty all the more. In my many moments of self-pity, I’ve often wished I wasn’t the mind-fucked creature I am, only to realize how all my bad experiences have only enriched me as a human being, and frankly I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Udaan is also such a magnificent story about fathers and sons. I wondered what Rohan actually felt more- the real absence of his mother, or the virtual absence of his father. I empathized with his feeling of being trapped, of having to bear the consequences of things that you have no hand in, and which you can do absolutely nothing about. I felt his humiliation, his helplessness, his anger. And I was touched by the power of his undying hope and spirit to overcome in the midst of this unending cycle of despair.

Udaan is truly a little film that says so much, that moves you on so many levels, that inspires you like nothing I’ve seen in a long time- and not in the ‘light a candle today, and piss on it tomorrow’ way. I said it before and will say it again: Red Bull doesn’t give you wings, but Udaan will.

P.S: I also must say that the film is pure poetry, not just in metaphor, but literally. The haunting pieces of poetry recited by Rohan through the film are so good, they’re worth the price of admission by themselves.

P.P.S: For those who can spare a good 15 odd minutes, do read this lecture by Orhan Pamuk, where he talks all about his father and being a writer.

‘For me, to be a writer is to acknowledge the secret wounds that we carry inside us, the wounds so secret that we ourselves are barely aware of them, and to patiently explore them, know them, illuminate them, to own these pains and wounds, and to make them a conscious part of our spirits and our writing. ‘

Makes for great reading.

Pic Courtesy – From making of Udaan