Sunday, May 29, 2016
Monday, May 9, 2016
I am a Satyajit Ray fan. I have watched every film of his that is available on the YouTube with subtitles.
After watching Chaitanya Tamhane's `Court' last year, I felt that here was a film-maker who may do the work comparable to Ray's. Or who at least shows that promise. I wrote about the film effusively on Facebook, but didn't dare voice this thought. Ray is God, so the statement would have sounded like exaggeration, a "bit-too-much" kind of assessment.
After watching Nagraj Manjule's `Sairat', a story of doomed inter-caste, inter-class love affair which takes off in today's smallltown Maharashtra , let me stick out my neck and say: Here is a film-maker whose eye for the drama of reality and whose command of the tools of realistic cinema should put him in the same league as Ray.
Sairat has managed to become a commercial film at the same time. Thanks, in part, to the rousing music score by Ajay-Atul. People are flocking to theaters to watch it. It's a sign that audiences have evolved, or it's some kind of miracle. Because everything is so real, so de-glam. This is not a Mani Ratnam or a Spielberg film where reality is used as a spice, to infuse a story of heroic proportions with credibility and to manipulate the intelligent viewer's emotions. No; there is beauty and drama here, but it is not stylized, not glamourised; there are no heroes. There are criminals, it is essentially a story of a crime, the kind of which happens in various corners of our country these days and makes newspaper headlines. But those criminals are not villains. Social situation, which is specific to India, is the villain, coupled with the hormones of 17-year-olds.
Watch Sairat, it comes with subtitles. I guarantee that most of you wouldn't have watched anything as heart-breaking, searing and real as this on the silver screen.
There has been a flood of reviews on Facebook after the film released. I perfectly understand why, now. Those who are addicted to expressing themselves on Facebook can not NOT write about it, such is the experience.