Monday, December 25, 2017

Movie Review - Firangi - Excellent Entertainer

"My movie is coming near year - Firangi".

Kapil has been talking about it for so long that you can't even remember how long.

Firangi is his second film. His first one was a pure comedy whereas Firangi, his home production, is more of a romance-drama-social-comedy kind of film.

It's a period film, set in the 1920's, the pre-independence India. It would be hard to believe now that the movie has come out but I have thought about this topic many times before. Here's my angle.

There are some topics, or themes, which have...let's call it consensus after the fact. It's kind of a universal hindsight. In hindsight easy to see that what the correct choice was. Similarly this is something that everybody agrees on after it has happened. Like everybody knows now that Gandhi was a shrewd politician, but not at the time!

Another case in point is Brexit. There's a great majority against it now but not when it happened. There are many thing like that.

This whole thing about Indian independence is like that. Right now after 6 decades of the independence everybody agrees that it was a good thing that we fought for it and got it. There's no doubt about it now. But often I have wondered if I had lived in that age would I have struggled for the independence? Right now it's easy, everybody thinks that they would have been in Bhagat Singh's party if they had lived in that time.

Being honest with myself I question it. Would I have been a freedom fighter. Or would I have chosen the path of the least resistance and found some logical, rational, common-sense argument to convince myself that my first duty lay with taking care of my family? There's enough evidence of that sort of thinking with me. I have worked on my career, my job, taking care of my family. How many revolutions have I taken part in? None. Not even a single march on the parliament. So I have wondered about that many times.

This story is also about a person who is not joining the movement for the struggle for independence. His first and foremost consideration is to find a job. And since the better paying, more available jobs are things that you can do in the British government he tries to find a job in the police. That's the beginning of the story. From there it goes on with showing how he finds a job with the top British officer as an orderly. And how he makes peace with the fact by thinking that the Brits are also not such bad people.

From there on the story goes on to include a king, a corrupt, frivolous type of king, a corrupt British governer and the struggle over the land of a village.

The beginning of the film is a simple family life and romance kind of story. But it soon picks up speed and includes that whole tug of war over the land. Throughout the story the role of our hero - Mange - changes as well. He grows up through the story and becomes a better man.

Speaking of performances, Kapil Sharma has done a great job. I sometimes feel that he suffers from overexposure in TV. We have seen him in so many different characters in his Comedy Circus days and later in his own shows that it might seem that he has exhausted the possibilities. Fortunately, he has a lot of acting talent and carries off a new role very convincingly. It it still a delight to watch him on screen, in the funny scenes and also in the dramatic scenes.

Ishita Dutta is beautiful and believable in her role as Sergi - a village girl that Mange falls in love with. Monica Gill has done justice to her role as a princess. But then pretty much all the actors have done well in the film.

Music is a strong point of this movie. There are about 5 songs in it, all are ok, but 2 of them are really lovely, melodic pieces that take your heart. First one is "Sajna sone jaya" and the sad song, which is my most favourite and my current loop song "Sahiba russ gaiya" sung by Rahet Fateh Ali Khan saab. The lyrics and music are so beautiful that it's nice to hear it in any good voice but the original, of course, is the best. The picturisation of both the songs is also very nicely done.

And that brings to mind the cinematography. I noticed even as I was watching how wonderfully the scenes had been captured. A true visual treat that was worth watching on the big screen. Of course the editing also deserves the credit here.

Finally, the feel of the movie. It is phenomenal! Because the first part of it is about the family life and the start of Mange's love life, it's very identifiable. Having been born in the pre-whatsapp, pre-Facebook era I can vouch for the problems that he faces. In that age it was like a thousand miles from seeing the girl you immediately fell in love with and producing a love story out of thin air. That's what you see here and the situations are directly lifted from Indian village life. They feel believable and realistic but also entertaining at the same time. Kudos to the writers and the director for that.

[Spoiler Alert: Stop here if you haven't seen the movie yet. ]
[Spoiler Alert: Stop here if you haven't seen the movie yet. ]
[Spoiler Alert: Stop here if you haven't seen the movie yet. ]
[Spoiler Alert: Stop here if you haven't seen the movie yet. ]
[Spoiler Alert: Stop here if you haven't seen the movie yet. ]

Okay, you didn't stop. So, here goes.

My only gripe about the movie is that I wish they hadn't brought Gandhi in towards the climax but then, they had their own reasons.

Another one is a scene where Gandhi asks if they had done any violence in trying to solve their problem, Mange says that they didn't. But in reality they did quite a bit of violence just before that.

In conclusion: It's a worth watching movie, either with family or girlfriend. I will be getting it on the streaming or DVD as soon as it comes out to watch again. And again. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Poem: ज़िक्र उस दर्द का

ज़िक्र उस दर्द का 

चल रही थी बात, प्रियतमा थी साथ,
प्रियतमा थी साथ, चल रही थी बात,
दर्द की.
दर्द की बात थी हमने कहा,
प्रिये दर्द बहुत तड़पाता है,
न खाया जाता है, न सोया जाता  है.

वह सकुचाई, शरमाई, हौले से मुस्कुराई,
और बोली, दर्द तो सबको होता है,
प्यार में कौन चैन से सोता है,
वही दर्द तो हमें भी सताता है,
तुम्हारे बिना कहाँ रहा जाता है!

हम चौंके, "कहाँ बह रही हो?
क्यों बेतुकी बात कह रही हो?
दो लोगों को वही दर्द,
यह कहाँ सुनाई पड़ा है?
सच कहो, क्या तुम्हारा भी दांत सड़ा है?"

अब चौंकने की उसकी बारी थी
त्यौरी पर पूरी युद्ध कि तैयारी थी
बोली, "तुम भी कितने अजीब हो,
कल्पनाशक्ति से गरीब हो!
मेरे दिल में प्यार मोहब्बत की बात है,
तुम्हारे दिमाग में सड़ा हुआ दांत है!"

आह भर कर हमने बताया, 
दर्द ने कितना सताया,
"हाँ प्रिये, मैं सचमुच बड़ा अभागा हूँ,
तुम्हारी नहीं, डेंटिस्ट की याद में रात भर जागा हूँ!"
वह रूठ कर चल दी कि, "अच्छा तो जाओ,
डेंटिस्ट से ही जाकर नज़र मिलाओ.
तुम तो दिल से ज्यादा दांत के सहारे हो,
इसीलिए शायद अब तक कुंवारे हो!"

- सुनील गोस्वामी 

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