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14 February 2007

Movietime gupshup

I am not much of a moviegoer, though I enjoy the large screen experience and also catch many of them on cable. This is about one I saw called Kalyug, a 2006 release, so I was quite behind the times. It's hero Kunal Khemu is currently in the news for his second and latest movie, traffic signal.

I though Kalyug was remarkable, and really appreciated the performances. Kunal Khemu as the main protagonist seeking revenge when new bride commits suicide not being able ot bear the shame of being a victim of a pornography racket, Deepal Shaw as yet another victim and others in minor roles all gave it their best.Amrita Singh in the role of a villianess as a corporate diva who leads a double life also as a king (queen) pin in a world-wide pornography racket. I do think she is a very good actor. Also, after a very long time I felt I saw a movie that reminded me of old fashioned, Balraj Sahani kind of movies. Though the ethos and genre was vastly different- the similarity being commercial movies with a social message such as widow re-marriage, ills of dowry, plight of landless farmers and such. I was also disturbed at the message that the movie gave that after arms and narcotics, human trafficking ranks third.

Mahesh Bhatt is normally the butt of many jokes and sometimes like yesterday I wonder if that is one way of ignoring the person, his work, his message and efforts. For if I pause and think, almost all of Mahesh Bhatt movies have touched a chord. But due to sheer lack of staying power in the box- office, commercial sucess or lack of big names, they have been ignored or at best seen and forgotten. I am not a movie expert, but purely for the sake of society, I do think it is time for cinema to do a Mahesh Bhatt retrospective. And open up issues for debate. For instance, I feel that pornography/prostitution as a world wide industry and the dimensions of human trafficking and exploitation are two different things even though many times the lines may overlap and be hazy. I also realised that even with my social work backbround and more than average reading, how very little I knew about this subject. For instance while drug and arms dealers make headlines, why are the big names behind human trafficking not so evident. I think it is time to take a break from Kajara Re and Beedi Jalai le- as much as I find it entertaining.

Of course, Kalyug had it's hugely successful and evocative songs that was top of the charts in 2006. two of them being, "Tujhe dekh dekh sona" and "Juda hoke bhi tum"-listen to them and some others at

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