Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Aadmi Ki Aurat aur Anya Kahaniyaan and some more chaste Hindi


I loved the title. It had something so endearing in it that it instantly attracted my attention.
“What? Phir se bol?” (what? come again?) would most likely be the response when such a title is suggested to someone, that too as a must watch. And I would again repeat – and repeat yet again:
“Watch Aadmi ki Aurat aur Anya Kahaaniyaan” Don’t miss it. Even if you have to pay a little more than what you pay at your nearest multiplex.

“Interesting title hai…” commented my good friend-flat mate, Tanmay. So it evokes something – something alike in all.
Certain titles really wring in the essence of the film, they stay with you, as whole, the entirety of the film, book or any work of art long after you have read, seen or interpreted the work. some such titles comes to my mind, like many am sure, “Suraj ka Saantva Ghoda”. And all the Saeed Mirza films.
Infact once when I did have a chance of meeting him, this question did come up:
“Sir, why such odd names for all your films, almost like the few titles of Fassbinder films?”
The reply was simple:
“If the people are going to watch the film they should be knowing what are they going to watch, beforehand, like if they come reading the title ‘Albert Pinto ko gussa kyun aata hai?’ they know that the film is about a guy called Albert Pinto and why does he get angry. Or the film is about Dr. Arvind Desai and his strange accounts. One such wonderful title Tanmay remembers till this day is “Bandh gully ka aakhri makaan”. But he doesn’t remember whether it was a short story, book or a film. Anyways that’s typical of Tanmay, err… or of the titles.
They transcend the medium they represent, cause they exist as an essence – a thought in its pure form.

But sometimes, mostly the way the Bombay film industry works, such titles are pushed away in archival storehouses or limited to the very select few who read hindi novels, because many many such wonderful titles do come from Hindi Novels and short stories - the amazing, undiscovered storehouse that Bombay films should turn to, from time to time.
On some instances, these kind of names will remind you of “Delhi theatre days”. Titles that are the oh-so chaste, oh-so pure or maybe oh-so Delhi that sometimes they deserve to remain there in the Mandi House veranda or the NSD campus itself. No, that’s just the malicious me. But will not get into the times/spaces of the Kamanis, the NSDs and the Mandi Houses as there will be a separate post on them.

Film titles in chaste hindi have their own brownie points-the edge of purpose, at least for people like us who these days are completely devoid of such titles. Watching all the wonderful movies of 80s, 90s where English titles were only given to either the ‘foreign hand villains’ (read: Bob Christo, Jeevan), ‘inebriated Christians’ (read: Kestho), or ‘the seductive vamps’ (read: Bindu, Helen) But that was what the Queen’s language was limited to in those days. These days the scenario is quite different. Every Friday you have an English titled Hindi film or if they have a Hindi title they have an amazing English tagline that would make the Queen nervous. Shabaash – you can do it! Is one such title or the evergreen Daag- the fire, to which Raja Sen would interpert it further as D-Aag – the fire. Tautology anyone?

Though I didn’t go to watch the last Friday release but the title was very interesting: “Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?” Had never thought that words of by-gone era like “Atithi” would ever be used in the modern multiplex India. More so by the team that has either chosen to use dummy titles and dummier films like “All the Best” or raped, mutilated and destroyed one of those pleasant 70s film of Hrishida titled “Golmaal”. On innumerable circumstances I have met people who will tell you that ‘Golmaal’ is their favourite film and in the same breath they will add: “Woh poorani Amol Palekar waali”. Signs of relief. Well, thank you for confirming that.

Now going back to what actually prompted the post - a few days back had an opportunity to be at the Movielabs, Goregaon courtesy: Mr. Paresh Kamdar who invited us to watch the 35mm print of “Aadmi ki Aurat aur anya kahaaniyan” a film by Amit Dutta.

“Wow! What a title! Let me check it out”.
Mr. Dutta is a very interesting filmmaker, more on him later, but this film was actually made for the Acting Diploma students of the 2008 FTII batch. Before I start to write anything about the film: Here is a fact. It has won the Special Jury Mention honor at last year’s Venice Film Festival. A fact that our media missed or of course chose to miss. Now about the film: It is brilliant esp the first story among the three: "Ped Pe Kamra". The visual sense, the silences, the absurdity, the light humor, the beautiful lighting, the framing, the stories, the screen adaptation, the actors, their acting, their pauses! – aahh. Kitna bolun?. I feel like those reviewers who come every Friday and write about the same aspects of cinema with changing adjectives but never-changing perceptions.

All the actors of the film had come for the screening (some had literally stepped out of the Jammu train and had come with their luggage) After the screening through a Q & A session they revealed so many facts about the mysterious Mr. Dutta who hadn’t been able to come for the screening. They spoke at length, and with such reverie - the way he asked his actors to perform, their rehearsals, their location scouting, the importance of silences and silences at the right time, his omnipresent viewfinder etc. Some odd 40 to 50 but mighty lucky junta had graced the screening. After the screening, the junta had a wonderful cup of tea. It was one of the best cups of tea I had in a long time.

Up next is the screening of Paresh Kamdar’s ‘Khargosh’ (again, interesting title, uh?) it has won the Best Film at Osians Film Festival 2009. People in and around Bombay, stay in touch. Am sure there will be lots to discuss with Pareshji esp how to go about making an(our) independent film.

(P.S: am told his producer lives in mountains and does some organic farming)

More tea. More films. Cheers!

By the way: Aap logon ki kripa se Bhaandgroup ko 55th rank mila hai. dhanyavaad aur hardik shubhkaamnaye!

© Copyrights 2009 www.bhaandgroup.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta

10 comments:

vatsal said...

beautiful film wasnt it?...played at the osians this year as did khargosh..read some1 argue that if the so called new wave of cinema was entering/ever to enter india, its flagbearers may not be anurag kashyaps and imtiaz alis of the country as is overly quoted, but people like amit dutta or laxmikant shetgaonkar who get little mention..

and agree on the titles part...tho it may not be just chaste hindi, but the fact that they were abnormally normal that wrked for me for these titles (like naukar ki kameez, salim langde..., and the ones u mentioned)

and p.s. band gali ka aakhri makaan is a hindi play which tanmay has forgotten :)... See more

and p.p.s 55th in wot?

prakash said...

Nice post buddy. Yahan baroda mein pata nahi yeh filmein milenge bhi yaa nahin.. but I still look forward to watch it. Do write something more on the director. Btw, the title, 'Salim langde pe mat ro' and paresh rawal's 'Ae Chokri' deserves to be mentioned in such blog posts!

Tunia said...

55th in what??

and Tanmay and his arbitrary talk.. is what makes him Tanmay.

hardik mehta said...

vatsal, tarunima - its written up! 55th/100 rank according to the indieblogger.com

i am hoping that this is a good rank. so kinda posted it!

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