Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dasvidaniya... The Best Goodbye Ever

A touching tale of a common man on the verge of death.

With the likes of Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor and Ranvir Shorey coming together in a flick, one certainly hopes to witness a “Coming of age” story. And Dasvidaniya sure does not disappoint the anticipant audience.

Amar Kaul (Vinay Pathak) is a shy middle-class man in his late thirties who works for a gluttony boss (Saurabh Shukla). Amar’s mother (Sarita Joshi) is addicted to the television and can hardly hear a thing lest she uses her hearing aid. Amar leads a subdued life and the only exciting part of his mundane routine involves making a ‘Things to do’ list of his everyday chores. All his life he fails to accomplish anything he wishes to and seems to have lost the race of life. Amar’s life turns upside down when one fine day he learns of his last stage stomach cancer.

Vinay, in a way, has played a double role in the film; the second being that of his alter ego, his conscience that steps out of him and forces him to ponder on his life till date. Amar learns to live life to the fullest only when death arrives at his doorstep. He starts off on a journey to fulfill his wishes and becomes a completely transformed man in the last three months of his life. The gradual sense of achievement he experiences is beautifully brought out in the film as he checks off each item on his ‘Things to do before I die’ list.

The crux of the movie lies in its performances. Vinay Pathak’s sincere portrayal of his role calls for a big applause. Such a natural actor he is that one almost instantly connects with his character and feels his anguish, his disappointments in life with the same intensity. Vinay completely lives the popular adage ‘Silence speaks louder than words’ when he expresses his unvoiced love to his childhood crush Neha on a rainy night. It is undoubtedly one of the best scenes in the film. Neha Dhupia is surprisingly good in her act. Rajat Kapoor is perfect as Amar’s long-lost friend. Ranvir Shorey, Gaurav Gera, Saurabh Shukla and Sarita Joshi are equally good in their respective roles.

Debutant director Shashant Shah's fine treatment of the script adds to the simplicity of the film. In Toto, Dasvidaniya is an engaging movie; you laugh with it, you cry with it and you also carry a message home: ‘Live life to the fullest’.

P.S: Prior to watching the film I had a feeling that ‘Dasvidaniya’ should be some Sanskrit originated Hindi word. Instead, it turned out to be an impure form of the Russian word for ‘goodbye’. I was partially right though, as the Russian language is believed to have close resemblance to the mother of all Indian languages Sanskrit’.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sorry Bhai or should I say ‘Maa Kasam‘

Subtle, Unusual & Witty! Sorry Bhai is a Romantic-Comedy by Onir, one of the path-breaking film makers of recent times.

Harsh Mathur (Sanjay Suri) is all set to marry Aaliya (Chitrangada Singh), his long time girl friend. Harsh’s parents Naveen (Boman Irani) and Gayatri (Shabana Azmi) and his younger brother Siddharth (Sharman Joshi) travel to Mauritius to attend the wedding. Shabana plays a nagging mother while Boman is a jovial & happy-go-lucky father. Siddharth is a young, nerdy and shy Scientist who is expecting a patent for his so called theory of “Living inanimate objects” and has been trying to “make a toy dog fly” to prove it.

Highly ambitious Harsh, over the time shifts his focus from Aaliya to his stocks. Soon love takes a back seat and money becomes his priority. Aaliya on the other hand is a simple girl and desires to lead a normal happy married life with Harsh. While Harsh seems to have no time for his fiancée, an unusual liking springs up between Siddharth and Aaliya. No matter how hard they try to ward-off every inch of feeling for one another, they end up falling in love; Madly.

Chitrangada and Shabana portray a perfect love-hate relationship. They initially kick-off by disliking each other but eventually start to connect and come to respect one another despite completely contrasting idiosyncrasies.

Shabana & Boman are just fab together and are as usual fantastic in their respective roles. When it comes to comedy, there are not many who can surpass Boman and one is sure to have more than a bunch of great laughs through the movie. Sharman Joshi clearly steals the show amongst the younger lot. Sanjay Suri is okay. Chitrangada Singh has got-it-all in terms of looks and perfectly fits the bill of a woman who is slimly mature for Sharman; she does a fairly good job as an actor too. The sparkling chemistry between Sharman & Chitrangada is hard to go unnoticed.

Sorry Bhai is about relationships, complex though. Come to think of it, it certainly is a hard-to-digest concept for the orthodox cine-goers, which not many may approve of. Unconventional? Yes! But all said and done, Sorry Bhai is enjoyable and makes for a pleasant watching experience. For some strange reason I felt the movie should have been named ‘Maa Kasam’ instead. You will have to watch the movie to know why.

Crafting out a movie on a tricky subject as this requires a sensitive approach in story telling. And Onir walks the thin line with aplomb. Clearly Sorry Bhai belongs to the ‘Hatke’ lot of movies to come out of Bollywood; a movie that goes beyond the yawn-inducing jargon