Anyways, back to the film. Let’s forget for now the ODE to Indian Cinema, because it could have been released as an ODE to Bombay and the dreams it sells too. 4 Directors, 4 breezy shorts, 1 good film.
Karan Johar surprises with the format, not with the theme. It’s a Love Triangle with a twist. The primary protagonists are the film’s strength - Rani, Randeep and Saqib. The problem is the characterization of Saqib, who is gay and tries to woo Rani’s husband. There is no internal conflict in his mind about his orientation, but he seems confused of what he wants to do. The film is bold, but tries too hard to be it. Nonetheless, is refreshing to see Karan make a film sans Mansions and Helicopters. Clearly, hecan make films. – The only Bollywood connect -> Randeep loves old filmy songs and a young girl sings “Ajeeb Daastan hai yeh” on a Mumbai overbridge.
Zoya Akhtar’s short is about a Cross dressing kid. (Instantly reminds you of another Hindi film “Pankh”) But it is more than that. It is about ambition. A kid wants to be a dancer, but his middle class father wants him to be good in sports – a manly thing to do! But his sister understands. It’s a decently well made film without any fluffs. It scratches the surface and leaves it at that. Hope Bollywood makes more films about Kids, their angst and their ambitions. – The only Bollywood connect -> Katrina Kaif is the boy’s idol and she inspires him to follow his dream.
Anurag Kashyap’s film is a tragicomedy worth its weight in Murabba. Brilliantly acted by Vineet Kumar Singh, it’s about a man trying to fulfill his father’s last wish. So his father is a big Amitabh Bachchan fan and wants his son to get his idol to have a bite of a Murabba. As absurd as it may sound, he believes that it will help him survive a little more. So the son sets out to do the same. What really works for the film is its absurd script, its primary protagonist and the Bachchan factor. The aura of this Super Star is unbelievable and you can totally believe someone being so desperate to meet him. Anurag, after a long time, does not try to do too much in a film. No fancy camerawork, no brash “Show-offing” ( if I may say so) of skills learnt around the world! And the end makes you smile.
And finally, the short by the finest filmmaker in Bollywood (at present) – Dibakar, with one of the finest actors in Bollywood – Nawazzudin. Based on a Satyajit Ray tale, it’s about a failed actor who is struggling to make ends meet in Bombay. But a fortuitous day in his life, rekindles his love for acting. It also tells him not to cry at his fate, but seize the initiative and make amends. What stands out in this short, is the sterling direction. Dibakar has a kind of peaceful approach to filmmaking. He doesn’t hurry things. His shots linger for sometime, for you to seep in the emotion, the feel of the scene. So, you see Nawazuddin sleep in his balcony that fraction of a second more, you see him practice his lines from 200 meters away as a bystander. It’s not IN YOUR FACE cinemaking! It’s subtle, it’s classy. And, Nawaz gives another brilliant performance. Check out the nuances in his acting when he gives a shot within the film. One long shot, but so well done!
Anurag may be more talked about as a filmmaker, but Dibakar definitely has the most control of his craft.
Should you watch it? Watch it, coz it has 4 half an hour films and you definitely won’t get bored. Plus, it has some great performances. It’s an odd ODE to Bollywood, but quiet an even film!
P.S.: The Song in the end is atrocious. It has the Who's-Who of Bollywood, but is one boring song! Not fit for such a big occasion. The Murabba song is much much much better!