Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dev D and Gunda - the movie spectrum!

Movies are like perfumes. They draw you into a separate realm altogether. And based on how your brain wishes to interpret the scent, it's either a feast to your senses or an assault on them! And Dior might perhaps agree with me when I say that one woman's scent is another one's poison - pure poison at that! This week I decided to treat my sensibilities to some cinematographic brilliance. And the ingredients used for this recipe were - Dev D, Delhi Belly and the icing being Gunda, altogether forming a deadly concoction to say the least. Having seen all but Delhi Belly once before, the stories were never the issue. I spent most of my time analyzing the sheer brilliance of it all!

So, on one end of the spectrum, I started with Dev D, which is a modern take on Devdas. While I am aware of every character in the novel, the beauty of the movie lies in realizing that every character in Dev D is perhaps the exact opposite in characterization to the original characters. For instance, Devdas' father is portrayed as cruel and opposed to Devdas marrying Paro. In Dev D, a sad father remarks why Dev is so stupid as to not want to marry Paro! Paro herself in the original is a simple, shy girl madly in love with Devdas. Paro in Dev D is wild, violent and pretty vindictive in places! Apart from the antithesis, the way the movie is shot, using music as an antithetical undercurrent to the events on screen is a very Kubrick-esque technique! So for talking about Leni's (Chandramukhi equivalent) story, which is based on the Delhi MMS scandal, a very sunshine bright, happy, cheerful song is used, while the events unfold telling a very dark, sad story! Abrupt camera movements, and the abrupt ending just add on to the sheer brilliance!

Move on to Delhi Belly - it's in the middle of the spectrum. A plain story, with typical people-next-door characters and supremely profane dialogues. A minor assault on the senses, when it comes to gore. And for the poor uninitiated souls who have no clue what the profane words and dialogues mean, it's just another movie, where you want to look away and maybe wrinkle up your nose each time 'shit happens' as the tagline says!

And then I topped up my weekend with Gunda. Or should I say as Bulla would, Gundaaaaaaaa?! Breaking the ice with men who've lived in hostels, or away from home 101 - Talk Gunda! I must admit that Gunda is like the sacred potion one needs to ingest as part of an initiation ritual into Indian hostels! If thou hath lived away from home, thou shalt have seen Gunda - is the eleventh commandment. I was just extolling this masterpiece to a friend this morning, and she said, "Gunda?? What the heck is that and why????" The question amounted to sacrilege! A total breach of the hostel code! Gunda is sooooo bad that it's soooooooooooo good! Simple story of simple, poor hero v/s weird villains, with weirder names, and weirdest rhyming tag lines, so terrible I can't repeat them. The hero - a coolie at an airport, who is the son of a constable, so poor, but yet can afford jackets and matching scarves! The opening sequence which moves from airports to deserts to ports, all with a pot-bellied rotund guy running with a sword stuck in his belly! Fight sequences that involve a dozen Ambassador cars and another with a zillion auto rickshaws that make sounds of an F1 car and are oblivious to hits by a rocket launcher! Humane, moving scenes with the hero, Shankar, distraught after the death of his father finding an abandoned girl infant in a dustbin and deciding to adopt her! A whorehouse where the women swing on charpoys in a supposed seductive manner, but a look at their expressions is enough to make you want to roll over in laughter! And the final sequence where Shankar faces off with the evilest of evil Bulla, where every dialogue rhymes! If this is not Pure Poison, then what is?

All in all, if you've not seen the movies at either ends of the spectrum - all movies that define the spectrum are of no use. So, go watch Gunda to see some serious, unintentional rib-tickling cinema!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No superlative can ever describe Gunda...the dialogues and scenes are so confuzzling they seem almost profound...when kundan is dying on the tarmac, his friend reminds him of an ill-at-ease woman's words "mere pyare chikne kundan, lagaungi tujhe chandan...".. :D

Lovely post..keep writing!

- Arun