my blog has been dormant. i’d say hibernating. or probably comatose.
many reasons. most important being i’ve been working for the past year and whatever posts i’ve made from there have been done clandestinely! i quit that job last month and have decided to freelance in copy and design, with the odd photography assignment thrown in for fun sake.
another reason is that i’ve been without a computer for the past few weeks. this post comes from shweta’s laptop. my pc decided to give up its mortal existence and head for pixel paradise. also, my trusted lenovo laptop from which i have made each and every post while in london and also most of the time after i came back, decided to tag along with the pc. which makes me quite handicapped.
but since i have a laptop handy and have managed to keep it alive (strangely, i’ve been having computer problems since the first week we bought a pc home), i’m here with a brand new post! yay.
why ‘revival?’ because i am enjoying being back to the blog after so long. but mainly, it’s because i saw the movie shown in the poster above. Dhobi Ghat, i think, is kind of a revival for pure art as cinema.
trust me, my hindi film watching has almost shut down (like many of the computers i have touched). i simply cannot stand the horrendous tripe that sells as entertainment. agreed that we are a country of masses and the mass likes to be entertained at the end of a gruelling whatever that they do for feeding hungry mouths. and i also know that making a film needs a lot of money and making an out and out commercial formula based potboiler is a surefire way of recovering the stupendous amounts of money invested in the movie. my point will always remain the same – as filmmakers, as creators of entertainment and media content, is it not the responsibility of the creators to instill some sense of critical appreciation in the masses? or do you just want to keep the masses where they are so that you can go on creating a fittingly worthless waste of precious celluloid and rake in the returns? if returns is what we are talking of here, how many of the big money hindi films have been successful in the last year? BLUE which is an insult to the colour and the intelligence of even the masses was made on a budget that could feed a small country. it flopped so bad, the sound of it hitting the floor was heard on Mars. other supposedly multi-starrer films didn’t get the returns expected.
so what is the problem? could it be that the masses are getting close to actually being able to differentiate a sensible film from utter hogwash? does it herald a change in the so-called ‘formula?’
and amidst all the confusion comes something like Dhobi Ghat. the film is completely self-indulgent, well-shot and an exercise in creating a feeling which has to be experienced first hand. four stories coming together, not in the raw, seemingly unedited style of alejandro gonzalez inarritu. but more like a chance meeting in an elevator. tied together by delicate strings, all coming from the massive, ugly, terrifying, peaceful, divine yarn of bombay.
kiran rao, the director has not gone to great lengths to explain each story or might i say, develop her characters fully. we are somehow forced to accept them for what they are, unconditionally. like how we would a taxi driver’s chatter or a casual chat with the ice-cream seller. rao’s intelligence shows through the tender handling of each story, not stopping to unveil details for us. she leaves a lot to the viewer, which is one of the hallmarks of good cinema.
and when it ends, we don’t feel stranded. because we from this swarming mass of stories know that every story is just like that…floating with the waves, swallowed in an all knowing silence.
watch it. support the depleting tribe of conscious cinema.