Jun 21, 2010

Bihar, Me and Rajneeti

Body is like Temple, they say. And whenever this body gets adequate dose of rest and a prolonged dose of boredom, the mind starts behaving like Sanctum Sanctorum. And when it somewhere believes that one of its holiest epics have been grossly misinterpreted, what follows is called " suspension of this forced exile from active writing". It feels absurd when you are called a content writer and you need to create so much of drama to make readers realize that you are actually writing a note..after ages..!

Coming to the point..

Mr. Prakash Jha is a fellow Bihari and I feel so proud of this small yet special bond with him. His Gangajal made me gape like a duck in utter surprise. Goodness me I never thought that Ajay Devgan would make me take notice of him, i never thought his eyes would look so deep, real and emotive to me. And most importantly, i never thought that a story from Bihar could be so passionately depicted in cinema. Bihar and Bollywood have always been step brothers. Obviously, the rich, glittery and glamorous bollywood did not have any space 7 scope for poor, rustic and conservative state like Bihar. Barring a loud-mouth shotgun, no prominent contribution had been made to cinema from this politically super charged state. Jha changed it all with a masterstroke called Gangajal. Then, followed Apaharan and then i also came to know someday that Dil Kya Kare, an unnoticed but lovely film was also directed by Jha. My respect for this man grew manifold, but sadly so did the expectations.

At this point came Rajneeti, a film that promised me moon but the spacecraft which was supposed to take me there, just kept hovering around the celestial body. Rajneeti is the best example of a common man filmmaker's ambitions gone too big. The signs were ominous, the moment Jha roped in such a huge star cast. The only 'non-star' of the cast was another Bihari called Manoj Bajpai and he fared the best amongst the lot. I am a firm believer of the fact that too much of sauce can spoil the sandwich, and rajneeti opted for entire Heinz bottle. The end product was a half baked wedding of Mahabharata and Godfather. I wonder what forced Jha to adapt Mahabharata in present day political scenario? A filmmaker with such talent and resource should have rather come up wid the original Mahabharata on celluloid. Is it that Mahabharata and Ramayan are meant to be showcased in Sagar Arts studio only, in a teleserial form? I can excuse a Anurag Kashyap for adapting Devdas in modern times, he is a cynic filmmaker. This craft suits him and he did a good job of it. But why make a cacophony of Mahabharata by trying to draw non existent parallels in the modern political scenario. The movie hit new lows towards the later half, with blood and gore being the only means of cinematic expression. No top politician engages in a gunbattle in broad day light (imagine nitish and laloo firing bullets at one another near Gandhi Maidan), howsoever 'Dabang' he might be and howsoever misruled the state might be. With a constant watchdog in form of media, its almost impossible that a politico, as a pale shadow of Arjun, along with a ever smiling krishna like mama by his side, would end up shooting the entire rival clan. Jha called it 'the end' here and i said 'thank you'. Rajneeti went a bit too far in politics bashing, vehicles dont go up in flames, people are nt butchered so easily in real life politics. If someone quotes an example, i call it an aberration. Politics in India is still highly civilized and most importantly shaped by people rather than Jha's misinterpretations of Pandavas. Rajneeti is more drama rather than real. Jha seems to have chosen moolahs(money) over "manoos"(people). The movie is already a blockbuster, people are gushing about ranbir and katrina, but I only feel happy for Manoj..this volcano of talent finally has a hit to show in his resume..

I am going to Patna on 6th..then to my ancestral home, located somewhere in the heart of Bihar. I will try and rediscover Prakash Jha, may be in the neighborhood paan shop or somewhere along the long & calm bank of Ganges....

P.S- The writer is a proud Bihari and believes that his state has a lot more to offer. Also, he came up with these amazing thoughts due to a prolonged illness which has forced him to remain indoors.