Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ये है मुंबई मेरी जान----जीना है ए दिल मुश्किल यहाँ

My second blog on Mumbai………This city has always fascinated me………although I’ve never been there .It started long back in my college days when I read a book ‘Maximum City’( Suketu Mehta).This book is a classic study of Postmodern Bombay,full of stories, of all the characters, that make it up,from Bar girls to Gangsters,from bhaiyyas to netas,from Filmstars to politicians.These acoounts are extraordinary,heartbreaking at times too.
There is a certain mystery element about the city and perhaps that keeps it moving also.Every modern city always has a another side .Thanks to twin Gods of Globalization and Liberalization,these cities have become piligrims of collective achievement and individual pain. The divides in their cultures appear and disappear like ghosts. These divides and conflicts are very sincerely captured around synchronized Mumbai train blasts of 7/11/2006 in NishiKant Kamat’s first tryst with celluloid ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan(MMJ)’.There is a genuine authenticity in the characters of the movie,they have been beautifully penned down by Yogesh Vinayak Joshi. They are the characters next door,characters you find on the street.Their life after 7/11 undergoes a transition and each one of them tries to come to terms with his own internal conflicts.
There is a struggling businessman Kay Kay Menon who sees a communal angle after the blasts ,sets out his own investigation and later in the movie repents for every action of his.He depicts the communal divide.The coffee vendor Irfan Khan hates the rich and is out to take revenge on all those who humiliated him in front of his wife and child. He finds hoax phone calls a potent weapon in his mission and only when one elderly gentleman suffers a stroke because of his actions, he realizes what he was doing(rich-poor divide).The good samartian and to-be-father Madhavan,who,unlike his friends,hates to chase the Great American Dream,who travels in local trains and very concerned about the environment suddenly goes into self introspection mode and finds a conflict between his heart and mind.The spirit of Mumbai makes his heart win over his mind.
Now the characters who are my personal favourites:
What happens when the newsmaker herself becomes a news.A typical offspring of the Indian News Channel revolution Soha Ali Khan , who can sensationalize any no-news and can shamelessely ask the million dollar TV journo question “apko kaisa lag raha hai” in any situation,whatsoever,finds the same question haunting her when her fiancee loses his life in the blasts and her grief becomes a national news.Paresh Rawal, a police constable who is about to retire and Vijay Maurya, a new recruit into the department are struggling with their identities.While the former is reminiscing over is what he has done during his entire service and the latter who wants to do so much is not being allowed to do so.
The beauty of the movie lies in the thruthfulness of these 5 chaps who portray their characters with utmost conviction.Irfan khan who speaks barely a few lines in the movie conveys everything through his eyes.Madhavan,although underplayed in the movie,plays his character with profound sincerity.Paresh Rawal tries to wash his Priyadarshan infested sins and for Soha its a reinvention.For kay kay its nothing new,he’s an actor par excellence. The climax of the movie is beautifully shot and how the city rises from the debris and again moves towards normalcy is captivating……
This is a must watch movie,though it becomes sluggish at times and sometimes very complex too but the message of the movie is written clearly on the wall:”This is my city and i won’t let its soul die because of somebody else’s nefarious designs:”
Salute to undying spirit of Mumbai!!!!!!!!!!

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