Saturday, February 21, 2009
Crazy and Beautiful
Dev Dhillon is a spoilt punjabi kaka. His dad owns a sugar mill and is loaded. Parminder Kaur (alias Paro alias Chammak Challo) is the manager's daughter. The duo is madly in love and have every intent to get it on, marry, have children and continue to live on the sugar mill campus for ever. But destiny has other plans. As in the original, Paro and Dev never get together and Dev goes off on a drinking spree. He goes on his psycheldic way to perdition, doing bootleg drinks and drugs. He is thrown into the room of Chanda by Chunnilal who is her - as she succiently calls him - 'bhadva'.
The movie begins by delineating the stories of Paro, Dev and Chanda and then leaves us to follow Dev until he is done sowing his wild oats. The movie bows to the new generation (finally) and lets us know that they all experiement with sex, hot chatting, nude pics, porn. This does not mean they are depraved. It just means they are learning about life and how to cope with it. While parents just want the kids to discover life via the route they did, parents deciding the career graphs (what to take in 11th - Med, Non-med or Arts), pointing them to a career (doctor, engr, papa ka business, yaa phir nalayak bachchon ke liye Call Centre) , finding a girl/boy for them (Savita aunty ki beti, Puran uncle ka ladka), a lavish wedding, two cute kids (hopefully boys or atleast one boy one girl) and the kids are on a giddy spree through a life of their own, plotting things for their own children.
But Paro, Dev and Chanda have taken life into their own hands. They are spirited and can think for themselves. They are clear about their own sexuality and look bemused at the term - virginity - which is such a prize for the older generation. They are not interested in being 'Good'. Hence they turn into interesting characters, even if they are careening about, clueless about what to do next. They stop being characters and become metaphors of all that is restless within the human soul. Because, without this restlessness, we would never have seen progess and would still be living in caves.
The performances of all the three leads is superlative. Mahi Gill is perhaps way ahead of the rest with her uninhibited act as Paro. At one time, she is on the verge of tears and fighting to control herself. She presses her palms against her face, and the veins on her forehead stand out. It was a magnificent act. Even the glimpse of her taking off her bra to cater to her boyfriend's wish for a nude pic. Sadly, despite her fire, she is the first of the trio to go under, kowtow to tradition and marry an older man for security, love and money, even if it is to spite Dev.
Kalki looks perfect as a schoolgirl whose life spins out of control because her boyfriend was a such a creep. She is suddenly put in a tight spot and spends some time trying to get the situation in hand. Funnily enough, she finds security and identity as Chanda in a brothel. Here she can earn her keep during the night and study during the day.
Abhay is the hero and the quintessential questless man of this saga. He is content to drift and let things happen to him. I dont know if I can label him as a good actor, but he doesnt make any jarring moves, so I guess I can say he melts into the character. All Dev knows is that he needs more daru and more daru and wont say no to drugs either. It is Chanda who jolts him out of his self absorption. That and an epiphanic moment when he is this close to death.
The movie kicks away the model of heros and heroines as perfect characters. These are three normal people who make their own decisions and come back from the brink of sure perdition.
Despite the criticism meted out to it, I loved the music and wanted to pick up a cd right away. I want ALL the songs, not just 'emosonal atyachar'. They are all played out in the background, almost substituting the background music entirely.
A friend of mine said that if Anurag Kashyap took the same team and tried to re-do the movie he wont be able to make the same kind of thing. It is so unique that it just cannot be replicated. Here is a no-holds barred look at life.