Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday Morning Blues

Boy, I HATE Monday mornings! Reminder of the real world - work, career (or lack thereof), bosses, results, late nights. It would all be palatable provided I were getting somewhere by working my ass off. At present, it looks like I'm slogging away for nothing at all.

Anyway, had a relaxed weekend - pampered and polished my tired muscles, then tired them out some more playing squash, shopped for music (Godsmack, Ozzy, Oasis, Progressive hits... bliss!). Lunch at TGIF with a cool drink and a really yummy salad (5 stars!!). Watched Nagesh Kukunoor's Dor.

Dor is a quiet, warm movie about 2 women who are brought together through the death of one's husband at the hands of the other's. Zeenat (Gul Panag) sets out from the lovely hills of Himachal to obtain clemency for her husband, armed with just a photograph. Her search leads her into rural Rajasthan, where she runs into Beharupiya (Shreyas "Iqbal" Talpade in a really comic turn). Beharupiya turns out to be a crook with a heart who helps her find Meera (Ayesha Takia), the widow who holds Zeenat's fate in her hands. Zeenat befriends the timid Meera and encourages her to break free from the walls that hem her in, even as she continues to feel guilty for her deception. Meera, in the meanwhile, has to contend with in-laws who blame her for their misfortunes and plot to barter her flesh with the lecherous Mr. Chopra (Kukunoor, who is too cute to look the part).

The ending is predictable, even funny (think DDLJ with a lesbian twist). But then, Kukunoor has always had trouble with how his films end (Iqbal being an exception). Kukunoor ventures into unexplored territory (for him) in Dor - drama. And wisely stays away from over dramatizing it - no buckets of tears and laments from anyone here. There is a really touching scene where the newly widowed Meera dances to her favourite Bollywood number even as she feels guilty that she should be in mourning, you realize just how young she is for a fate like that.

The cinematography is captivating - Kukunoor takes full advantage of the beauty of the landscapes he is shooting in. The very landscapes are symbolic of the difference between worlds the two women inhabit, yet linked by the wild, untamed nature of both.

What I really like about the movie is that it is feminist without being too obvious about it (take a few lessons Tanuja Chandra, Kalpana Lajmi). The protagonists Zeenat and Meera are not in your face, bra-burning, women's libbers - they are just trying to live their lives by their own rules in a society that expects them to toe the line. Kukunoor has created women who are more like you and me than a faux rock star. And his choice of cast works well for him - Gul Panag does justice to her role, Sheryas Talapade is endearing, but its Ayesha Takia who walks away with our hearts as the simple and innocent village girl who is laced with steel inside. I hope she gets better parts in Bollywood post Dor.

Verdict - Kukunoor is getting to be a really interesting director, Must watch.

1 comment:

globalgirl said...

Hey, I saw Dor, too. I thought it was pretty good. I think I recognized Ayesha Takia from Super . . maybe. Have a nice day!