Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dor and In Pursuit of Happyness

The Hyderabadi in me is always curious about any movie by Nagesh Kukkunoor, hence 2 hours of last weekend was spent in watching Dor.

Two women - Meera and Zeenat –diverse in all aspects come together for a cause.
Zeenat’s husband Aamir is accused of murdering Shankar, Meera’s husband, in the Middle East. Aamir could be saved from the death sentence only if the wife of the deceased gives a letter forgiving him.
Determined to save Aamir, Zeenat travels from Himachal to Jodhpur in search of Meera and to extract a signature on the letter from her.
One would wonder what Shreyas Talpade is doing in the movie? But he seems so essential to bring those light-hearted moments to the otherwise heavy movie.

It is a rarity that heroines are shown having a head above their shoulders , the only heroine that I can recall in recent times is the character of Antara Mali in ‘Naach’ – totally individualistic, fearless and strong-willed – an anti-thesis of the usual cry-babies of Bollywood. So I found myself drawn to the character of Zeenat, excellently portrayed by Gul Panag. This movie isn’t as much about the husband’s death as it is about the emancipation of women and the power of saying ‘No’ to something that they do not want to do. Many reviews have praises for Ayeasha Takia but my vote goes to Gul Panag for her subtle yet powerful performance.

Having said that, I would also ask Why do film-makers feel that they can’t do away with the clichés?. – especially the last scene in the railway station? (haven’t we seen enough with this ending?) and also Shreyas appearing out of nowhere to save Zeenat from the goons and last of all Shreyas declaring his love for Zeenat – totally uncalled for.
Though they might be overlooked in the greater view of the movie in totality, they do mar the effect of the otherwise well-made movie.


On Sunday I found myself heading towards Prasads multiplex to catch In Pursuit of Happyness -the biography of Chris Gardner which seemed a little over the top of the drama genre. We see Will Smith, with the junior Smith struggling to make ends meet by selling high-density bone-scanners; one might ask what is a high-density bone scanner?, to which, I would like to quote these lines from the movie , ‘that which provides a denser image than the x-ray at double the cost’, which would give you an estimate of how difficult it is to make one's living selling these gizmos. So realization dawns upon Chris that the way to happiness is to be rich and the way to becoming rich is by becoming a stock broker.

We are then hit with different visual images of how much Chris suffers along with his kid, after his wife abandons him. How he gets thrown out of his house for not paying rent, how he stays at a State run home for the homeless, how he spends a night in the jail .

Inspite of all this he manages to obtain a seat at the stockbroker internship programme.
How he loses one of his shoes in recess of his Internship and walks back with a single shoe and how his kid loses his favorite toy while they climb into the bus.

And if all these haven’t succeeded in inducing tears to your eyes – believe me, you are not going to enjoy this movie – my only regret is that I was not warned.

Ok, perhaps it is not such a bad movie like I make it to be, but yes it is definitely worth watching at home – in one of those re-runs of Star Movies.

13 comments:

Seashells said...

I actually happen to like both the movies...

I found "In pursuit of happyness" inspirational. Also, i've been quoting the probably vs possibly dialogue everywhere i deem fit... hehehe...

GhostOfTomJoad said...

Here from Szerlem's...

Been kicking myself for missing Dor but I've heard the music and it's good. I think Gul Panag got her fair share of credit for the film.

Swathi said...

@seashells
Dor I sorta liked it, but sorry 'In Pursuit of Happyness' was a bit melodramatic for my liking.

@goj
since the DVD is out , you can catch Dor anytime now.

Vinod R Iyer said...

Hi ..First time at ur blogspace.

Agree with u on Dor, but Kukkunoor is one of the directors who do not generally go with the clichés.Railway station scene was much better than most of the usual bollywood stuff !!

Nice blogs u got here

Swathi said...

Vinod,
but i think except for 'Teen Dewaarein',Kukkunoor does use clichés - 'Iqbal' is a perfect example of that.

White Magpie said...

I liked Dor..much better than the other dramas. And the lead actors were quite good. Ayesha surprised me rather. Havent seen POF but soon.

Chimera said...

@w.magpie
well, I haven't watched any other movie of Ayesha Takia, so I did not have any opinion about her...

White Magpie said...

OMG!! Ye mean you havent seen Tarzan's Car the block buster? Lol!!

Chimera said...

@magpie
oh! n i thought that Kimi Katkar was the one in Tarzan!!

Lotus Reads said...

Oh, I really do want to see "Dor", infact, I even bought the DVD from our Indian store, but it seems to have lost itself in the clutter somewhere. (I know, I know, I should keep a tidier house!)

What did you think of the music, btw?

I heard Chris Gardner on the radio recently and was struck by the life he had and the wisdom he has garnered, I will wait for "In Pursuit of Happyness" to appear on PPV.

Chimera said...

@lotus reads
do watch 'Dor' - it is beautiful no doubt about it and the music is also good - soulful - matches the movie.
'am surprised u haven't yet watched 'In Pursuit of Happiness' , what with it's Oscar nomination and all..

Lotus Reads said...

hi, Chimera!

I finally got to see "Pursuit of Happyness" yesterday. Although I took away from it the message it wanted me to have, "that anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it and if you believe in yourself", I found it a really sad story for the most part. Ofcourse, Chris Gardner now drives a Ferrari, so all's well that ends well. BTW, I am also watching "Last King of Scotland" and I finally "get" why Forest Whittaker walked away with "best actor".

Next on my "to see" list, "Notes on a Scandal" and "Dor".

Chimera said...

@lotus reads,
i have to watch 'Last King of Scotland' but shall do so only in India since i wud leaving from US in a week.
Had watched 'Notes on a Scandal' on the flight - wud b writing about it soon.