Observing the Movies: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

I consider myself a person with some ability to think. As is natural, this ability finds itself applied to all things that have for me even the remotest fascination. Movies do, which is why I have thought about them, discussed (and dissected) about them, and occasionally written about them hither and thither. I’ve wanted to do so in some long form for the longest time, and am finally doing so.

‘Gravity’ was probably the first movie that I realised I couldn’t write sufficiently about in just a Facebook post. But writing about the movie seemed tougher the longer time I spent on it, especially since the writing kept getting pushed. Ultimately, it was after watching Dibakar Bannerjee’s ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!’ that I realised that this was it, I had to get started.

The piece is fragmented into sections – as best as native WordPress and my limited knowledge of it allows me – so feel free to skip to the headings that seem interesting. I’ve tried to ensure you won’t miss much if you do.

 

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Reading Gulzar – Beeti Na Bitaai Raina

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

This has been a long time coming.

I think the blog hasn’t been updated for a while now (a month to be precise), but that hasn’t really been for a lack of trying. A couple of pieces that I have been working on are taking an impossibly high amount of time to get done with. As such, not quite able to head anywhere with my own words, I have decided to return to the relief and comfort of those of Gulzar.

There are a few songs where the singing of the words surpasses their poetry, if you know what I mean. Usually, the latter is so good that if you were to sing it (and I am assuming here that you’re as bad a bathroom singer as any), you’d still find joy. You’d find joy in merely reading the poetry. But the rare songs I refer to are those where the poetry’s meaning and emotion is enhanced by the manner in which they have been sung. They will be beautiful if you read them, or make your best un-donkeybray effort at singing, but they won’t be as beautiful as the original, shot-on-film, sung-by-the-gods song itself.

This film, Gulzar’s ‘Parichay’ has both these kinds of songs: there is the former of the rich poetry, and this, the latter.

When you listen to the song, or rather, watch it, you’ll see how Lata Mangeshkar and Jaya Bachchan begin the song more like a narration, like singing a song you knew the words to but thry don’t really mean anything personal to you. For a song that is inherently sad in its words, watch the latter smile and enjoy the singing. Then, watch how Bhupinder’s voice and Sanjeev’s introduction to the scene adds the feels to it, like moments beginning to form out of the mist of memories. You know this is more than just a collection of words for him. This leads beautifully to the second verse, by which they’re both emoting, yearning for the filling of a common void.

It is subtle. It is, in fact, aspiration.

Incidentally (and sadly, for it highlights the dearth we’ve had of actors of his ilk in Hindi cinema), Sanjeev Kumar who plays Jaya Bachchan’s father in this song was cast opposite her in ‘Anamika’. Incidentally, again, R. D. gave the music to that film too!

Film: Parichay

Music: R. D. Burman

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar and Bhupinder Singh

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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The 20 Similarities Between Interstellar and Inception

Interstellar

Interstellar (All rights belong to their rightful owners. Image used for review and representational purposes without commercial gain, hence believed fair.)

 

“Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled.”

So, ‘Interstellar’, eh?

When Cutter utters (sorry!) the above words in ‘The Prestige’, it is almost as if Christopher Nolan is teasing all of us. I think the majority of us who’ve seen ‘Interstellar’ won’t really understand the hardcore Physics this movie is built around. We may certainly grasp some of it, and if you’ve read a little (which, really, you ought to), its terms won’t sound entirely alien (ha ha, see what I did there?).

What will also not feel quite alien – especially if you don’t have a life, and are the kind to think about a film long after leaving the movies – is the film’s plot. Because, as the title of this piece tries to tell you, you’ve seen it previously as ‘Inception’. How, you ask? Here’s how! Needless to say, spoilers follow…

 

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Reading Gulzar – Filhaal

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

There is, arguably, no escape from the ephemeral nature of Life.

We sail on a sea of motion, where the tides of Time and Chance decide our destinations as much as the forces of Will and Desire. Life is lost and found in the finite moments of tranquility that exist in the storms that ravage, ceaselessly, these waters. And we are all, always, fighting for these moments.

Which is why, at times, it seems prudent to forget the big picture, let go of the dream of the golden shore of destination that awaits on the other side. They will come, yes; but for what it is worth, we could always breathe a little. Make do with the simple pleasures that abound in the featureless commonality and redundancy of Routine. Love ourselves a little.

We know not when the wind will change its course, we know not what the weather gods decide, we can never foresee what the next moment will bring. But if we enjoy what we have, when we have it, no joy is too small to be celebrated.

I have written earlier of Gulzar’s celebration of everyday objects, occurrences, and experiences (here and here, for your reading pleasure). This piece, instead, is about everyday sentiments.

Film: Filhaal

Music: Anu Malik

Singer: Asha Bhonsle

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Reading Gulzar – Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

There is something about first love. The magical lose of sense, the pure, unadulterated flights of fancy, the audacity of hope, the rebellion from order…

How often do we manage to reach these again?

Since we can’t, we can always listen to this…

Film: Kaminey

Music: Vishal Bhardwaj

Singer: Mohit Chauhan

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Reading Gulzar – Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Today, six songs of love!

Love, the universal solvent of all our cinema, the reality around which all our fantasies are woven. Something that we sing and cry about all the time, and get to see so less. And understand even lesser. And because we understand it oh-so-little, we find that little voice in all our heads to push blame on. But what would that voice know? After all, it is a child.

Trust the Master to find an expression for all our follies of love, all our indiscretions and misdemeanours, all our audacious, self-destructive hope, and essentialise it in one sentence! For the first time, perhaps, there’s a reason why we do what we do.

Film: Ishqiya

Music: Vishal Bhardwaj

Singer: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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Reading Gulzar – Bol Na Halke Halke

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

Gulzar (Click on the image for source.)

There is little exploration of fantastical love these days, and lesser still is it expressed. We don’t dream these days in obscure motifs and unreachable ideals, our quest is much easier, much accessible.

In such a time, there comes a song like this – romantic, soulful, and seeking to break the bonds of Time. Going back to a time when the Moon was both the companion and antagonist, hope as well as torment, laughter as well as pain of lovers, it gives us escape from the morbid bounds of commonality.

Film: Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Music: Shankar, Ehsan, and Loy

Singer: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Lyrics: 🙂

Here goes…

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