Monday, September 24, 2007

Parzania by Rahul Dholakia

Is the Indian psyche so infantile that nothing can be left unsaid in a movie?

As we are deeply uncomfortable with our true identities, our movies and our lives happen at the outermost surface of our minds. There is no depth in our motion pictures.

In that sense, Parzania is a conventional movie. It breaks no new ground in depicting the reality of India, where churlish idealism stands beside an appallingly callous and violent society.

The dialogue is extremely amateur, the diagetic music at times good and at times out of place, acting sub-par mostly. Most importantly, the extremely bad decision to have the characters speak in English destroys the film's credibility. Many Americanisms have been copied (Husband kissing the wife while going to office, an old Muslim man saying "That's very sweet" at the gift of a bed sheet (ridiculous)).

However, to be fair, in places Naseeruddin Shah and Saarika do display what they were capable of doing had the director been more accomplished.

Recommendation: Poor.


There have been many movies about communal riots in India.

Amu: Not a very well known movie, stars Konkana Sen Sharma and Brinda Karat. This is a insightful look at the 1984 riots in Delhi. Understated and focused, with a very realistic look at present day Delhi. Slow at times.

Tamas: The 6 hour TV series opus by Govind Nihalani based on the novel by Bhishm Sahni. Not available on DVD. The best movie about communal tensions in India. The depiction of Sikhs in the Gurudwara and the communists' efforts to stop the riots are head and shoulders above any other such movie in India.

Bombay: Directed by Mani Ratnam, with music by A R Rahman. The less said the better, but still, two words: Lollypop tragedy.

Train to Pakistan: Based on Khushwant Singh's novel about the partition riots. Good in parts but meanders in between.

Dev: A recent Govind Nihalani movie about the Bombay riots starring Om Puri and Amitabh Bachhan. Accomplished in many ways (except for the jarring picture perfection of Kareena Kapoor). Hackneyed in places.

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