Sunday, August 28, 2005

Iqbal


I am no cricket freak, with my interests limited to appreciating the basics of games, and casual performances. I have rarely played the game, most of the involvement only as an umpire, yet, I know that Cricket is a passion in the subcontinent. It's a phenomenon which teaches most of the masses here to dream.

Everyone, including me, who has never known the game beyond commenting, whenever holds a bat or a ball, secretly aspires to outperform the legends. I myself have felt the butterflies when I rarely have walked on to the pitch, I could feel the world around me freeze, with the cheers and taunts echoing deep down, the time standing still - that the glorious feeling of being important, the feeling of being able to serve.

Iqbal is a movie about the same. Rarely would you get to see movies of this subtle beauty, where the characters are just you and me, they all aspire big, yet there is no melodrama.

Oh, yet another cricket movie! Subhas Ghai has gone past his creative best, and the chain of flops seem to have made him go out of his mind too! Why in the world would you want to make a cricket movie, when Lagaan arguably has already encashed that quotient, and when the state of Indian cricket is at it's dumps?

To worsen the apprehension, Dev Anand's Avwal Number and a host of other cheap efforts have already done their bits. But I assure you, you would really be missing something beautiful, if you miss this movie. It's not as hyped as The Rising, has not got the glorious starcast as Black, hasn't got the peppy numbers as in Bunty Aur Babli, yet, it is the one movie which would make you feel good.

It's one effort which, never for a moment makes the viewer feel he is in a theater. It's one movie which does not have the bigger than life Hero, trying to awaken the masses, or 100 odd extras dancing with the lead couple, at the drop of a hat - No skin show, no "Mogembo khus hua" kind villian, not even a decent music - which I personally look for - Still, it's good.

I just pray, sensitive directors like Nagesh Kuknoor get more exposure. Thank Subhas Ghai a million to trust him. Kuknoor has so effortlessly captured the lives of Indian villages. If you want to see the true Indian Villages - go watch this movie - life is not as bright as Mr Chopra has shown in DDLJ or Veer Zaara, it's not as neatly arranged as shown in Lagaan or The Rising. I feel only Swades came as close to reality as this movie has - and mind you - it's no Swades - it's not a moral Science class that you are attending here.

Villagers here don't wear starched dhotis, they wear yellowish, old, unironed clothes. And as a matter of fact, not every one wears a dhoti in villages - you obviously wont get to see a man sporting a Levi's jeans or RayBan sunglasses - but they all know fashion - they are not prehistoric chaps - and that's what Kuknoor has taken care of. People have been shown to wear *normal* clothes.

Sets are not the scenic Film City locations - he has taken care to be realistic. His brilliance in research shows when you pleasantly get to see that the hero wears a stiched White uniform, while the other rich spoilt brats are wearing the branded white sports uniform.

Shreyash Talpade stands out. He is a true champion. Enacting a dumb and deaf character is never easy. I would pity the Indian cine-viewers if they fail to appreciate his efforts. A few months back we saw Black - no doubt it was phenomenal and path breaking in quite a few senses. The small girl's (forgot her name)performance was undoubtedly wonderful - but we must keep in mind she was shown to be a troubled wild child, while Talpade in Iqbal is Iqbal himself - he is a boy with courage to dream big. He does not want sympathy as Black's character intended to. He claims appreciation, and he gets it in plenty.

Swetha Pandit is another package - a little girl every brother would associate and recognize his sister with. She shares her brother's dreams, loves him, enjoys his company, feels his passion, cries for his sorrows. And the best part is - she doesn't seem to be acting.

Naseeruddin Shah - I cannot appreciate this man. He has been one of my heroes in acting - I place him along with my other heroes - Amithabh, Om Puri, Farookh Shaik, and Aamir - is a statement in itslef! ;) You don't need to teach him acting - right from dialog delivery, screen presence, body language to blowing the screen away - he masters them all. From being a drunkard, to a passionate and intelligent cricket coach - he has shown all the colors of his art. The frustration when Sheryash pesters him, the helplessness in being submissive to alcohol, the agony and anger of being forced an unknown life, to the absolute selfless joy of a true teacher, celebrating his student's success - he shows them all.

The movie is such a light movie, with so much packed in it that I fail to explain them all. Maybe I am overexcited, as I generally am - but I am confident you too would respect Kuknoor and others more when you see the movie.

Do see it for sure, as movies like this deserve to succeed. We - the Indian viewers must get over the Sharukh-Saif-Salman designer, beyond the life movies. 99.99 percent of us, never get to romance in rain or Alps, nor do we run an empire bigger than Ambanis, or kill a couple hundred villains with just a normal pistol - but we all share big dreams, we all love our families, we all face challenges in life, and above all - we all live a real life.

12 comments:

Srinivas said...

I can always trust you on movie reviews - I'm going this weekend!

Keshav said...

Definitely do! It's a nice one!

!!~~S~m~i~l~e~~!! said...

dude!!! i hafta watch this now... and yeah, im thinking of posting a link in my blog to this review... awesome work!!! :)

Keshav said...

Hey Raju, Thanks that you liked this review. It's a really good movie. But I must caution you, don't raise your hopes a bit too much.. let the surprise come natuarally.

And no problems.. do link it! I would rather be happy for the promotion! :D

Murali said...

Hey keshav,
U literally mean "Heart Out" dont you?? Coz this blog has come straight from your heart definitely! Kudos again....

Whats more remarkable is u have **EXACTLY** echoed my sentiments about this movie and other things like Nasseruddin shah, current movie trends etc etc

Truly amazing!!

Keshav said...

Hey Murali!

Thanks a million! I wrote exactly what I felt about the movie.

Srinivas said...

5000 page hits!! this calls for a treat :D and a blog update :P

NaReN said...

Hey.. Me and Srini and others ended up watching "No Entry" last weekend :P. It was fun tho.. will try to watch Iqbal this week sometime :)

Anonymous said...

shilpa

i havent seen this movie, but i know it will be good movie by reading your blog....

but all movies have diiferent story, depending on which they will create sets....i know fils like DDLj and others may have shown little imaginary but..its for entertainment we have remember...
iqbal is very good movie as it shows everything so realsitic...

its one kind of movie..and DDLJ and Veer zaara are differnt kind..

Keshav said...

@Srini: Thank you. But going by the same logic, you too owe me one - so the treats cancelled! :P

@Naren: I heard it's quite a funny one! I saw Ramji LondonWale - won't say an exceptional movie - but really funny. Hilarious in parts - a decent effort all together.

@Shilpa: I fully understand those kinds are for entertainment. But how can you justify the same copy paste syndrome in all the movies of the so called romatic genre?

There is a lead couple who somehow fall in love and then the same weird and sad dance sequences, some obstacle in b/w - either the family or the society or some other shit - and in end they meet!

Come on - even a kid is qualified enough these days to make such movies.

Not to degrade such efforts, but there are a very few such movies which stand out. And those which do - loose their identity because the people wildly chase their approach or treatment.

Anonymous said...

i completely echo your thoughts on the movie... a decent movie after a looooooooooong time... Mr. Shah really is a gr8 actor... and there is no changing that in the years to come as well... the kid sis (her name is Shweta :-) ) is a good actor too... have u seen her in 'Makdee'... a good performance there too...

~Cherub

Keshav said...

@ Cherub: Thanks. I think I know you. Do I?