Omkara, Corporate: the films and their makers

Posted: October 1, 2006 in Uncategorized

Two very interesting films, Omkara and Corporate, intrigue me, for the following reasons:

There is clearly a pattern to a director’s style. Madhur Bhandarkar’s movies are
based on a specific social entity. Chandni Bar was the bar dancers, Page 3 (an
aberration of sorts, in terms of not having a strong story base) was of course,
about the Page 3 culture, and Corporate is about the big bad corporate world! He
does a decent bit of research, builds strong characters and shows the depth of
those characters.

And interestingly, lets the film end with a “no hope for improvement” statement.
Where the good guy loses, because the ills of society will be ‘like that only’.

In Chandni Bar, you see the helpless Tabu left stranded at the end of the movie,
and in Corporate, the same fate holds for Bipasha. So much for the myth that
audience needs a ‘feel good’ end, to make a movie work.
(Not that Corporate has worked that well, in box-office terms!).

Likewise, it is with Vishal Bhardwaj. He made Maqbool earlier, an adaptation of
Macbeth, and now, Omkara, that of Othello. Having not read much of Shakespeare,
one is amazed at these screen adaptations of this writings. One can now
understand the position that he has in the literary world, as we see how stories
he wrote so many years back, are so powerful and capture audiences, even today.
The interesting parallel about these two movies is that both are based on
families in crime, kind of like the mafia. And they both have these characters
with extremely strong emotions – intense emotions. It is an understanding of the
criminal mind, to recognise that it borders on the extremes. Love, jealousy,
hatred, anger – none of these come in mild doses for these guys; all of these
are intense emotions for them.

Also Vishal Bhardwaj is a music composer turned into a director. A shift not
seen too often. Many writers, editors, and film stars, have veered into
direction, but I do not remember other music directors going that route. But in
doing this, one thing is ensured. That the music of the film will have the
greatest commitment and best effort. Vishal manages to get the rustic UP-flavour
into the film, be it dialogues or songs. The “Omkara, Omkara.. ” chant is mesmerising. And of course, the “Beedi..” song has amaaaziing energy seen. You can completely imagine the “lukkhas” of small town UP, freaking out, like nobody’s business, with a single, sexy babe dancing amidst them. All of them hovering around her like hungry wolves, drunk to the core, and having a ball of a time. Extremely well shot, inspite of the ordinary dancing talents of Bipasha (Shilpa Shetty or Malaika Arora Khan would have been so much better here!).

Having also seen Apaharan (a Prakash Jha typical – ‘Bihar in shambles’ film)
sometime back, I continue to be impressed by Ajay Devgan. Not amongst the more
handsome of our stars, he plays some of these hard hitting characters extremely
well. And has a way of “acting” just with his eyes and face contours, without
speaking a word. One of the underrated actors of our times. I am quite a fan of
his. Right from HDDCS times.. !

  1. --Sunrise-- says:

    I like the way you analyse Bollywood movies… heck there should be a course called “Bollywood Studies” (a la ‘American Studies’)… 😀

  2. SPM says:

    I like to see movies with that perspective (not an effort – its how I observe movies anyway, specially from the maker’s point of view), and which is what I write.. !

    Yes, would it not be lovely to have a course called Bollywood Studies.

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