Sunday, September 30, 2007

Speech Held

I sort of like some of the Ram Gopal Varma movies which is a far cry from being a fan. Even with that, I approach his work without a great deal of expectations and am most often not too disappointed.

I am on the fence as far as Nishabd. Lolita comes to India by way of Brisbane in this one. A child of divorced parents who have since found other partners, she seems to act from her need for a father figure which at eighteen is combined with need for male attention and physical desire. This child-woman, a heady cauldron of rebellion, uninhibited sexuality, anger and confusion takes an older man's (her friend's father, played by Amitabh Bacchan) life by storm. He acts primarily out of lust but wants to mistake it for "true" love - only if to sanctify his feelings.

It is generally acknowledged that a young woman with issues of self-esteem will seek empowerment in being able to sexually allure "unavailable" men.Jia, the child-woman in this movie does the same. The lover-lorn suitor from high-school days is not interesting enough because he is neither a conquest nor a father figure. There is a subtle form of jealously at play in how Jia revels in leading a married man astray - specially in that he is her friend's father. It is almost as if she does not want someone to have the family that she herself does not have.

I like the theme in isolation from the movie itself. It is the kind of story that makes you wonder about motivations, conscious and subconscious actions, about how human beings are creatures of circumstance. The potential of the story is not fully realized mainly because of Bacchan's lackluster performance. His face is more death mask than the complex canvass of emotions that such a role demands. Jiah "Lolita" Khan does a pretty decent job but it does takes two to tango.

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