Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Listen...Amaya, Special 26 and Kharemaster

Thankfully, I ended my movie drought after watching, Listen...Amaya first and then Special Chabbis. First..Listen...Amaya. I am betting that those who had gathered to watch the movie in the half-empty hall (or half-full, depends on how you see the world) had come for Deepti Naval and Farooque Shaikh magic. The magic is there, alright, but I have two serious objections about two words in the movie - about which the movie is incidentally based on.
"Modern" is one word and "Mature" is another.
I would have replaced Modern with "Liberal" and Mature with "sensitivity".
Leela (Deepti Naval) and Jai Sinha or Jazz as he is called (Farooque Shaikh) are widowers. Leela runs a coffee shop cum book shop called "Book a cafe". And, Jazz is an amateur photographer, capturing pics of Leela and her daughter, Amaya (Swara Bhaskar) and also reminscing about his wife and daughter, Aditi killed in an accident.
The two find love again after a long time, friendship and understanding too. The question is how to break this news to Amaya, who finds it all on her own, quite accidentally. And, instead of accepting it like a "Modern" girl, she sulks, throws tantrums, breaks-off communication with her mother. She thinks it's one great betrayal - her dead father has been betrayed and his daughter too.
What's actually troubling her is the fact that her mother might be actually having physically relations with Jazz. This is where here "Modern" upbringing and education comes into question.
I think it's more to do with how liberal the person is. Education and modern upbringing has nothing to do with being liberal. That's to do with your thinking, right?
Eventually, Amaya has her way. Her mom calls off her relationship with Jazz because she can't bear to see her daughter unhappy. Amaya's friend questions her maturity and understanding. I would say it's more to do with being sensitive to someone's needs and emotions. Call it maturity or sensitivity, Amaya finally sees light and gets the couple back together. Meanwhile, she also writes a book, Jazz does the photographs and it's printed too. Cool, no? Yes, Jazz is also an alzheimer patient. How's that for a spoiler?
Special 26 has got it all - plot, fine cast and a director, who struck gold with his first movie, A Wednesday. But, it didn't quite grip me like "A Wednesday" did. Something's missing and I can't put my finger on it. What I loved about the movie though is the detailing. All the characters have been fleshed out. I liked when Manoj Bajpayi runs with his kid, sitting on his shoulders, to meet the school bus. I loved his interaction with his wife. I loved Kishore Kadam checking for dried clothes on the clothesline, tucking his sleeping son and wife in the blanket. Anupam Kher's transformation from a frail, vulnerable, old man into a confident, no-nonsense CBI officer (con man) is superb. And, Akshay Kumar - when will he stop doing the asinine roles? He's good in Special 26. But, he could have made more impact if the love angle in his life had been trimmed quite a bit. This love angle has been stretched too far and I guess that's what distracts us from the heist operation. The climax is anti-climax. I knew what was going to happen. Of course, everyone sitting in the hall knew that one man had robbed off the Tribhuvandas Bhimji Zaveri of several crores. But, how, was the question. The way it was shown in movie was quite tame. And, with an end like that, I am sure there will be talks of a sequel to the movie.
Have been re-reading Kharemaster, by Vibhavari Shirurkar. I found the book in CP, Delhi and I was thrilled. I had been trying for years to lay my hands on Shirurkar or Malatibai Bedekar's writings.
Anyway, more about this book later.

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