8 October 2006 | shashikrishna
A mirror to good cinema...
Simple movies are the hardest to make in India. Being a traditionally colorful culture that subdues to the varying degrees of pomp and glitz, it is rare that something so simple yet powerful comes across.
'Dor' comes from the able hands of my personal favorite Nagesh Kukunoor. The man who revolutionized the so called 'parallel cinema' by giving it a relatable look with the classic- 'Hyderabad Blues'. With time his understanding of the cinematic life cycle has only matured and this is quite evident in his recent works.
I was on the flight from Frankfurt to Bangalore when I happened to see his brush with India's real religion Cricket. 'Iqbal' brought to light more than just a story. It brought to me glimpses of an India we all can relate with. An ounce of style with the right amount of emotion made me appreciate this creative genius flying on an unknown land that evening. It was then I realized Nagesh was more than just a movie maker. He was indeed a 'mirror maker' who showed us visions of various parts of our own society. Parts we rarely get to see. Parts that are easily forgotten in the razzmatazz of everything else that surrounds us.
At the risk of trying to avoid this write up from becoming another review, I am attempting to capture the mood of the feature rather than the semantics of it. 'Dor' goes across the nation towards the Northern part of the country. Two stories running parallel to each other but united by one tragic cause. We have a story of a couple from the foothills of a valley in Himachal Pradesh. We have another story of another couple from the dune hills of Rajasthan. People from two completely varying faiths and cultural limitations find each other in the face of a tragedy. Simple people with not so simple challenges. People like you and me.
But then 'Dor' is so much more than just that. It is about the ignored woman section in India. It is about their eternal struggle in a male-dominant world. It is about the anguish a young widow faces in her close minded and medieval society. It is about a friendship that is born out of grief and put to test. A test that can easily make or break it. It is about mending broken hearts and ailing relationships. It is about hope that is so easily lost in the chaotic lives we are part of.
'Dor' is about the delicate threads that bind us as human beings.
Indians have always been fed on a rich diet of fiction and endless melodrama. To escape from reality is the easy way out but to own up to it and reflect takes a bigger individual. 'Dor' attempts at encouraging us starry-eyed scapegoats to pause and look into the mirror we live in.
As I said, simple yet powerful representations like 'Dor' are easy to ignore. But it only adds up to the injustice such genuine pieces of work meet with. I sincerely hope this is not the case with 'Dor'. Do yourself a favor and be a part of this qualitative journey for once.
As for me, I have found my mirror and I acknowledge what I see. I hope you can do the same.