It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Karan Anshuman (Filmmaker/movie critic),
Karan Anshuman is a film critic for Mumbai Mirror. He's worked on a bunch of movie projects, none of which you've ever seen...yet! He's a history, photography, squash, web 2.0, food, and gaming enthusiast who would trade his soul to travel the world.
FERRARI KI SAWAARI: Stuck in Second Gear
Director: Rajesh Mapuskar; Cast: Sharman Joshi, Baman Irani, Ritvik Sahore, Paresh Rawal, Vidya Balan
Here are some words for you: cricket, expensive cars, feel good, Raju Hirani, Sachin Tendulkar. With all these little elements in one film, how can you possibly go wrong? But Ferrari ki Sawaari doesn’t quite drive as smooth as you’d think and once home, parks itself in a rather awkward way.
Two and a half men, a family of poor Parsis (their combined incomes well under Rs. 90,000) comprising of grouchy grandpa Deboo; his son, the upright and doting Rusy; and the doted-upon talented kid cricketer Kayo. Deboo and Kayo don’t see eye-to-eye on life’s trivialities but Rusy, ever smiling, keeps both of them humored and in a happy state of coexistence.
Rusy’s integrity and the tests it has to pass is the crux of the movie. Established easily and early as the man who’d never do anything wrong (a trait imbued by his son), he goes out of his way to maintain equilibrium until he needs to raise money that he does not have to send his son to a cricket camp at Lords.
In terms of the writing, the elements of the story are in place. You have the myth of Deboo and his childhood rival Dharmadhikari who resurfaces after nearly three decades; a well-defined crisis once the space and characters have been established; a couple of ancillary tracks that add to the comedy quotient and these--the roles of Tendulkar’s help and his bumbling building watchman who try and track down the missing car in addition to a corporator and his son (Taatya and Pakya), one who is concerned about his public image while the other insists on a Ferrari at his wedding at any cost--have been cast very well. The fact that the shadow of Sachin Tendulkar looms over the film will make it compelling for many.
However, the screenplay--particularly in critical moments that propel plot--is much too convenient and staccato. I’d point out specific examples, but that’d be spoiling it for you. In any case they’re so blatantly obvious, you’ll be groaning after spotting them without any trouble. Besides, the film is a little too long what with its muddled, extended wrap up and its un-Ferrari-like pace.
And are the writers were being rather subservient to the idea of a Ferrari being an epitome of achievement? I’d much rather be rooting for Kayo to make the cut for his Lords’ camp, but this boy is already the most gifted kid in the world. The underdog story is played out by Rusy alone and the film is squarely about money. Sachin Tendulkar owning a Ferrari is a bigger deal than Sachin Tendulkar being a genius sportsman. I’m not sure I agree with what the film is trying to eventually say, though the lessons in incorruptibility and Deboo’s angst and the way he deals with it is well appreciated.
Boman Irani is the pick of the actors here; his scene with Paresh Rawal (in a cameo) is the stand out moment of the film and a treat for its high caliber acting. Sharman Joshi is overly sweet in an unreal way, playing the prototype father and son everyone would want.
In the end, Ferrari ki Sawaari tries too hard. With it’s manipulative music, serendipity-dependent writing, over the top characters and it’s length, it does get a little tedious. I love cricket, the underdog story, and well, who can resist a head turn at a Ferrari? It still didn’t work for me. But that’s not to say it may not for you.
KSHAY: Sculpting Obsession
Director: Karan Gour; Cast: Adityavikram Gupta, Rasika Dugal, Alekh Sangal
Kshay is a no-budget indie production that delves deep into the abstraction of obsession. Inaccessible to many, if you truly want to see cinema free of box-office constraints, cinema as pure art, cinema that doesn’t play by the rules, then treat yourself to the exceptional instance that is Kshay.
With only a whiff of a plot, the film works on atmospherics; exploring emotion with visuals and music. Chhaya desires a Laxmi sculpture that will cost her husband Arvind--who is almost out his low-paying job--a fortune he cannot afford. Her state deteriorates to the point of neurosis and her actions force him to spiral away from a man with honest promises to one broken by circumstances.
It’s easy to seize the irony of Chhaya’s financial inability to acquire an idol of a goddess who brings wealth, but Kshay goes much beyond that. At one point, Laxmi takes a giant form of Chhaya’s own self and goads her to steal and buy her effigy without looking out of place.
There is palpable desperation in the air as we soon grasp the extent of their impoverishment. It pinches you; creating strong sympathy for her maddening, impenetrable character.
The evocative background score plays a critical role in shaping the narrative. At times it seems uplifting and in conflict with the image. Perhaps it is a reflection of Chhaya’s unbalanced mind, while the reality of her existence is portrayed in bleak black and white.
Rasika Dugal is phenomenal as Chhaya in a role where a single mistimed expression could disintegrate her utterly fragile character. It maybe a B&W film, but Dugal gives Kshay the spectrum of hues it needs. Alekh Sangal shines too as Arvind, switching between resolve and discontent with equal ease.
Kshay is a personal film and the very theme of obsession director Karan Gour tackles must come from an intelligent dissection of his own experiences. He credits himself for writing, directing, producing, editing, and scoring it. Kshay cost only 7 lacs but took over 4 years to complete.
Yes, Kshay is not for everyone and requires patience and exposure to alternate cinema to appreciate. You’ve to wait for the characters to invite you into their world and if you allow it, Kshay will indulge you in a way few films can.
Read more reviews by Karan Anshuman here.
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