It has been raining films after a long, dry spell. First the Oscar nominees made it to the halls nearby. Now a couple of Hindi movies have provided much needed succour from the horrendous lull in Bollywood.
The first one, Paan Singh Tomar tells us the story of a National Games winner who goes on to become a dacoit. It is a rather simple one-line story. Here, meet Paan Singh Tomar, national athlete. And lo behold! Here meet Paan Singh Tomar, dacoit. The why and how of the situation is told in the movie in an unhurried manner. I quite liked the movie, but was not totally moved by it. It just goes to show how used one is to watching stuff about the badass Hindi heartland. This was till two incidents in the newspapers shook me up a bit. One was the murder of an IPS officer in the Morena region that took place when he tried to stop the mining mafia. Paan Singh Tomar is infact based partly in Morena and you suddenly realise that cold blooded murders are very very real even in this day and age. The second was the story of a BSP village pradhan’s husband being killed, allegedly by a SP MLA. The story of how he was surrounded by goons, was hidden by his second wife and was eventually dragged out and hacked and shot, got me to gulp. There is a lawless world out there somewhere and suddenly you can understand why Paan Singh Tomar did what he did.
The second movie, Kahaani, is a laudable attempt at suspense by Bollywood. Set in Kolkata, the movie traces the travails of protagonist Vidya Bagchi (played wonderfully well by Vidya Balan) as she tries to track down her missing husband. Suspense stories usually work well when you suspend your disbelief and do not question the premise of the events when they unfold. A trick that Hollywood is excellent at pulling off through it high budget, sleek visuals. Kahaani gets the viewer from thinking too much by loading each scene with heavy visuals of Kolkata. Every scene is filled with details and before you can actually grasp them, process the scene that is going on and move on to question the logic of it, you have moved to the next scene and need to start the process all over again. When you come out of the theatre, your mind begins working the questions. During the movie itself, you sit back and enjoy the ride.
Both movies are worth a watch.