August 29, 2005

 

After a really long time...

... I put my hands together to applaud when the movie ended. Nagesh Kukunoor's Iqbal left me spell bound.

I don't follow cricket much. I know, in India, this is a blasphemous statement. And when last time I watched cricket in Lagaan, I came out of the movie hall with my IQ halved temporarily. But in case of Iqbal, I was happy to see cricket in its most non-gimmicky form - by today's standards. It has to be, as it runs through the veins of the movie. Kukunoor resists the temptation of sketching the nuances of cricket matches and leaves much to the imagination of the audience.

This movie charms with its sheer simplicity, a la-Shwaas, and leaves a lasting impact. When the audience is subjected to suffocation of Bollywood's gas, this movie provides the fresh breath of air. Though the "hero" of the movie is a person with hearing and speech disabilities, he commands respect, not sympathies. I wish, Sanjay Leela Bhansali had got this simple thing right in his Black. It also doesn't glorify the failures - a character played by Naseeruddin Shah. I sense a potential Oscars nominee in this movie.

This is, by far, the best movie by Kukunoor, who shows enormous maturity. He not only manages do justice to the stalwarts but also gets best out of the young actors. The show stealer is, obviously, Shreyas. He stands confidently when veterans like Naseeruddin Shah and Girish Karnad are around and delivers his performance with extreme sincerity.

This movie also underlines the fact that Subhash Ghai, in recent years, is lot better producer than director. I still feel the shivers across my spine when I recall his shoddy Kisna.

The story goes so beautifully that the background score might get unnoticed. Kay Kay's rendering of Aashaayen.. is refreshingly original and goes perfectly with the movie.

Actually, the movie deserved a standing ovation!

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