Sunday, November 21, 2004

Naach - Celebrating Life.

Naach – Celebration of Life.
When I decided to watch this movie, I had a lot of apprehensions on the quality of the movie. I for some reason of mine thought that this movie was a typical bollywood film replete with sex, action and mawkish sentimentality. I am compelled to say that I was wrong.
The story is about the relationship between two Bollywood wannabes – one a practical and likable Abhi (Abhishek Bachchan) and an idealistic and original Reva (Antara Mali). The film begins with the Reva sitting in a road-side platform unmindful about the traffic around her. Soon we find her dancing to a beautiful number “Awara Man Mein”. It was a visual treat to watch the heroine twine and stretch for her own artistic satiation oblivious to the world around her. Whatever the school of dance she adhered to, I loved it. I braced myself for one good movie to follow that opening number.
The protagonist, Reva is a very inventive dancer who dances for one thing – her own sake. She doesn’t care about what the world says and in that way alienates the film industry. She goes in and out without luck. Abhi befriends Reva and he becomes her dance student. Abhi is more practical and he is more considerate of the commercial maneuvers of the bollywood and soon ends up as a Bollywood hotshot. Then their relationship begins to wane. The rest of the story is about how they come together in an final act of reconciliation.
Antara Mali has done an amazing job. Not only is her choreography great so is her expression. Throughout the movie she has a look of an artist immersed in her own little world of ‘Naach’ unmindful of her world. She also has done a great job of expressing her vulnerability so beautifully.
Abhishek has also done a good job that fits his role, a young man wallowing in his own glory and who soon discovers that his success is nothing until he cares to redeem his true gift – his love.
The film showcases ‘Naach’ as a beautiful physical expression of the self. So it is not strange that this film has a lot of songs. Some of the songs could be watched forever. Most of the movements involve stretching the limbs to incredible lengths as if to signify that the person is trying to reach out to the infinite. It somehow appealed to me in spite of its obvious portrayal of the danseuse’s sexuality. The movements in the song “Rakth Ka Hai” also signified the fallibility and hopelessness of humanity. These movements portrayed the useless human struggle in this earthly life.
The film also has to its credit what I would call ‘a perfect kiss’. I leave the specifics to the reader. The love between Abhi and Reva is also portrayed so gently and profoundly. Caught in between their love is Reva’s artistic ego and Abhi’s professional superficiality.
The best credit I can give to the music is to say that it is as good as the film’s choreography. I am dying to hear the meaning of the songs.
The film raises a lot of fundamental questions in our lives. If I pose to myself "Is the work I am doing day-in and day-out satisfies me intellectually?", I would say a firm no. The reason is too obvious to be written down. If there is something which intellectually satiates me it is thinking, reading and writing. But I cannot claim that I can earn my living doing just that. This is exactly what happens to Reva when she is told by her director that her style is original and unique but can she assure him that her dance will appeal to the masses. She confesses ‘No’. In this case Reva is lucky to get a break to do it in her style and be successful at the same time. I can see that I am not that lucky. At least for now. ;-)
I guess, The way to go for us is to delay the gratification of doing the things we really love to the dark end of the day. For most of us, we the unlucky mortals, our professional lives feed our mouth and our real artistic lives feed our soul. It is our essential compromise we make everyday.
At the end of the movie, I only felt one thing. I am celebrating my own life.

3 comments:

Naresh Chandrasekaran said...

Anto,
Great review indeed. To be frank, this amazing perspective of yours on the movie made me rethink my comments on the movie. It was indeed a great success on Antara's part in winning the artistic eye of the audience supressing their other perverted feelings.
Keep blogging...

A.J.Anto said...

Someone told me that Naach has a lot of similarities with Ayn Rand's Fountain Head. I am dying to read this book. Varun Gupta will you please ....

Fathima said...

I have seen "Naach" and read Ayn Rand's "Fountain head" - the only similarity is Naach's Reva and Ayn Rand's Dominique r women of strong will.