who needs reality from cinema? we don’t ask if we need everyday conversation from music? or three dimensional accuracy in painting. the artifice of the medium as message is where we find our pleasure. then why do we demand ‘realism’ from the screen. cinema has to be a heightened world in which we immerse ourselves in spectacle and magic. 3d is merely another deceit that has to be enjoyed because of its difference from and not because of its similarity to the world.
‘upkar’ flattens the tropes of patriotic filmmaking into predictable cliches. the burnished earth, the iconic pose against the sky. but if there is a theme that lies underneath it all- is it the partition? half men, cripples everywhere and a land divided between brothers. the hallucinogenic night sequence that again cuts a cabaret with horror makes easy targets of the rich- take that! and can i have another drink after the premier?
‘anniyan’ or ‘aparichit’ in which shankar gets vikram to stand in for all of the heroes we want on screen- the sweet good shy wimp, the angry young man and the romantic hero. the schizophrenia is not only his on screen but also ours- a portrait of us. the jingoistic middle class anti corruption tirade and revenge drama is so overplayed it becomes comic- becomes scary. in fact the same happens with all the three personas that vikram inhabits and takes to extremes. the romantic hero obsesses suicidally, the wimp whimpers and gets beaten up while the action hero kills mercilessly. each in extreme reveals the ludicrousy of it all. and images? the pop folk art on the ambassadors and buses in the village song, or the super crazy action sequences with fast motion, slow motion, stop. a skeleton in the arm is seen in x-ray when it is broken.