Movie Review: Bawandar (The Sand Storm) (2000)
Bawandar is a story that needs to be told, ‘n’ number of times and more. Its about Sawari, a lower-caste woman in the feudal society of Rajasthan, the desert-state of
Based on a true story, Bawandar is a largely watcheable film, mainly for its authentic location shoots, scenes and situations that many of us Indians would identify-with in real life (especially the encounters with government officials), competent (but not excellent !!) acting by all concerned and strong empathy for the real-life Sawari and her struggles that the movie manages to project.
The film does have a script that sometimes sells it body for a few (extra) moments (saved) of reel-time, a bit simplistic at times. What also irks is a city-bred approach to acting, and that’s mainly to do with Nandita Das. She is not extremely convincing as a village woman. Especially in scenes where she cant shed her cosmopolitanism and enter the character of a village woman. At such moments, her acting actually lowers a scene’s impact and makes it insensitive in its handling, caricaturish even. Though she has her moments she aint no Shabana or Smita. How one longs for the ability and depth of a Shabana Azmi or Smita Patil at such times.
The supporting cast is very good at times (especially the villains in the story), plain amateurish (Rahul and Laila) or about average (Raghubir Yadav surprisingly).
What is laudable about the movie is that fact that it highlights the tremendous insensitivity (as per many accounts) shown to rape cases in
P.S.: In making movies and acting out parts, small things matter
The fact that when Rahul and Laila get down from the camel cart after a long journey to ND’s village, they don’t stretch their legs. They just start walking away
When RK and LR first meet ND, she is at the potters wheel, handling it with the delicateness of a city-bred woman
Starring: Nandita Das, Raghuvir Yadav, Deepti Naval, Rahul Khanna, Laila Rouass, Lilette Dubey, Gulshan Grover
Screenplay: Ashok Mishra, Sudha Arora
Dialogues: Hariram Acharya, Deepak Purohit
Music Composer: Vishwamohan Bhatt (of the Grammy Awards fame)
Director of Photography: Ashok Kumar I.S.C
Produced: Jag Mundhra, Gaurang Doshi
Written, Directed and Edited by Jagmohan
Baazi (a ‘Gamble’?) (1995)
The only reason I wanted to see this flop movie was because this was Ashutosh Gowarikar’s first movie: AG of course is the one who went-on to direct Lagaan (one of my favorite movies). I knew that Aamir Khan consented to act in this movie for his friend AG. And for AG it was a case of nerves. Rather than following his instincts in this first movie, he followed the dictates of the financiers.
Baazi is an utterly forgettable movie. Masala that just doesn’t work: whether it be the story, the dialogues, the songs, lyrics, music, picturisation, choreography……just about everything about this movie is insipid.
AK looks his dashing-best in this movie though, no wonder girls swooned over him. But you still have to bear the sight of him wearing surprisingly oversized jeans that pop up throughout the movie and you get to see Aamir as the drag queen.
Where you see the influence of the producers is when you come across those sly camera shots to show Mamta Kulkarni’s cleavage, peer under her miniskirts, swift enough to perhaps escape the censors scissors but to satisfy the migrant labour audience. Done tastefully, skin show and the female body with or without clothes is something to admire and gaze adoringly-at. But you go the ‘Baazi’-way and you go on a voyeurs guilt-trip.
To be avoided……even if someone pays you to watch it
Krantiveer (The Brave Revolutionary) (1994)
Get this clear. You have to watch the movie only for Nana Patekar. Once this fact is understood, you will find it more tolerable to just fast forward the fill-in’s and get to the meat of the movie. This is a movie made for Nana’s histrionics. So if you choose to watch just those scenes with those pithy dialogues; divorced from the rest of the movie, then you wouldn’t have missed much.
Nana brings to mind all those actors (mainly from an era gone-by) who drew an audience simply on their own. And after that the story, the songs, the other actors were just that: secondary!
Nana is of course the new angry young man of the Hindi screen.
Nowadays you miss those actors of yore, each of whom had their own unique style: whether it be Dileep Kumar, RajKumar, Shatrughan Sinha, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra etc. Nowadays all you get are actors who are clones of each other. Nana, fortunately retains his own unique style of staccato dialogue delivery with fiery eyes and anger. Like Dharmendra, his dancing (or non-dancing) too is uniquely Nana. He brings to mind all those bad / uncomfortable dancers in Hindi films: Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan, even Amitabh Bacchan (in his very early days)
Oh and by the way, also acting in this movie are Mamta Kulkarni (the sex-bomb: where the hell did she disappear to?), Dimple Kapadia (you get to watch this poor lady in a stiffly ironed chalk-white churidar walk upto the public tap to fill water; a bit too much to digest)
Instead, watch these Nana scenes…….its vintage Nana
Ghulam-E-Mustafa (Mustafa, The Slave) (1997)
Another Nana Patekar movie. The story? It doesn’t matter. The songs? Pretty pathetic. But we know what we are here for. Its Nana. His every move is arresting, his eyes burning coals, his intensity: moving, his staccato dialogue delivery, his unique style which stands out in the days of Roshan Taneja clones. His acting seems to come from the heart (and not from Chapter 13: ‘How to show Anger’ from your acting school days) and appeals to the heart. That’s why each of his scenes from his movies taken in isolation is watchable again and again.