Movie Pick: Parineeta
Each and every frame of this movie is a painting which is worth selling a hundred million dollars each..u think I am exaggerating ,read on ..and I say you’ll be a changed man/woman once you are done with this..
Parineeta…a tale of love, a tale of two true lovers Shekhar and Lolita, caught in the web of misunderstndings, suspicion..and winning over them..
I take this oppurtunity to write my blog on it..Because it was my movie fav of this year 2k5..because it deserved more than Paheli to go to the Oscars as India’s official entry..because it showcases Saif Ali Khan at his career’s best performance (arguably after Dil Chahta Hai), because it has given birth to a wonderful actress Vidya Balan..and because it takes a producer like Vidhu Vinod Chopra to believe in an ad-person Pradeep Sarkar to direct this pure magic set in the backdrop of 1960’s Calcutta.
The first thing you notice about Pradeep Sarkar’s portrayal of this classic Sarat Chandra’s novel is the tone, the hue and the flavour of 1960’s Calcutta that he brings forth with extraordinary expertise.Right when you have just settled down with your popcorn in your seats, and the title credits have started rolling in, you get immersed in the aura of 1960’s Calcutta as Amitabh Bachhan narrates the lyrical description of that era….of Calcutta’s “Coffee House Addas” ..of the land of football frenzy people with “Aamar Shonar Bangla” playing in the background as the ‘majhi’ sails over the Hoogly river..of the political aspirations of Calcutta..of the love of Shekhar and Lolita…the city plays the ethereal backdrop for the tender story to unfold..and thus Sarath Chandra’s prose takes the shape of lyrical poetry in the celluloid frames of Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Parineeta…the married woman
The story… unfolds in flashback… a young orphaned girl Lolita(Vidya Balan) is sent to live with her Uncle, and as destiny has it, she meets Shekhar(Saif Ali Khan), budding musician and son of a millionaire..both share their happy and bitter moments of childhood and adolescence and as they grow together it all takes the shape of intense love ..probably unknowingly..it is all so beautifully depicted in scenes where Lolita becomes jealous when she hears of Gayatri’s (Diya Mirzaa) dressing style praised by Shekhar...also Shekhar’s envy at Lolita spending evenings with Girish(Sanjay Dutt) all indicate the blooming of intense love between the two..It takes the arrival of Girish(the outsider) to realise each other’s feelings.
The relationship between the two goes through a maze of greed, deception,misunderstandings and suspicion..but comes through all this to conquer over all these obstacles and displays the victory of true love over all .
The music…is pure magic and I cannot find any other synonym for it.Its simply spectacular and extra-ordinary.Music scored by Shantanu Moitra is actually the Trump Card of the movie.Each and every note has been woven so beautifully with the movie that you cannot imagine Parineeta the movie, without the songs, and each song in itself is a movie having a story to tell.
So,lets deal with them one by one, shall we.
Soona Man ka Aangan..Sonu Nigam does it again with this number, reflecting the deep pain and misery of Shekhar as he remembers his love Lolita. Shantanu blends perfectly Tagore’s “Phulle Phulle” with immense expertise into this one..
Piyu Bole..The track audience will be humming when they alk out of the theatre, brilliant Bengali influences being mingled with the Elvis-loving character Shekhar who plays the notes on his piano..Shreya Ghosal’s youthful, fresh and effervescent voice gives life to the song, and yes I would definitely not forget Sonu Nigam. The man is a genius, sheer genius.
Kasto Mazza(Ye Hawayein)This song features on Darjeeling’s famous toy train, and gives the true feeling of a train song,not like the traditional “Mere Sapnon ki Rani”.Should I say even better..Needless to say, Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal render the song perfectly..I can’t imagine the song to have sung by any other singers..lyrics by (not much known )Swanand Kirkire are a treat to the ears..but the show-stealer is the chorus of children singing the Nepali verses “Kasto Mazza hai Rail ei maa..Ramailo Ukaali Orali”.
Kaisi Paheli (hai Zindagaani.).Rekha sizzles completely and has her screen presence felt after a long time in this song, which mingles 60’s Blues and Jazz music.The song appears when Girish and his family members go to this Calcutta Night Club called Moulin Rouge.Sung by the intoxicating Sunidhi Chauhan, the song displays the versatility of Shantanu Moitra.This song has it all, saxaphones, acustics riffing, and the ooh’s of Blues.
Raat Hamari Toh..the song depicts the story of a dark night ..The song steals all your concentration and is a tale by itself..Listen to the this if you are all alone and you will feel the mood of the song touching you literally..Sung by Chitra, and Swanan who does a Ustad Sultan Khan..this is definitely not a forgettble song..
The song not mentioned so far is the wedding song, which I think was meant for easing the starting credits rolling procedure. I personally feel the song to be one of the two let-downs of the movie.
Saif Ali Khan..to begin with, has come a long way from just being the Junior Nawab or the son of Sharmila tagore, to this great actor who is a strong contender for next year’s Film Awards, and not only the Filmfares and Screens,but also the National Awards(c’mon if he can do it with Hum Tum, he can definitely win it for Parineeta).Saif comes truly alive as the guitar loving, Elvis fan,cigarette smoking and Lolita loving Shekhar..absolutely brilliant is what I say…
Vidya Balan..she is a mallu(Malayalam) is what I was told when I googled for her origins and I was taken by complete shock,..Come on..she looks so very bengali with the Sindoor, and Laal-paai Saaree..She plays the title role of Lolita brilliantly(I am running out of words)..that’s it..plain and simple, she was brilliant.Give her all the awards you have.
Sanjay Dutt..he plays Girish the stranger, outsider..its actually (I think}, a take on today’s Lakshmi Mittal, the steel tycoon. Girish is the man who comes to Lolita’s rescue during her bad times.Nothing much revealed though about the character.He ends up marrying the bubbly Koel(Raima Sen),Lolita’s friend.Not a very challenging role for Sanju Baba though, he plays it with ease.Raima sen as Koel is very brief, but has her moments in the movie.Obviously, you cannot detail each and every character. But definitely didn’t see much of Raima Sen.
Other characters that you will remember are…
Gayatri Tatiya..Diya Mirza in a very brief performance of a rich girl as Shekhar’s fiance’
Nabin Roy..Veteran Bengali actor Sabyasachi Chakravarthy plays the role of the greedy and bad businessman father of Shekhar
Gurucharan..played by Veteran Television actor Achyut Poddar, this is the character of Lolita’s uncle, who along with his wife are Lolita’s only guardians
Shekhar’ mother..they never revealed her name, but the role is played by yesteryear’s Punjabi actress Surinder Kaur
Also Ninad Kamat plays Shekhar’s friend who is a music arranger..
The let downs..
Parineeta is no doubt a huge canvas,painted so beautifully but it has a minute portion where the brush strokes are disturbing rather than being beautiful, one I have already mentioned and that is the Wedding song(cmon, do you have Dholak and stuff happening in a Bengali Wedding, and where was the wedding happening, Shekhar’s home or Gayatri’s home????), and the other one is the Climax scene where the emotions of friends and family(except for shekhar’s father) rise to encourage Shekhar to break the wall..too melodramatic and comes out of the film and makes me choke..come on, you were making this very beautiful movie, what happened suddenly?But you can definitely ignore this and go back home happy when Shekhar and Lolita reunite. ..for ever
Art Direction..Nitin Desai,Keshto Mandal,Pradeep and Tanushree Sarkar,..Nitin Desai …he’s the same guy who did the art direction for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” and “Devdas”, thank you for realistically depicting the sets, of a Bengali Zamindaar and not making them span to acres of fountains and a huge race-course as a court yard(remember Devdas)
Lights Deptt..Nights have never been so beautiful, each frame of Parineeta’s night scenes (I don’t know how many times I have used this)is a painting..a masterpiece, and it all stands out and blends so easily into the movie because of the Lights deptt, with all the effects of Candles,Smoke and Darkness..man , ..Darkness never felt so silky
Cinematographer :Nataraja.N.Subramaniam..if Pradeep Sarkar was the painter, he definitely drew the sketches for them..
the scenes of Hoogly,Durga Pooja,Victoria Memorial,Howrah,Darjeeling,..man I can’t stop listing them..
Costumes..Subarna Ray Chaudhri..plain and simple brilliant, especially for Diya Mirza’s wardrobe when Gayatri and Shekhar watch a derby, and Rekha’s attire for the Moulin Rouge scene…
Of course the Editor..Hemanti Sarkar to have kept the movie so crisp..
And last but not least..the trio..
Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Pradeep Sarkar and Shantanu Moitra..
Last words..Parineeta belongs at last to Vidya Balan definitely.But Rekha in her just over 4 minutes performance in Kaisi Paheli Zindagaani leaves us spell-bound.she’s still enchanting.
Well enough said and written,now do you feel good?And for those who haven’t seen the movie as yet, I should say get up you lazy bums, buy ,borrow or steal the DVD of Parineeta and watch it..Experience the magic of Parineeta and be enthralled by it.Because the world is now divided into two parts, first belonging to those lucky ones who have seen Parineeta, and the other to those who are unfortunate enough to have not seen it.