Monday, September 15, 2008

Last Lear


Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 142 Minutes
Release Date : 12 September ‘08
Director & co-writer : Rituparno Ghosh; Writer (Play) : Utpal Dutt; Music : Raja Narayan Deb, Sanjoy Das
Starring : Amitabh Bachchan, Arjun Rampal, Shefali Shah, Preity Zinta, Divya Dutta


If nothing else, this film makes you feel like picking up Shakespeare again. It’s a story less about the situations and more about the conversations and the thoughts of a few individuals and how they interact.

We meet the mesmeric Amitabh Bachchan, a theatre artist par excellence, who lives and breathes Shakespeare. An artist who left the stage in a huff, who seems to live in a museum like house, tries new things (the bell outside his house). Doesn’t like people pissing against the wall. And who is lured out of retirement to act in his first movie by Arjun Rampal.

Arjun is an intense film director, the type who will wind up people if he feels it will result in a better shot. For him the craft dominates the commercial aspects and he is reluctant to meet the press, is happy to keep them waiting till he is ready etc. The premiere of his film, though, is not attended by his heroine, Preity Zinta.

Preity spends the night of the premiere at Amitabh’s house. She regrets somethings that happened during the shoot, had enjoyed Amitabh’s company and had even learnt something from him. She’s one of the sweet souls who’s stuck in a bad marriage, probably with a man who can’t tolerate her success. And as she leaves for Amitabh’s house, he douses her with perfume, literally sprays it vindictively all over her and this irritates Shefali Shah.

Shefali lives with Amitabh Bachchan and is now his caretaker / guardian, saw him on stage and just decided to shift in with him. Her expressive eyes convey a thousand emotions as she rails against Preity (is this the way to visit sick people ? doused in perfume ?) or the nurse or film directors or anyone and everyone. Clearly hurt by the events that have happened, she is also clear that she can cope with whatever life throws at her

Most of the movie is like this. Flashes of conversation, a little story movement, past mixed with present, dark and brooding. And though the performances are very, very good, it doesn’t really make you feel anything much – maybe a little sympathy for Amitabh, alittle angst against the perfectionist Arjun, some empathy for the nurse (well played by Divya Dutta). Its nice, maybe worth a watch once, if you’re into this kind of a thing but its also equally probable that you don’t get hooked by it and decide to power nap instead.

2 comments:

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Ricky said...

Hi Apurv..
Great Blog.. have bookmarked it.. Atlast I have great unbiased reviews..
Your website links on the right are incomplete.. according to me.. without rottentomatoes.com and boxofficemojo.com .. but then again, these dont give info on Bollywood.
I too am a movie buff.. have a collection of over 3000 DVDs.. about 1000 being collectors editions.. watch movies in my DTS set up at my studio :-)
Great reviews.. It is really commendable that you make the time to keep this running!

All the best.

Ricky Kej