Monday, October 02, 2006

Khosla ka Ghosla

Khosla ka Ghosla is a humorous showcase for Delhi, a city I’ve lived in from the 6th standard all the way till end of college and a city with which I have a love-hate relationship !

I love the buzz in Delhi….the feeling that everyone is trying to progress / make money. I hate that in most cases they’re actually trying to make it illegally and its you they’re trying to rip off.
I love the aggression, the enthusiasm but hate the fact that it results in the use of violence almost as a first resort.
I love the feeling of open space / spaciousness (especially vs Mumbai which always feels very crowded) but hate the fact that due to land-grabbing / illegal construction / the conversion of single-storey bungalows into ugly multi-storeyed eyesores in residential areas, this is rapidly disappearing.
Finally, I love the mentality of anything can happen, nothing is impossible and the sheer inventiveness this leads to – the ability of overcoming any obstacle or coming up with ‘shortcuts’ is amazing but I hate the fact that this is accompanied by a complete lawlessness and lack of consideration for other humans.

Khosla ka Ghosla does a brilliant job of highlighting all the wonderful and not so wonderful things which make Delhi what it is – along with the above, you have the helpful neighbours, the chartered buses, the almost ludicrous belief in deities – Mata / Baba etc and the near - idolisation of NRI’s. And its done with a wonderful sense of realism – there are no comic stereotypes, no slapstick for easy laughs. The humour lies in the reality of the situation, the people and how they choose to overcome their problems.

Kamal Kishore Khosla (Anupam Kher), a salaried person on the brink of retirement, buys a plot of land where he can construct a bungalow which can fit all of his family – with a floor for each of his kids… Shortly after the purchase the plot gets ‘grabbed’ by an unscrupulous property developer, Mr Kishan Khurana (Boman Irani). They first try the straightforward methods, all the things you and I would do in the same situation…they meet the person who sold them the land who peacefully points out this is their problem. They meet the land-grabber who equally peacefully quotes his price for vacating the property, they meet the police who offer to get the price reduced but want their cut. They meet lawyers, politicians, activists as well who have pretty much the same response as the police. Bunty (Ranvir Sheorey), his eldest son, a good-for-nothing, good hearted, unemployed loafer comes up with the idea of using ‘force’. He hires a bunch of strong men from the local akhara (wrestling club) but the only outcome is that is father gets jailed ! Mr Khosla is now at breaking point….he is resigned to his fate and is ready to give up his plot.
This spurs his younger son, Chiraunji Lal, aka Cherry (Parvin Dabas) to try to do something. His relationship with his father was never a very good one, even though he is the smart one in the family, the one who bears the burden of all the expectations. This relationship is put under even more strain when he announces to his stunned family that he is about to leave shortly for America. His girl-friend, Meghna (Tara Sharma), is involved in a theatre group led by Bapu (Navin Nischol), and cannot understand how he can just leave, abandoning his father. The second half of the movie is all about what happens next….how a computer engineer enters the world of real-estate and without doing anything beyond the realms of reason, tries to get his increasingly reluctant father his land back.

I really enjoyed watching the movie – I loved the way some of the characters have been fleshed out…I found I could relate to them, understand why they behaved the way they did and could easily spot some of their traits in my circle of family and friends. And I loved the realism…there is nothing shown in the movie that could not happen to you and me. There are also some moments where you squirm – especially in the first half – the primary thought in my head was ‘Shit, this could be happening to me !’. You feel the pain, the agony that Mr Khosla is going through for no fault of his and his helplessness and frustration with the situation.

One more thing I really liked / want to comment on is the start – which was a very innovative way to introduce all the characters in the Khosla family and their relationships with each other.

Everyone in the movie acts very well – Anupam Kher and Boman Irani are truly the chameleons of modern Bollywood – they seem to fit into any role with ease. However, the surprises were Ranvir Sheorey as Bunty, Vinay Pathak as the visa agent and Navin Nischol’s secretary (tried hard but couldn’t get his name) - they all truly excelled in their roles and gave their characters something extra…

Khosla ka Ghosla is like a Coffee Crème Caramel – light, easy, sweet in most parts but with a touch of bitterness. When I was leaving the hall though, I couldn’t help wondering what a non-Delhiite would think of the movie…whether they could relate to the movie as easily as I did and see the humour in the situation ? Or would they think this is something else those crass people up North do ?


Anonymous said...

I saw the movie at home (with regular breaks of tea and snacks). Needed to do this as I went over most of the scenes more than twice. Enjoyed every moment of it Hate to admit, I did this after reading Apurv's comments.

Hate even more to admit this but Apurv's done a fantastic job of reviewing the movie (I usually don't rate many people above myself :)). His review is almost perfect.

You have an alternate career Apurv. Anytime that you want to get into bollywood as a storywriter just let me know. Please write to Prashant Misra c/o Shilpa Shetty…

Rohit Deep said...

This movie I watched purely based on this review. My wife (and my friends) are shocked beyond belief that I watched 2 Hindi movies back to back (Don and Khosla) and came out liking them. My image is totally shattered now. I liked the movie. Well made. Good story and very well knit together. Anupam Kher is very good and the other guy (the one from Don) was very good as well. My only request, please cut them time for the movies. I really don't have that much time to watch them anyways and it seems Hollywood is now going Bollywood way as far as time is concerned.

Good story, good acting, good directing and no bollywood masala. All ingredients for a good movie. Thoroughly enjoyed it.