Monday, October 03, 2005

Rudaali(Professional Mourner)

The movie is simply poetic, blame it on the usual suspect Gulzar, blame it on bupen hazarika, blame it on santhosh sivan/dharam ghulati, blame it on mahashweta devi, kalpana lajmi and western rajasthan.The movie passes you like a breeze, no big emotional upheavals, no big laughter it just leaves u with a sweet re run the life of sanichari and pity that poor soul.And by doing so, you make that celluloid character and its sorrow live forever in your mind .And if u have seen many gulzar movies then it joins the small group of memorable characters that are already there.

Rudaali Based on the story "rudaali" by maheshwatha devi(Hazaar chaurasi ki Maa), is the story of rajasthani women sanichari (Dimple Kapadia).Sanichari who's life has been nothing but a string of sad incidents, is so used to sadness that she never cries, even at her husband's death. Not cared, not loved by anybody, she reserves all her love for her only son budhwa(Raghuveer yadav).She happens to meet a Rudaali Bhigni(Rakhee gulzar), who changes her life.

The movie starts with the bade thakhur(Amjad khan) in death bed and after the arrival of the rudaali 'begni' the story of sanichari slowly comes out. The movie inter cuts with many flashbacks(gulzar says hello).Sanichari the happy mother at the start of the story, slowly matures and mellows down and at the later part she is an emotionally dead person. At the end a twist in the story changes her emotional state completely and leaves us with a mild sorrow. After watching you get a feel that u just read a good novel,a classical gulzar movie after effect. You can see his hand everywhere in the movie. Gulzar also adds to the beauty of the movie through his ever sensitive lyrics.

The greatness of the movie lies in its characterization and the aesthetic quality.Kalpana should be mentioned for synchronizing the various movie departments to provide a beautiful story clearly. You can see lot of feministic views at many places, which were all i guess kaplana's forced ideas on gulzars words. Bhupen adds to the beauty of the movie through his soulful melodies. santhosh sivan and gulati through there beautiful cinematography that captures the essence of the desert.If you have to realize the contribution of this pair, you have to watch the other desert movie 'Lekin'. Rudaali is far superior compared to lekin in the cinematography department. If you look at the costumes of dimple, even though they are very much dresses of the desert, you hardly see a dress that is of odd color combination or an accessory that is out of place.

Dimple has given a splendid performance in the movie, whether it is the happy mother dancing for her son(A beautiful scene where she says to her son that he doesn't seem to belong to her, he seems to have the blood of her grandma who was an performing actress.), the low caste women afraid to look up the landlord lakshman singh or the life weary old women, her expressions are so sincere and genuine. The sexual tension between her and the zamindhar lakshman singh, the way she glances when someone talks about the thakhur are all nice subtle facial expression by her. she seemed to have really enjoyed doing the movie. She falters a little at the end when she comes to know the TRUTH.But that's ok.

Raj babbar has also done a good job.His accent was fascinating. Loved the way he says "oopper degh, dekghna oopper" not sure how genuine it is to the accent of that part of india, but was goos. The awesome Amjad khan comes for a few scenes and does his part to perfection. He died during the making of the movie, the movie starts with a dedication to him.

The characters like Dimple, manohar singh and amjad khan are characters repeated from gulzar's other desert movie,Lekin.Apart from them, It also has Raghuvir Yadav, Susmita Mukherjee, Ravi Jhankal and Mita Vasisht.

Raakhee .... Bhigni
Dimple Kapadia .... Sanichari
Raj Babbar .... Thakur Lakshman Singh
Raghuvir Yadav .... Budhwa (as Raghuveer Yadav)
Susmita Mukherjee .... Budhwa's Wife
Manohar Singh .... Pandit Mohan Lal
Amjad Khan .... Bade Thakur, Zamindar

The movie has six songs.

1)Dil Hoon Hoon Kare Singer : Lata Mangeshkar
The pick of the movie is this song.The fears/concerns of sanichari expressed through this beautiful melody.Bhupen mesmerizes with his music, the touch of rajasthani instruments gives a different feel to the song.

2)Jhuti Mooti Mitwa Singer : Lata Mangeshkar
This is at the early part of the movie, where she is more happy and playful.The ever elusive rain makes a visit to the desert.The young Sanichari blooms with the rain drops, she breaks into a song.The songs stops after the first para and it comes again comes when lakshman singh asks her to look up the second time

3)Maula O Maula Singer : Bhupen Hazarika
4)Samay O Dhire Chalo Singer : Asha bhonsle
5)Samay O Dhire Chalo Singer : Bhupen Hazarika
6)Dil Hoon Hoon Kare Singer : Bhupen Hazarika

Listen to the songs here

Awards & recognitions:

1992 was an intresting year.There was Buddhadeb Dasgupta's thader katha, and Gautam Ghose's Padma Nadir Majhi, which bagged the best actor and director award. Dimple kapadia managed to win the best actress award for 1992.

On the Musical side Gulzar/lata/bhupen combo was all set to win some big awards at the nationals.It was year when the Doordarshan started metro channels and the whole country was hooked to the superhit muqabla to select the best song every week.Rudaali got lot of exposure because of those programmes and Dil hoon hoon was on the sure list of the big musical awards, but it did not happen. Reason,the two musical genius of south.

Illayaraja went to his roots and scored some beautiful village music for kamala hassan's "Devar magan"(which was later remade as virasaat by anil kapoor).S.Janaki rendered the beautiful Inji idupazhaga with kamal hassan.This is a song that the new bride(revathy - Mitr) sings to her hubby. There is a dialogue exchange before the start of the song.The timid girl is afraid, she sings the song and plays music to it by her mouth, that was some interesting tounge work(not available in the audio link) done by S.jankai. The song is rendered in a rustic village accent, with an exaggerated elongation of words.The song fetched S.janaki the Best singer award for that year.Lata mangeshkhar lost to S.janaki's versatility .

In Malayalam bombay ravi went all classical for "Sargam".But these were all small incidents, i would say very minute ,the big bang of the year was the entry of the Musical Hurricane(That's how they call him in Tamil Nadu) A.R.Rehman, into the indian film scene. Bhupen hazarikha's soulful melodic work unfortunately came in the destructive path of the hurricane, which changed the musical landscape of india forever. For the first time in the national award's history, the award was given to a debutant music director. Bhupen, lost his long due and deserving national award for the Best Music director to the 25year old phenomenon. But the award committee compensated him by conferring the highest award on him. Yes, Bhupen hazarikha was awarded the Dada sahib palkhe award in 1992.

Well how could gulzar loose the award?.Because vairamuthu, the 5 time national award winning lyricist wrote "chinna chinna asai"(chhoti si aasha) for roja.This was first of the many songs where vairamuthu's poems released on books would be adapted to film songs.Gulzar's magical sensitivity was lost in the enjoyable haiku's of vairamuthu.

Thus even though the movie was awesome in all the 3 main musical categories, it lost all off them to worthy contenders.

#)In filmfare the movie had to compete with Deewana, Beta(remember the super hit muqabla songs ;)),khudha gawah and jo jeetha wohi sikhandhar, it lost all the awards except for thee Critics Award for Best Performance to dimple kapadiya.

Sameer Chanda via rediff.

#)1992 national awards for Best Art Director : Sameer Chanda
Iam not sure about this award, someone correct me, i thought there was hardly any art direction in the movie.

#)1992 national awards for Best Costume Designer : Mala De And Simple Kapadia

#)Rudaali was Indian foreign language entry film for the Oscars in 1994

sameer chandha
maheshwatha devi

I hvnt seen Rudaali. But the songs are really good. BTW, there was a Lata Mangeshkar version of 'Samay O dheere chalo' in the audio cassette - i generally listen to that version only for personal reasons :-)
you have to watch it soon.Is there a lata version of that song too.the one that comes in the movie is asha's.personal reasons.. ok ok ;).
BTW what happened to ur content at all.
Very difficult year for the Juries, huh? Especially in the music category, I would have gone crazy.
that's why they didn't put you in the jury :).kidding.yeah, imagine , what you will do if your choices are as good as these and you dont have any political pressure in choosing the award. indeed a tough one.
The costume design award went to Simple Kapadia and not Dimple.(It was among the four films set in Rajasthan to win this particular award in the 90's - Lekin, Lamhe & Rukmawati being the other three).

And, art direction is not restricted to the sets in the studio. Since Pather Panchali is shot on location, do you mean to say Bansi Chandragupta had no contribution in it? In West, they call it production design.
Rudaali competed for Filmfare in 1993 and not 1992. The nominee line-up for Music Direction was -Rudaali, Ham Hain Raahi Pyar Ke, Baazigar, Khalnayak & Darr. For best actress Dimple was against nomiactresses from Gumraah, Khalnayak, Damini & HHRPK. Juhi won the award.
Thaxs a lot for the info and enlightening me on art direction.please do let me know if there is any mistake son the other blogs.
I really like this Movie and Dimple kapadia too.
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