Friday, November 25, 2005

Diksha(initiation)-1991



Diksha is based on Jnanapith Dr.U.R.Anantha murthy's story "Ghattashraddha".Like his famous novel samskara, this story also takes a critical look into the upper caste brahmin community in southern karnataka.Similiarly this story like samsakara center's around an acharya, who is made to decide on the supposed sin committed by his daughter.The time period of the story is 1930's.










----------------------story-------

Narayan bhatt alias nanni is made to go through the diksha(initiation)at a teacher,acharya udupa(Manohar singh)'s place in a distant village.The master has a widow daughter(Rajshree Sawant), who falls in love with a school teacher.The consequence causes a stir among the conservative community. The acharya's attitude towards that issue makes srikar(K.k.raina) someone who had his diksha through the acharya, and koga(Nana Patekar) a low caste servant who has high regards for brahminhood change their mind.

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It is a tought task to bring the writings of Dr.Anantha murthy to screen.As his stories are multi layered and filled with allegories. Diksha has done its best.But given a choice it is better to read the book.The movie's straight forward narration with sometime exaggerated acting makes this an ordinary movie where Dr murthy's various perspectives are lost.



Ghata Shradhha as a book also seems to have some of the samskara's way of approaching the story , the question of what is the right and wrong way to live for a brahmin.Like samskara here also the learned acharya is questioned.In diksha the acharya, the most learned of all is challenged by two people.The well learned srikar and the uneducated koga.He falls in both their eyes.Koga says "I was able to save your daughter from forest,snakes and wild animals but was not able to save from Brahmins" and questions his core when he asks what is the purpose of being a perfect brahmin when he had failed to be a good father.

For a teacher "Diksha is a unique and rare process of making the life of a disciple more pure, more enlightened and more successful".Also diksha is considered as the second birth of a brahmin.His physical birth being the first and his initiation(mental birth) being the second.

Like samskara, you can feel the multiple meaning of the title diksha at the end.The acharya punishes his daughter in the most cruelest form and falls before the eyes of srikar and koga who take a positive step of stopping to support the wrong customs and initiating themselves to live life in a progressive way.In a way these two undergo a diksha.The low caste koga recites the slogas better than the acharya's students,meaning that reciting slogas is nothign but a thing of practice and its not something that only a brahmin can do.There are more things like this to analyze in the movie as this is from a book by Dr.UR.Anantha murthy.

Cast & Credits:
Manohar singh

THe movie is well supported by some great artists like manohar singh, srikar(k.k.raina), manjunath(Vijay Kashyap),koga(Nana Patekar).One thing i didn't like was Nana patekar's supposedly south indian accent.

The movie has a good cast.Manohar singh,Nana patekar,vijay kashyap and K.K raiana all have done a good job.Nana patekhar as koga talks in the supposedly south indian accent.I dont understand why even art movie director's also use the mehmood accent as the default south indian accent.

Vijay kashyap and K.K.Raina

Music is by mohinderjit singh.He has also done a good job with the background scores.

Arun Kaul



Arun kaul with mrinal sen during the mrigaya shooting.


The movie is Directed by Arun Kaul.who was the screenplay assistant for gulzar in movies like Ijazat, Lekin etc.

Awards:
37th film fare award 1991
Critics' Awards for Best Film Diksha (Arun Kaul)

BEST HINDI FILM, NATIONAL AWARD, 1991: Rajat Kamal (Silver Medals) for both the Director and Producers.

Trivia:
The same story was already made into a movie by Girish Kasaravalli.Yes, his first movie Ghatashraddha ,which got him the first national award for best film in 1977 is based on the same story.

Links:
manohar singh

Arun Kaul

Comments:
Yunnoh...one thing I don't understand is that when such movies are aired on television..why are they shown at such odd hours??...I remember watching Diksha on Star Gold at eight in the morning..a time when hardly anyone is ready to catch up with a movie..A cinematic experience that goes wasted...
 
I have seen this one twice or thrice and loved it so much everytime I did. I cannot comment much about the accent part but I really loved Nana's and Manohar Singh's performances. But more importantly its narrative was superb.

-- Akshaya
 
Illusion,
yeah that is bad, the prime slots are given to the main stream movies.Ads, revenue and the commercial aspects.

But iam glad to know that they are airing these kind of movies also.

Braveheart,
yeah they were both good.manohar singh was awesome.
 
i couldnt watch the full movie but whatever i watched was an awesome experience of art. I want to watch this movie can somebody tell me from where can i get a DVD ?
 
Can anybody suggest where can I download this movie...
 
I had heard about this movie before but I could watch this only today morning. A brilliant movie. This kind of movie goes very close to classic literature. Deserves to be seen by all.
 
I would like to buy this DVD. How and from where I can buy from the U.S.? This movie is one of the best I have ever watched on Indian screen and I would love to buy it.
 
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What is the name of that small boy naaraayaN ? He must be good actor by now.
 
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