Disclaimer: This is not exactly a review but what I felt about entire incident after watching movie. This article contains no spoilers.
Assassination of Ex Prime Minister of India, Rajeev Gandhi is one of most controversial mystry in history of Indian politics. I do not know much about facts, but there have been a lot of talk about this. I was unsure if they will even dare to show the solid cause behind the killing or will weave a story thet will revolve around incidents and movie will give an open end.
Brilliant! They dared to answer key questions like Why and How. Since, I know nothing about historical plot, for me, facts are as good as fiction. And as you cannot write a story based on fiction when you are dealing with Rajeev Gandhi assassination, there must be some reality. I have to read a lot before I know anything about facts so I will leave this topic here. The first half of movie which I assume is best of movie is brutal and heart braking. The civil war between poor Tamilians, who fought for bread and roof from the side of LTF (LTTE in reality) and authorities. And everyone else including Indian Government wanted to get their own benefits out of this. Nobody cared about people who lifted arms in the fight of food. India was the fastest growing emerging economy and all it had to offer was greed, lust of oppertunities. Second half deals with conspiracy and assassination of Rajeev Gandhi and I already have told not to say anything about this in lack of knowledge on subject.
There were two things about movie that impressed me - one was the acting which I rate 8/10 and another was camera work. John, Nargis and specially Siddhartha Basu were really good. Each picture was alive, even when still. Brilliant work indeed. Direction of movie is super tight except for only one place I noticed; where I believe they hardly used AIM match box made of paper those days. In those times as far as I can remember, even in my childhood there were either wooden matchbox or tiny paper matchbox with wax sticks. Understandable, they had whole a series of eventful incidents to offer in just 130 minutes. Movie length could be increased by 10 minutes. When you are playing with historical facts, it is always super sensitive and Shoojit Sircar has done a tremendous job in this department. Overall, direction terrificly impressed me.
I felt notes of violin were cries of people killed in Jaffna and each pluck on guitar played their tears. I closed my eyes and remembered black and white photographs of those killed in Sri Lankan Civil War and trust me when I opened my eyes after four minutes, there were lines drawn from my eyes. If you hear instrumental of Conspiracy, you can feel yourself getting cocooned up inside a gigantic suffocating balloon inside which, I again felt those black and white Tamilians running all around. Their limbs are hurt, each bone of chest countable. Music of the movie broke my heart today morning. Song Sun Le Re I already had listened and it is a nice song to be played at end of movie. Lyrics are touching and talk of a man in search of truth. Song Ajnabee is a beautiful track and it is a complete experience of listening unplugged music. It is a song that I know I will not listen everyday but will become my companion in my deepest times (I have another such song Gulon Mein Reprise Version, Sikander). How optimistic this song is, touches the heart, have a look at lyrics -
हम फिर से चलें
तू फिर से हँसे
मैं फिर से उडूं
पाऊं नयी एक ख़ुशी
Most suitable title obviously would be Jaffna which was decided earlier and changed to Madras Cafe later for the fear of sensitivity of topic in Southern India, however, Madras Cafe is good too. Movie ends not just with assassination but also with the note of 80,000 people who were killed in Civil War and thousands who are still homeless.
Right . Fight . Hope . Blood . Jaffna
Love and peace,
P.S. For some more insights on post civil war siatuation in Jaffna, you can read travel report by Mark Johanson, a travel reporter at International Business Times on web or Google for some more.
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