The movie was awesome!
Need I say more? The casting was perfect; Fahad Faasil does a fantastic job of representing a taciturn, insightful observer of the goings-on, while keeping a firm foot on the morals of what is right. Every scene was picturesque, and takes you to a different world, while keeping you glued to a particular historical period in India, when British had gone off to fight in the World War, and for a brief, ambiguous period of time, India is left to Indians. Yeah, everything was perfect, but that isn’t why I wanted to write this.
The story was amazing; characters were brilliantly sculptured… The highlights of the movie are this exceptional two: a martinet of a father, harbinger of trouble, with three sons, fighting in their own lost worlds, and a whore who seems to be locked in fraternal polygamy. And behind this, a raging tension of wars between countries. I have never seen Amal Neerad’s work before, but that didn’t stop this teeny, tiny inkling that this could be copied from renaissance literature – the doubt isn’t even lingering… there’s revenge, suicide, tragedy, claiming hegemony: it’s stark, isn’t it? After hours of research into fatherly figures of British Drama, and thanks to the excellent work done by Tom MacFaul in his award-winning prose, Problem Fathers in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama, I am making an attempt in drawing out similarities between the Shakespearean character, Iyobu (played by Lal), and Shakespeare’s work itself.
King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the year 1607, it speaks a great deal of an affectionate father (played by Sir Ian McKellen aka Gandalf in 2004 – whoa), who has three daughters. When asked which of the three loves him most, the eldest two – Regan and Goneril – speak words of approbation, and get a great part of the asset, while the youngest – Cordelia – says ‘nothing.’ When prodded and threatened with pain of disinheritance, she says the same words Fahad says to his father when Iyobu asks him to leave and never dream of a single penny from his pocket, and here goes:
Good my lord, you have begot me, bred me, loved me: I return those duties back as are right fit, obey you, love you, and most honor you!
So poor Cordelia goes to France, with her newly wedded husband, and for some time, silently watches her sisters plague out her father, slowly pushing him out of throne, for a man who tells them it’s possible to rule the world without their loving father, and exactly in words of Angur Ravuthar (JaySurya):
Are you tractable children with mustache?
Both Regan and Goneril secretly lust for Edmund (and in our case, Padma Priya), and with the man’s help, Goneril kills Regan, and drives King Lear out of his country. Enraged at the atrocity, Cornelia gathers a French army to declare war against her sisters, just like Fahad does, by summoning the communists, and to drive away the tyrannous police force out. In the end, King Lear finds Cornelia and repents for all that he had done, and says, very alike Iyobu’s colloquy with Fahad when the former was about to die:
You do me wrong to take me out o’ the grave: thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears do scald like molten lead.
Edmund’s character, played by Padma Priya, and Philip Winchester (a CSI: Miami actor) is very alluring; Edmund sleeps with both the sisters, and kills one of them, just like Padma Priya does here, and kills himself in the end, not in remorse, but being unable to claim ascendancy with his sexual prowess.
Amid Neeradh, I’m guessing, could have based Padma Priya on Vittoria of The White Devil, written by John Webster, wherein the strong female character murders her husband to be with a Duke. Webster doesn’t allow the reader to peak into Vittoria’s mind, just like Neeradh, and puts her in a very ambiguous emotional trait showing her as a whore, mistrusted even by her own lover:
Thou hast led me, like an heathen sacrifice,
With music and with fatal yokes of flowers
To my eternal ruin.
The one trait Padma Priya shares with Vittoria is her refusal to shed a single tear; in later parts of the play, Webster brilliantly emulates Vittoria to a status of courage and independence, and especially when she says this, it’s vivid:
I will not in my death shed one base tear,
Or if I look pale, for want of blood, not fear.
Alright, the movie is amazingly pictured, for a timeline based story, surely devoid of cliches (but people tell me Neeradh had done enough movies to have his own set of cliches), but it’s only an adaptation of a well-known drama: it’s surprising why the director won’t give credit to the renaissance playwrights (especially, when it’s an honor these days to say a movie is adapted – look at Hamlet). The similarities are stark, but McKellen would have been proud of Lal’s performances onscreen; yes, the cast is that perfect, but copied unless the director agrees to have based the movie on English Literature.