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Friday, May 18, 2007

Parzania - A compelling story

Parzania – The Wonder world of a 10-year-old boy, abound with chocolates and vanilla ice creams, where cricket is supreme and all time is fun time – no bedtime! Such is a world in which his heart is and where he feels secure. The real world blends into serenity when he enters Parzania. And he takes his sister along. Such is a world far away from this real, cruel world where people kill each other for no reason.

Parzaan belongs to a Chaal Dwelling middle class Parsi family of 4. His father (Naseer – working in a theater), mother (Saarika – house wife) and a sister, make up his beautiful real world. But this world is shattered by the after-math of the Godhra Train Burning episode. Hoards of Hindu Fanatics barge into their Chawls, destroy everything and in the melee Parzaan is separated from his mother. The rest of the film depicts the plight of the parents, their hardships, their fight with the reality and their desperate pleas to get their child back. Along the way, they are helped by an American Novelist who has come to Gujarat to learn about Gandhiji and is shocked by the behavior of the people in Gandhiji's land.

The film is both powerful and real. It has a very simple narrative and tells a story without cowering from the truth. Yes, it portrays the reality, as it is. Hindi films tend to be hiding behind veils to be diplomatic, as if not to enrage anyone. But yes, the trend is changing for the better with directors like Anurag Kahyup - Black Friday, coming to the fore. The background score is haunting – gives an amazing impact. The film was supposedly made in ENLGISH, because the director never made it for the Indian audience. No, it wasn't because he didn't want to release it in India or he just wanted awards in foreign festivals, but because he was sure the Government would never approve of it. And now that it is through the government and censor board, it's faced with Mob rioting in Gujarat. Anyways, we get to see it, I'm happy.

I'm happy because I got to see some brilliant and power-packed performances from amazing actors. Naseer delivers like always, you can see his genius in this one scene where he breaks down after desperately searching for his son. The director delivers that particular scene with such brilliance that you are really left speechless - feeling the pain of a father deprived of holding his son, of the feeling of losing his son. Kudos to Sagarika. She just amazes you with her endearing looks and spot-on performance. The supporting cast is great as well. It's really shameful to see that such a good film gets released in 5 theaters with 10 shows a day, while crappy films like Salaam-e-Ishq runs in 50 theaters with 500 shows a day! But then again, that's what the public wants. Sad, but true.

My advice, go for it. I am sure it will set your pulse racing, would move you and would compel you to think about the issue. Dis-claimer: It's real, gory, with graphic language and scenes of rioting, with bodies burning and dead bodies laying abound. But that's life. That's the real world – far away from Parzania, the little boy's serene and imaginary world.

Viru aka Fundaementor

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