|Niraj Sah and Hemant Mahaur in 'Haal e Kangaal' (The Bankrupts)|
It was started off when friend Shrikant Prabhu goaded me to send a dvd copy of the film to Vidyarthi Chatterjee, a no-nonsense film critic from Kolkata. When I sent it to him, it was Durga pooja time.
After a couple of days when he did not receive my calls, I was worried. The meaning making machine that my mind is, thought that maybe the senior critic has not liked the film.
And then the next day came the call, that lasted all of forty seven minutes. He had not heard the phone ring as the Durga Pooja celebrations around his house was at its peak. After cursing the noise levels, he spoke about my film, Haal e Kangaal (The Bankrupts), the one that I had sent it to him.
During the course of the conversation he said among other things, "The film is unusual, perky, interesting, experimental and smartly made in a positive sense. There are a few films like this, and you should continue to thread this path, having a district style and language for yourself.
'The visual language is sophisticated having its own aesthetics. The cinematographic design is abstract, serious things are treated in an absurd way. It goes beyond the visual that it is showing to create another visual in the mind of its audience. It is very ambitious.
'The character Trips cons out a web of stories, it is a web around the viewers. His character is somewhat like the character played by Utpal Dutt in Aguntuk, but denser in nature. The film is about sex, lies and invisible video tapes and is straight from the heart.
"It is sociologically and politically relevant in its own way, making fun of the so called intellectuals; it is a critique of the film school culture and practices, of the lingo and jargon that are being used. It is also a celebration of the film school ethos. The fact that the film is made by a film school graduate is itself a tribute to the very film school that allows such a film to be nurtured.
"It is an act of faith in the medium, in one's own self and cinephiles like myself. Only a mad man can make this film ", he went on and on, in this conversation that happened a couple of months ago.
Seems like, I am still on a high!!!
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