Continued from Part 1
7. A Wednesday (2008)
Cast: Nasseruddin Shah, Anupam Kher
Director: Neeraj Pandey
Writer: Neeraj Pandey
It was a seemingly normal Wednesday when a common man walks into a police station, wanting to file a complaint, and at the same time plants a bomb in the toilet of the station. He proceeds to call Commissioner Prakash Rathod and threatens him to release four terrorists in exchange of the lives of millions in the city (he had planted four bombs across the city’s key areas).
As Prakash desperately tried to psyche and figure out the man’s profile and whereabouts, two of his trusted police officer board a van along with the four terrorists and escort them to the location named by the common man, only to have a surprise waiting there.
On face value, A Wednesday seems like a very regular movie with a very regular, Hollywood-inspired story. But the film offers a great surprise in the way it was narrated and presented, and even the issue it tackles on. Without trying to be preachy, the film effectively plays across the gallery a question so essential for the modern community.
Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher both deliver inch-perfect performances in a film which takes place in a single day, and happens sans any duet, romance, songs, or any form of melodrama. An intense thriller requires great writing, and that was what Neeraj Pandey manages to do. His direction is equally impressive, as he ensures that tension runs high throughout.
The film is thought provoking and at the same time has a screenplay that doesn’t allow you to breath. Talk about a well-carved entertainer.
IMDb rating: 8.2/10 (after 4,000 odd votes)
6. PEEPLI (Live)
Cast: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghubir Yadav, Malaika Shenoy
Writer: Anusha Rizvi
Director: Anusha Rizvi
Natha and Budhia are sibling farmers in the dry region of Peepli who are going broke due to their unproductive land. The brothers plot to commit suicide so that their family could receive the luxurious compensation that the government affords to the families of farmers who commit suicide due to overwhelming debt.
Natha decides to be the one who commits the act, and the pair unwittingly talks to a local newspaper reporter regarding their intentions. This sparks off a media frenzy and soon Natha becomes an overnight celebrity and struggles with the nation’s eye on him, asking questions as to when he will die. His statement also creates political tension between rival factions as election looms by in the region, causing chaos to reign in the otherwise silent dry land.
Peepli Live is another never-seen-before attempt in Hindi cinema. It is a dark satire that spoofs and mocks and ridicules all the practices in the world of journalism and politics, and also paints a damning picture of how the current day India is in the rural areas.
Peepli doesn’t try to become an emotional film at any point, and thus it works big time for simply observes of foolhardy way many people conduct themselves when they are pushed to certain limits.
Anusha Rizvi deserves plaudit for such an uncompromising view of India.
It’s bitter, but it’s the truth.
IMDb rating: 7.9/10 (after 2,000 votes)
To be continued in Part 3