Khoya Khoya Chand
posted Fri, 04 Jan 2008 20:37:23 -0800
Khoya Khoya Chand.
The half movie that showed up rocked. Khoya Khoya Chand is a classic . Sudhir Misra needs to be congratulated.
The zeitgist of indian cinema – the timeless and self replicating organism that produces bollywood-is captured perfectly in the first half.
What saves the movie from becoming an exercise either in idiosyncratic grand theories on one hand and depersonalized docudramas about fatal attractions on the other, is the narrative sense the director shows in leaving the party to spend a few moments lost in the moonlight, doing a love letter to the idealized, unachievable virginal pixie that dust cannot touch (Nikhat, the actress, played somewhat lukewarmly by Soha Ali Khan) through the eyes of an urdu playwright-poet from a broken home(played by Shiney Ahuja). The films stops short of making the personal relationships in it a thesis about the creative process in India or Indian film. There is no argument. Only facts.
The second half is the issue.How dare Mishra be personal like that? You don’t beg your heroine for the rest of her life so brazenly! That too in plain sight of your audience. Doesn’t he have a clue? You hide your naked throbbing heart in shakespherean intrigue(and screenplay). You force greek tragedy in your resolutions. Filmstock is too valuable to be made your xanga , like that!
Insights come thick and fast in the first half. Insights about bollywood cinema, about the meta narrative that defines the film’s drama- the narrator’s objectivity stemming from the 20/20 hindsight.Magic real but sketched from his grown up experience , without regret or judgement. A Poignant objectivity even more so, because of the loose second half. As if the creator’s pen fell out of his hands, made weak from sufferring his love, in face of the overwhelming today. KKC is a personal epic. It does not care to bear the imposition of being definitive or professional for the genre. Let the man rest. He has sufferred through the pain it takes to attempt a masterpiece and he’s drunk with love.
Yet KKC is so close to being a certified masterpiece. While you do not grudge Sudhir Misra the lilac epistle to his secret Nikhat (the second half), You wish someone else took up and carried through the narrative and made the film definitive bollywood drama..for posterity. After all, this is not the first time Misra has lost steam in the second half Chameli sold out and Hazaar Khwaishen Aisi meandered through it’s second as if the role of the filmmaker is only to ask the question, and he can then drench the charecters he creates with personalized dissolve cut snowflakes that massage out his desires for them. (I would want to be your catatonic fool Chitrangada, and for you to take care of me until I blink through my paralysis- I want you to drop in exhaustion because of our unrequited love, Nikhat and then for you to deny your weakness- “I just tripped on my anklets”…while I hold you and kiss you and nurse you back to health- It’s OK sweety…I’m here now….It’s all going to be good…)
KKC doesn’t work as a period film. It’s too alive to be one. Maybe India’s stories deserve this treatment. The Laila Majnun meme is alive. The Rajput Warrior princess is everywoman. Bollywood, far from being the dream factory of escapist street literature is really a creative engine fuelled by lifetimes of lusty greed for life consumed one gulp at a time , by each heroine that wanted to be visible to the billion , and each man that touched her and loved her, one whispered glance at a time. Maybe the end IS the end Sudhir Misra was leading us to. Maybe the film and the drama would be meaningless if it were not for the pathetic resolution for its very human charecters. Let’s give the creator his conceit. This is bollywood.