Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ashutosh Gowariker’s best film: Vote

One of the best students of Indian cinema, Ashutosh Gowariker has directed some of the best films of this decade. Barring an aberration called ‘What’s Your Rashee?” he has given cinema that can make us sit up and notice.

Essentially, Ashutosh Gowariker is a story-teller, shows drama without its filmi trappings. There are not too many cinematic liberties in his world, but still his films make for an entertaining, more so, an inspiring watch. Take the example of Khelein Hum Jeen Jaan Sey, a stark, dramatic look on the Indian revolutionary movement in the humble Chittagong. Taking its material from Manini Chatterjee’s book “Do and Die; The Chittagong Upsing 1930-34”, Ashutosh’s movie does not downplay or overplay his protagonists, they stay true to history. It has always been this way with him, his characters are understated but still powerful. The script and the narrative is always paramount in his movies.

Research is the mainstay in Ashutosh Gowariker’s films. Be it Lagaan, Swades, Jodha Akbar or Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, he does his homework well. He ran into controversy when some historians said that Jodha was not the wife of Emperor Akbar but his son Jehangir. Ashutosh had this to say “While making the film I did my best to go by the book. I consulted the best historians and went through the most rigorous research. And there are different names used for Akbar's wife, Jodhaa being one of them. In fact, there's a disclaimer about the Rajput queen's name at the beginning of the film. But to see that, the protesters have to see the film.”

For Jodha Akbar, Ashutosh Gowariker hired a research team of historians and scholars from New Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, Agra and Jaipur to guide him on this film and help him keep things historically accurate. He clarified that the name of the film remains Jodhaa-Akbar, and not Akbar-Jodhaa as reported by sections of the media. Over 80 elephants, 100 horses and 55 camels were used in the movie. Name Of Main Titled “Azeem O Shan, Shahenshah”, the song featured about one thousand dancers in traditional costumes, wielding swords and shields at a grand location in Karjat. The budget of the film was initially Rs. 37 cr., which shot up to Rs. 40 crore
Swades: Swades was Ashutosh Gowariker’s experiment in grassroot realism, is a cult film with many fans of Shah Rukh acknowleding it as his best performance till date. The moving story of Swades with its restrained but remarkable patriotic angle was inspired by real life story of the NRI couple, Aravinda Pillalamarri and Ravi Kuchimanchi, who returned to India to light remote, off-the-grid village schools. Ashutosh spoke to them at length, the couple are dedicated volunteers for the Association of India’s Development. The movie was hot in Bilgaon, an adivasi village in the Narmada Valley, which is the base of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) movement. 

Lagaan: Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan can be called the most creative commercial film of India. The movie that was nominated for the Academy Award( Best Foreign Language Film) is one of the cult Indian films; it registered the highest DVD sales between 2001 and 2007. Made on a budget of 250 million, it raked in 389 million.
One more aspect of Ashutosh Gowariker is that he manages to get the best performance out of his actors. Here are many examples
.1.Aamir Khan’s performance in Lagaan is his career best, only to be rivaled by his brilliant performance in 3 Idiots.
2. Hrithik Roshan’s career best performance is in Jodhaa Akbar. He had to work on his diction, look and every move was measured, so much that now when we think of Emperor Akbar, HrithiK Roshan is the first thing that hits our brain
3. Shah Rukh Khan’s career best performance is in Swades. In this movie, we got to see a different SRK, not the usual nose-flaring, lip curdling one. This was Shahrukh Khan at his simplest, effortless performance that won him many fans.
4. Abhishek Bachchan’s performance in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is his career best. He had to underplay the role because Surjya Sen himself was a humble guy with quelled anger, who let his action speak for him. That part has been played very well with Abhishek Bachchan and this movie will surely go down in history as the coming-of-age film for this man.

All of the above examples show that the real hero is Ashutosh Gowariker who can always extract the best performance from his main lead, specially the guys. For someone who can get the best out of females, please refer to Madhur Bhandarkar

Criticism for Ashutosh Gowariker
1. He has to reduce the running time of his films. Ashutosh Gowariker’s movies clock close to 3 hours, which should be trimmed.
2. Ashutosh Gowariker tends to stretch things in the first half of the movie. It was evident in Jodhaa Akbar and even in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se. If the first half of Khelein Jee Jaan Se, the solar plexus hitting second half combined with a trimmer first half would have made the movie worthy of 5 stars.

So, let us know guys and girls, which is the best movie of Ashutosh Gowariker till date?


Anonymous said...

my name is khan is best movie of the year

Anonymous said...

Lagaan of course.

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