Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rajat Kapoor's Ankhon Dekhi: Some reasons I loved it...

It has been a decade since that old friend of mine called me last. I have no idea of his whereabouts now, but he had called me to warn about investing my (non-existant) savings. Excerpts of that conversation:

Me: Hello… Kaisa hai bhaai…?

Friend: What do you do with your savings?

Me: Savings?

Friend: Where do you invest?

Me: Paagal ho gaya hai kya?

Friend: I invested all my savings yaar, barbad ho gaya main. Meri shaadi hai next month… I am broke now.

Me: What do you want me to do, oye?

Friend: Don't invest your savings anywhere...

Me: Savings?

Friend: Hide your money under your pillow bhaai, kahin mat invest karna… lut jaayega. Hide your money under your pillow and latch the doors and windows.

Me: Paagal ho gaya hai kya?

Friend: Will you come to my wedding?

Me: Paagal ho gaya hai kya?

Friend: I am in Bombay this weekend, let's meet...

Me: Hello… hello… *click*

This friend of mine had no clue that I wasn't the type who would save money and invest in shares, debentures or whatever other scams that existed. Having recently discovered Sufism, I found the reason for the way I was. I never spoke to people who wanted to chat with me about getting settled in life,  making a trip to Amsterdam, taking a spa appointment or any such variants. All I ever wanted and still want, is to make some money to pay for my basic needs. If need be, I shamelessly borrow. 

Is borrowing money from family or friends a bad thing? How much is too much? In my first job after graduation, I made more money than my dad back then. Did it make me happy? No. Did making money make me feel happy? No, but I actually felt happy when I spent the money. I still do. What does money means to me? Nothing. When will I buy a villa? A car? An island? Is Vijay Mallya broke? I don't know. Who is rich? SRK, of course. Why is he rich? Ask Mr. Mallya.

In between my parents, friends, relatives, well-wishers and other random fungi, I have been fed many truths. What is the truth? The final, definitive answer to your questions that range from where to invest, to should one invest, and in between that - is Shaktiman better off than other superpowers? Nothing is clear… who do you trust? May be I should buy an apartment, a fancy car or may be just squander it all away producing the next film Rajat Kapoor decides to direct.

"Yaar film achchi hai, par kitne crore banaayegi?" A seemingly profound question I heard while I was buying popcorn during the interval of Ankhon Dekhi. Will I like the film less, if it makes less than Rs. 100cr.?  How much is Rs. 100cr. Do filmmakers, whose films make more than  Rs. 100cr sleep happier. My film hasn't reached post-production yet,  but I still sleep a happy person. Is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with the world? 

Having written a few films, I find it strange that I don't think much of them beyond the first draft. Is that when the script is at its purest best? How many more drafts should I write? Should I play to the gallery? How about a kissing scene? How difficult was it for Mr. Rajat Kapoor to sneak in an item number sung by Yo Yo Honey Singh, Mika Singh and Mamta 'Munni badnaam' Sharma in Ankhon Dekhi? What if Ankhon Dekhi was named 'Sansanikhez Ankhein'?

Controversy sells. Yeh cinema pittal di…

I wrote what I thought was a good script. "Yaar comedy chahiye, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag to already bann gayi hai, bro," was the feedback. It broke my heart. Why did Anurag Kashyap get so many crores to make Bombay Velvet? He is a genius. He should get even more. Don't even get me started about Vishal Bhardwaj. Who plays to the gallery more? Irshad Kamil writing songs for Highway (Sooha saaha) or in Phata Poster… (Tu mere agal bagal hai) 

Is it bad to play to the gallery? Can I make more money off gambling or just writing scripts and lyrics for films that I believe in?

How much money do I need? I never dreamt of a private island… I sometimes felt good stepping out of the fancy cars that my celeb acquaintances own, but is that it? A fancy car, an apartment or just a good conversation about films? What makes me happier? Give me a passionate conversation about films and life in general and take away my PAN Card for all I care. Throw in some Old Monk, and I am all yours… till I have to go out looking for that 'Anna' selling idli and cigarettes late in the night.

Rajat Kapoor's Ankhon Dekhi is a film to watch… if you haven't felt how it is to wear a sweater in Delhi winters, if you haven't felt how it is to hold a cutting chaai in your palms and feeling warm… when everything in your life is going wrong,  if you haven't recently watched a film that made you miss your family… There is so much in 'Ankhon Dekhi' jo aapko dekhni chahiye… it is like getting in touch with a life that you have strayed far too away from. The starting point…

It takes a rare filmmaking talent to refrain from employing cliches that might sell a few extra tickets. It takes a rare filmmaker to show the mirror to a cinema hall full of audience blinded by stars, production values, item numbers and flying cars… Watch Ankhon Dekhi if only to peep into the hearts of one of those who lives amidst us… dares to question, dares to leave you without an answer, dares to make you laugh without fart jokes or other such slapstick gimmicks.  

Watch Ankhon Dekhi when it is still in the theatres, if somehow you disagree, please ensure that - 


I leave you with this beautiful song from Ankhon Dekhi…