Wednesday, March 11, 2015

NH10: कातिल रास्ते मिल जाते हैं चारों ओर से

Let's get into the mood first... One road song that I dig - Road ke har mod pe

There was a phase in my life when I was in love with the roads. All kinds of roads - the literal ones and the ones that my thoughts and imagination often took me to. All was good till I met with a road accident. I had become a vegetable for a little more than a year. It left me scarred for life, and my love affair with the roads ended abruptly for good. I am paranoid about hitting the roads, as it had hit me, way too hard for me to reconcile with it.  

Somebody wise had once said, "The middle of the road is where the white line is - and that's the worst place to drive." Kudos to director Navdeep Singh, and female lead, Anushka Sharma for choosing the riskiest place to drive. Riskiest in every sense one can think of. It must have been a familiar zone for Navdeep, who  had last made 'Manorama Six Feet Under,' but you HAVE to see the film to come to terms with Anushka's risk-taking appetite.

There's enough material put out there by the makers of NH 10, to help you decide if you should watch the film or not. Let me just say that if Badlapur was appreciated for all that it was, NH 10 is in a similar league - albeit with more copious dollops of badassery. The timing of the film's release could not be more perfect. India as a country is still trying to cover up the so-called 'shame' caused by the documentary made on the blood-curdling 'Nirbhaya' episode.

The last time I felt a similar adrenalin rush was when I came out after watching Mardaani. I was clapping like a child when the antagonist of Mardaani got what he deserved. NH 10, is another rush altogether, and one can only internalise it. As many words I might try to employ to explain what I felt walking out of NH 10, I know I will fail at the job. I felt that I was devoured by the director's subversion, and that is something that rarely happens. I felt it last when I first watched RGV's Satya.

In the guise of a thriller, Navdeep has packed in a sucker punch in the face of the gender politics that exist amidst us even in 2015. The rot is everywhere - good looking rot in some places, and ugly ones in others. I am not even going to elucidate why I said what I just did. You will decipher it when you see the spectacle unfold while you cling on to your seat, gasping for breath. I suddenly realised the importance of having a machinery to maintain law and order to keep the beasts within us in check.

Also, the idea of the two Indias that we live in now seems silly to me, thanks to this mirror Navdeep has attempted to show us. Deep down we are all but one India... the only difference is that those of us who are educated just about manage to keep our corruptions fiercely guarded. If a couple in the metros is still coming to terms with gender equality, the rural populace has it's own screwed up version of gender politics. 'जिस की लाठी उस की भैंस' is perhaps the unsaid code.

Without revealing more, the thoughts I shared with y'all are perhaps what I will mostly be sleeping over tonight.  I think it would be most appropriate to be wrapping up this piece by expressing my gratitude to the makers of NH 10, for making a film like this. It takes more than just money to put together a project like this. The makers have walked the middle of the road - on the white line that separates the left from the right, the good from the bad, and what an amazing job they have done.

Standing ovation. Hawaai firing.

This song from NH 10 will play for the rest of the night - छिल गये नैना 



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