సినిమా వినోదంతోపాటూ ప్రయోజనాన్ని కలిగుండాలని నమ్మే వ్యక్తిగా, సినిమా అనే కళకు ఆరాధకుడిగా,ఒక సినీప్రేమికుడిగా “గులాల్” నాకు విపరీతంగా నచ్చింది. ఈ సినిమా చూసి, నేను రాసిన సమీక్షని ఇక్కడ చదవచ్చు. కానీ, చూసిన క్షణం నుంచీ నా మనసులో ఒక సందేహం పట్టిపీడిస్తూ ఉండిపోయింది. “ఈ సినిమాకు తగిన ఆదరణ, గౌరవం మన దేశంలో లభిస్తుందా?” అనే ప్రశ్న నిత్యం ఉదయిస్తూనే ఉంది.
గులాల్ ఒక సామాజిక-రాజకీయ చిత్రం. అదీ ముఖ్యంగా, పార్టీల సమర్ధింపులూ, వ్యతిరేకతలూ, సైద్ధాంతిక ప్రాతిపదికలూ లేకుండా కేవలం నర్మగర్భంగా, (విప్లవాత్మక)రంగులకలలాగా చిత్రించిన ఒక abstract పెయింటింగ్ లాగా, ఒక absurd నాటకంలాగా తెరకెక్కించిన ఇతివృత్తం. ప్రతి సీన్లోనూ, ప్రతి కదలికలోనూ, ప్రతి ఫ్రేములోనూ ఉల్లిపొరల్లాంటి అర్థాల్ని నింపుకుంటూ నిర్మించిన చిత్తరువు.
సాధారణ ప్రేక్షకుడికి కథావస్తువు అర్థమయినా, ఈ సినిమాలోని raw-energy ని అనుభవించగలిగినా, తరచి చూస్తే, మరిన్ని స్థాయిల్లో ఆనందాన్నివ్వగలిగిన కొన్ని విషయాలు ఎక్కడ మిస్ అయిపోతారో అనే ఒక శంక నన్ను వీడిపోలేదు. దీనికి తోడుగా, నాతో పాటూ సినిమా చూసిన కొందరు మిత్రులు అడిగిన ప్రశ్నల్ని దృష్టిలో ఉంచుకుని కొంత డీకోడింగ్ చెయ్యక తప్పదనిపించి, అప్పుడే PASSION FOR CINEMA లో ఒక వ్యాసం నా కంటబడింది. ఆ వ్యాసంలో చాలా వరకూ నాకు అనిపించిన sub-text యొక్క వ్యాక్య కనపడగానే దాన్ని పంచుకుందామని ఇక్కడ పెడుతున్నాను.
సినిమా చూసినవాళ్ళు మరొక్కసారి సినిమా చూసి, ఇంకొంత ఆనందం పొందడానికి ఈ insights ఉపయోగ పడతాయి. ఇంకా సినిమా చూడకపోతే, మరింత అర్థవంతమైన viewing కోసం ఈ సమాచారం ఉపయోగ పడుతుంది. చదవండి. సినిమా చూసి ఆనందించండి.
1. The ardha-niri : not many people have been able to decipher it, I am still trying. I think its represents the duality in all of us, concomittant presence of good and bad, ignorant and awakened, innocence and deceitful; its only how we view it. That could be the reason Dukey was always kicking it out because it irked him no end while Prithvi groomed it because he is in peace with it. As I said, I am still trying to decipher.
2. John lennon’s locket : not many people recognized this as well. Quite a few people in the theatre thought that it was a photo of his purwaj hanging by a thread on Prithvi’s neck. They did not know that it was Lennon speaking down Prithvi’s throat about borderless countries, world peace, jiski thokar pe hai zamana, making a call to the US President etc
3. Nihilism : what was such a complicated word doing on the blackboard. If we type this word in wikipedia, this is what we get - is the philosophical position that values do not exist but rather are falsely invented.Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without meaning, purpose or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not exist, and subsequently there are no moral values with which to uphold a rule or to logically prefer one action over another. No doubt, this provides a window into Anuja’s life after the nerve-wrecking experience she had.
4. Ranaji song : people just enjoyed this mujra without even understanding what it meant. It was black humor, disguised as an anti-American song. As I have written in my previous post, its an anti-authoritarian song against someone who takes autonomous decisions and its consequences; in this case it happened to be US.
5. Najibullah : where people hardly understand what’s happening in our own country, how the hell did an Afghan president’s mention make it to Indian screen. Yes, very soon we were shown the relevance, but people still did not get it. They did not understand that the movie was talking about how an autocratic body passed a judgement and Ransa turned out to be the victim of such apathy.
6. Karan/kiran : this was again something I mentioned in my review but let me take it further. We had an inverse proportion of numbers here, when compared to the Karan of Mahabharat. While Pandavs were 5 and Karan was all alone in his battle of existence, here we had one Ransa against two opponents - Karan and Kiran. Not only were the numbers reversed, but also the fate. While the Karan of our mythology was daan-veer-shoor, righteous and just; the modern-day Karan was extremely the opposite-cunning, opportunistic and wicked; while the former Karan was wronged and killed by deceit, the latter Karan wronged others in his quest for legitimacy; while the former Karan was ready to lead a life where his origin/birth would be a kept secret forever, the latter Karan was trying so hard to announce to the world that he has royal blood too. So extremely opposite were the two Karans and the credit for bringing this out so well must go to Aunrag Kashyap and the co-writer Raj Singh Chaudhary, who played Dilip.
7. Ram-leela : first Delhi-6 and now Gulaal uses this age old theme to speak about good versus evil and showed Hanuman running around to burn Lanka.
8. Lighting on Dukey’s face : there was always a neon light on Dukey’s face, but of differing colors; most of the time it was red. The lighting played a great part in building his character.
9. Hail Feuhrer: in a mocking way, Prithivi does a hail Feuhrer to Dukey.
10. Gulaal : of course, the grand meeting where everyone’s face was smeared with gulaal. And Dukey in his speech says that if you have the guts, then come forward and show your true face. In the entire meeting, the only person whose face was not gulaal-ified was the Senapati, Dukey. And that’s what Karan aspired to achieve. In fact, the last sequence showed him wash off his face and come forward, the nemesis.
Let me just finish by stating that the movie, although good in patches, fails to reach the viewers at large. The story was complex, but the dialogues and the poetry made it even more difficult for the people to follow. Although I enjoyed the movie, but was left high and dry at the end because there was neither a message nor an unsaid unrest within me, neither entertainment nor despair, neither was I persuaded nor was I dissuaded, I was just about neutral humming this line … Jeet ki hawas nahi, Kisi pe koi vash nahi; Kya zindagi hai thokaro pe maar do. I think this is what the movie is about.