Friday, October 24, 2008

Is it raining or are the heavens weeping?

Raincoat is a mellow film directed by acclaimed Bengali director, Rituparna Ghosh. The movie released towards the end of 2004 had Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan in pivotal roles. It won the National Award quite deservingly for the best film of 2004. The whole film has a theatresque drama like effect that hitherto had rarely been tried in Hindi cinema.Shubha Mudgal’s rendition of the songs in the movie is outstanding. The classical based “Mathura Nagar kahai” along with “Birhan ke nain jale” evoke the sadness of the picturised situations. The usually plasticky Ash shone in a role bereft of any glamour, makeup or loud mannerisms. After Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rituparna Ghosh is the only director who has succeeded in making Ash act as best as she could. She definitely deserved accolades for her performance maybe not the National award but at least a popular award. ___________________________________________________________________Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it’s what you areexpected to give-Which is everything! ___________________________________________________________________As many people know, the plot is loosely based on O’Henry’s “Gifts of Magi” which tells the tale of two lovers sacrificing their all for the happiness of the other person. The story ends with the thought that the Magi (the three kings) were truly blessed to be the first visitors bearing their precious gifts for the baby Jesus. But even more blessed than the Magi, are the people in the world who sacrifice their all for the happiness of someone else.___________________________________________________________________Inside every older person is a younger person - wondering what the hell happened? ___________________________________________________________________Ajay Devgan played the part of a down-on-luck character (Manu) who comes to the city to borrow some money for starting a new business. At his friend’s house, he expresses his desire to meet up with his long lost love Neeru (Aishwarya Rai). His friend, a practical guy advises him against meeting up with Neeru but Manu’s adamancy forces him to give in to his wish. The fury of the rains serves as a poignant backdrop and a striking metaphor to the raging turmoil within Manu’s heart. With a borrowed raincoat on a bleak rainy day, Manu begins his journey into the past. ___________________________________________________________________In a relation there’s always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.___________________________________________________________________The flashback reveals how he had to give up his love because of his adverse conditions (read jobless state). Neeru’s parents marry her off to a ‘well settled’ man leaving Manu broken hearted. With great difficulty he manages to move on with his life and bury Neeru’s memories deep in his heart.___________________________________________________________________What’s in your Mind may escape but what’s in your Heart will remain forever___________________________________________________________________The melancholy of the rainy day forms the premise for the reunion of the erstwhile lovers. Life has been pretty unkind to the duo as they have had to make a compromise with their unhappy circumstances. Manu notices a huge contrast between the carefree Neeru whom he once knew and the pale, tired looking Neeru before him. As they catch up with each other’s lives; they have to resort to fabrications of the actual reality so as not to cut a sorry picture in front of the other person. The pathetic interiors of Neeru’s house raise a lot of doubts in Manu’s mind. Neeru has an explanation for each of Manu’s doubts. Many of her explanations are unbelievably funny (like her phobia of getting locked inside the restroom in the plane, the reason for the antique furniture cluttering the house etc) but the viewer finds it difficult to laugh at her expense.___________________________________________________________________ My dreams looking at me said to one another: “This life has let us down.’’ ___________________________________________________________________In a struggle to hold on to the last remnants of her dignity, Neeru has to weave a bunch of lies to cover up for her dismal state of life. Manu also has to build a make-believe world of his own to match Neeru’s prosperity. Both try their best to convince the other person that they are happy and contented with their respective lives. __________________________________________________________________Our soul mate is one who makes life come to life___________________________________________________________________The arrival of Neeru’s landlord (Annu Kapoor-in a marvelous cameo) serves as the finale to the game of lies between the lovers. His stark revelation leaves Manu shocked and bewildered about Neeru’s reality. He gives away all his collected money as the rent so that Neeru wouldn’t have to be homeless. On the other hand, the raincoat plays its part in helping Neeru improve Manu’s conditions. She gives off all her jewellery to help Manu collect the finance to fulfill his dreams. It goes without saying that when you truly love someone, they take away a huge part of your heart permanently whether you like it or not. Raincoat is just a sad commentary of lost love and a reiteration of the fact that when you have loved someone, no matter how many hardships you would have to face, you will always try to make them happy.Sacrifice is the highest virtue of love and the story says it all.
Love is an unusual game; either there are 2 winners or none...

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