Sunday, June 27, 2004

trikal: dali, marquez and more

The first time I saw Shyam Benegal's Trikal I was too young to remember much except a haunting (would call it Marquez-ian now, because I hadn't heard of GGM then!) panning shot of a family gathered in grief. This time around, there was a lot of information pouring in (triviamongers alert!) in addition to a nice flowing narrative. Wish they had taken pains to get a decent print transfer! Naseeruddin Shah (as in Party) has precious little to do. He is the narrator and our guide into a complex journey into the past. The cast is another who's who led by Leela Naidu as the aging matron of the house who refuses to accept the passing on of her philandering husband, Neena Gupta, the tiresome Anita Kanwar (who has a character so close enough to life that she must be pardoned), the cute Sushma Prakash (where o where have I seen her before?), Dalip Tahil, a mostly ineffectual Nikhil Bhagat, K K Raina, Soni Razdan, Keith Stevenson, Akash Khurana (credited as Khorana), Ila Arun, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and a few faces then introduced and now familiar (Maqsoom Ali aka Lucky Ali, Remo Fernandes and Alisha Chinai). There's a lot of tradition and pain as the family is forced to deal in whole or part with a legacy of murder, a promising nuptial shattered by the recent death, illicit true love, serenades, and the incumbent merging of Goa into India. I haven't read One Hundred Years of Solitude, but this film made me think of it a lot. And there are a few Dali-esque visions to boot. This is a side of Benegal that deserved more exposure.

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