Tuesday, February 01, 2005

a different season: and more coincidences [music review]

Ek Alag Mausam has its heart in the right place. Rajit Kapoor, Nandita Das, and Anupam Kher, and Gopi (blink-and-you'll-miss-him) feature in this K. P. Sasi-directed venture that approaches a bag of facets related to the myth and reality of AIDS. Some are clichéd (perhaps because everyone who wanted to make an "AIDS awareness" movie chose the simple facts), but others are interesting. The irony came from me sitting on my couch with Mahesh Dattani's Collected Plays beside me and watching a screen credit for him (story, script and screenplay!). Unfortunately, the dialogues are one of the downsides of the film. The words and lines are oh-so stilted and clichéd at times. Makes you want to find a cliff. Of the performances, the only one that seems relatively unforced is Rajit Kapoor's. Nandita Das's reading of her character continues to fuel my doubts about her acting abilities. Anupam Kher is in it clearly for the cause. His character remains, like so many others, unbaked, undeveloped and unfinished. The songs by Ravi will remain memorable only for marking his return to Hindi film music. They are woefully unimpressive, jarringly obtrusive, and eminently better suited for half-hearted movies for children. If only this idea had landed in better hands -- tighter handling, and richer performances would have given us a film that offered more interesting and thought-provoking POVs for HIV and AIDS. What we are left with, unfortunately, is yet another effort that failed to capitalize on its promise.

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