Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'Dunno Y Na Jaane Kyun': Movie Review

There are films which you watch for pure entertainment and time-pass and there are films you watch for the team behind it. But once in a while comes a film that may have the skeptic in you telling that the film may not work with the sensibility of the paying audience or may just end being an amateur work from untrained new-professionals. But we forget that art is not about training and experience, but more about the passion that drives you to attempt it – no matter the end result. Sanjay Sharma’s ‘Dunno Y Na Jaane Kyun..’ falls in the this last category.
The story is simple. It is about a guy named Ashley D’souza (Yuvraaj Parashar), from an upper-middle class family, married with little daughter. But all is not happy in his family. Everyone is living with some sad past that they can not leave, but still are cheerful in living life king size. The unsatisfied wife (Rituparna Sengupta) is having a closet affair with her brother-in-law, Ashley’s father (Kabir Bedi) left them years ago for spiritualism leaving his mother (Zeenat Aman) working hard and also being involved with her boss to run her home, and Granny (Helen) is a sometimes grumpy, sometime lively lady who still wishes to have her son back. And Ashley himself is living with a closetted truth about his real feelings – of being gay. He meets Aryan (Kapil Sharma) through internet for a Blind-Date fixed on internet chat. Aryan is an aspiring model-actor, part time gigolo and gay. Their first date becomes a starting point of a closet relationship between the two. What happens thereafter in everyone’s life is what forms the entire film. There are few subplots also, the most prominent being the father returning back home. The first half of the film mainly concentrates on establishing the characters, the family, the problems, the dilemmas while the second half focuses on the two affairs (Ash-Aryan and wife-brother-in-law) and the father’s return.
The film, being touted as India’s answer to Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, is definitely a first in India to talk and show about closet gay orientation without making fun of the community but should not be compared to Ang’s film. It is totally based in Mumbai city and its urban lifestyle where families throw happy parties for friends, but behind closed doors there is lack of satisfaction from almost every family member. The gay-relationship and the skeletons it hides in our society is treated with respect and without any mockery of sleaze. There is earnestness in the film, one feels that the film is not made to gain media publicity but because someone had penned a fair story to share. The production budget is small and it does limits the cinematography and post-production (especially), though the rawness do work good in bringing a real feel to the film.
Kapil and Yuvvraj do have to polish their acting skills but they performed very well for a first time effort. Both does justice to give a graph to their characters and have expressive eyes. Acting is also Reacting, and this is important for every actor to know. Zeenat and Helen perform well according to the script and Kabir Bedi shows he still has enough charisma to make you sit and take notice of him. Rituparna is good at times, while lost at others. Rest all are adequate to strictly okay in their limited screen timing.
Kapil, who has also written the story, screenplay and dialogues for the film does good with his credit but one does feel that it probably was sailing in multiple boats at the same time. The dialogues did tend to go burdening on my senses at times, and I wished it had ‘conversation’ between characters instead. Cinematography by Basheer Ali is okay, nothing much to talk about. The soundtrack by Nikhil, especially Saiyan, Dabi Dabi Khwahishien and the Title song by Lata Mangeshkar, is both impressive and haunting. The background score probably needed to be toned down. Sanjay Sharma has directed a good film that impresses mainly by not making the audience question the right and wrong, and also by a sensitive treatment to a sensitive story. However there is a need for him to polish his editing skills. A tighter editing might have made the film more attractive to the audience of experimental and independent cinema.
Every new experiment requires patience from its audience. The film is a brave and honest attempt by the entire team, one that should be watched without being judgmental as relationship of any kind can never be judged. I came out of the screening impressed with the sincerity in the way it is made, and also with goosebumps giving songs. Do give it a try..

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