Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The case for Aakali Rajyam/Varumayin Niram Sigappu/ Kingdom of Hunger

(Color is unsaturated in all the videos..but I feel this must be the appropriate color for this film)

No. This is not about philosophy.That philosophy died a long time back. That philosophy is now nostalgia. No.This is not about that.No movie can survive the time basing its strengths on philosophy. I am saying this, because, this movie was obviously inspired by leftist ideology. But, it never shows the solutions..implemented by that ideology. It just shows the conditions in which that kind of ideology might spring up. 1960-1980 were some of the most turbulent times in the world..when youth took up to the task of questioning oppression and exploitation. MLK, Malcolm X, Che, naxalism quote a few.I lean a bit towards socialism but not a hater of normal capitalism. Anyway, this is not about philosophy. This is about a movie.

The comparison.

In order for you to understand the praise received by slumdog, you need to watch a movie called "freaks"...(one of my fav scenes..btw).Watch that scene and come back here.

The movie freaks is about circus freaks. This movie shocked ppl  at that time and even now it shocks people. Something happens to the freak protagonist and the audience  want revenge...and so ..revenge they get. Slumdog follows the same principle.. shock, sympathy for protagonist..and then eventual winning of the hero.
Slumdog is really a good movie...but, does it deserve soo many oscars?? Yes. Because Oscars themselves are not worthy. They lost their worthiness long time back, when they refused to give oscar for Kubrick and then to 'Taxidriver' and most importantly they denied to spike lee for his monumental movie, 'Do the right thing'. Oscars is a private party of the rich hollywood studios which is televised all over the world. Even  if India win many oscars, it will be for only one reason - to capture the growing Indian market.

The west (esp. america) wants to see poverty and violence ( slumdog, city of god) from third world countries, so that it can feel good about itself and validate its system, but at the same time refuse to look at it own backyard ( Do the right thing, malcolm X). Its like the story of an ostrich which can see objects miles away..but will bury its head in sand when  its comes to its own territory. Yeah, I just made it up. The story of making slumdog could be the story of underdog..I dont care..because in the end..even if danny boyle is rebel in the westwood ..he is still the west's rebellious son. People like spike lee and even Kubrick to an extent are true rebels..and martin Scorsese..with all due respect.. is the cat on the wall. Its pathetic to see.. Indians rejoicing for getting an award for ar rahman..for a truly stupid song..that too an oscar which has lost its relevance long time back.

What is a good movie?.Often times, a movie becomes good not by itself. Lot of factors come in to play. First and foremost is the advertisement factor...and then peer pressure and then cool factors. Winning an oscar will make a movie must-watch. For me, a good movie is a good movie..when it has lot of passion. Very few movies (1000 among the thousands of movies made) has this passion. In order to understand passion..u gotta watch movies by werner herzog, especially, aguirre the wrath of god and fitzcaraldo. I am not only talking about the passion of herzog..but also the passion of the characters in his movies. If you are not making a movie with passion, then why the hell am I wasting 2 hours of my time???

I saw that passion in "Aakali Rajyam". I didnt see that in slumdog. Simple.
My argument is that - if oscar is/was given to really good movies and if Aakali Rajyam was sent at that time, it would have won it.

One of the qualities of a good movie is to represent and document the times in the history. AR does that.
 Entertainment -  AR gives Loads of it.
 Poignancy coming from realistic scenes - AR has it.
 Top class acting - AR has it.
 poetry - has it.

Now, I want to talk directly to the indian movie goers..who are accustomed to watching movies..where they expect movies to be " Full Meals ".  A bit spicy, a bit masala, a bit sweet, a bit of hot..everything. Because, they is 'Full Meals'. I disagree with that. But, aakali rajyam, inadvertently is a full meals. That comes more from the realism of the movie..rather than the intentions of the film maker. It has to be like that ...there is no other way. Because, it is the true representation of life.



 watch the song and the lyrics. Watch sreedevi and also one of the best scenes in the movie.
 This song is very relevant to any one who went overseas to earn his/her rice and pickle.
May be you lost your job...lost all your money..dont know where to go..then listen to this song.

did u
Ever felt the emotion of hunger, ever hunger clashed with ego...ever hunger won over ego and then when about to eat..


Permutations and combinations.
Loser! I agree.


 I am nostalgic about this song...believe it or not, I remember listening to it at the age of 2.
 Watch the ending of this song and sri devi's acting...observe her Saree..

A romantic song...but you will amazed at its meaning. Simplicity totally rocks!


        SRI SRI poetry. Space is too small to talk about him here (just like Fermat's last theorem).

Anger and hunger. Brother and sister.

This section..coming soon.

Acting :

Kamal Hassan acting is world class in this movie. But, it pisses me off a bit that he made a movie called 'hey ram'..which premise I dont accept. So, does it mean that actors dont believe what they say? ofcourse, this is a stupid question...because..I really wanted Kamal Hassan to believe what he is saying..its as if ..its impossible to act in that way if he dosent believe in it. I dont know if it makes me respect actors more or less..


 Sri Devi's character is the character I love, adore, fantasize and... u get my point??


One of the best climaxes I have ever seen..The first time in the movie where the camera moves.... lot of techniques..the silence..the sound..great sequence.

and then a bonus epilogue...a little bit unrealistic and idealistic.

I identity a lot with kamal hassan's character. Identification with a character is one sure fire reason why a person likes a movie.

I have some problems with the movie though. This movie was about the 'Kingdom of Hunger' from the perspective of reformed brahmins..who revolted against castism and other forms of exploitation. Hunger may not have caste feeling..but the castes certainly do have the feeling of hunger. Without the mention of caste or female exploitation, no social movie can be sincere. Kamal says that its all dog eat dog world..and that castes does not matter. I agree. But, there is a huge difference between caste feeling and caste consciousness. Only through caste consciousness..caste would be eliminated forever. Never bury history ..learn lessons from it.  I strongly believe that time is ripe for  'Kingdom of hunger' to be remade   from the reformed lower caste perspective.

There is a reason why I beat this review to death. I wanna prove that commercial success of a movie doesn't determine its greatness (even though Aakali Rajyam was a hit at that time). Lot of great movies were flops at the time they were released, but discovered later. Audience are fickle, they dont know what they want. Their opinion can be swayed very easily. It is utterly ridiculous to compromise your movie for these fickle audience..and for the fickle Oscars and also for the fickle and stupid censors. Make your movie with passion..but avoid making a personal diary. You may die one day and money may come and money may go..but your film will remain forever. It is your legacy. 

I rest my case.


Ganpy said...

Special Kudos for putting together a preview for your take on one the classics of Indian cinema. I think I will be more interested in your analysis of the several clips you have strung together..:)
Looking forward to the release of "Kingdom of Hunger"..!

Vamsee said...

Thanks ganpy.
Selling tickets in black.. actually..
Complimentary tickets for you..

AS... said...

kevvv... nuvvu chesina video adirindi..

Vamsee said...

thanks kid. Should have mentioned that it is R rated. :)

Vamsee said...

AS, just kiddin.