NaachReviewed By Abhishek Bandekar
Posted 04/24/05 14:54:33
There are movies and there are MOVIES. Similarly, there are Ramgopal Varma creations and then there is NAACH! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, NAACH is Varma's best work till date. Agreed, the story is weak, the proceedings not quite comprehensive and the climax(to put it mildly) unconvincing and rushed. But then, this movie is not about story or characters. It is about Ramgopal Varma and his style of film-making.Varma has always defied the norms of Bollywood with his craft of the cinema. He refuses to crowd his movies with unnecessary song and dance routines, slapstick comedy, logic-defying action and most importantly, excessive melodrama. He doesn't play to the gallery at all! That is the reason why his 'SATYA' is still considered the most hard-hitting portrayal of the dark underbelly of the Mumbai underworld. His characters(SHOOL, AB TAK CHAPPAN) are just as believable and real as the person you cross roads with! His camera-work(KAUN, JUNGLE) is ever inventive and his editing(COMPANY), groundbreaking. And what is perhaps most surprising about this maverick film-maker is the frequency at which he keeps churning out movie after movie. And in doing so, he has created a niche audience for himself that waits for his films with earnestness! NAACH is Varma's tribute to this niche audience of his! Actually, NAACH is Varma's argument against all that is practiced in Bollywood which he would like to overthrow!
NAACH is artistic masturbation at its best! And I have always been for artistic masturbation. GAJAGAMINI is one of the most criminally ignored films! The best works of Goddard, Almodovar and Tarkowsky have flowed(no pun intended) from labours of artistic masturbation. NAACH is Varma fantasizing about his vision of cinematic splendor and justifying his style of cinema. Therefore, in this process of presenting an artistic argument, the story and characters become collateral! And hence, inconsequential!
NAACH then revolves around the lives of Abhinav(Abhishek Bachchan) and Reva(Antara Mali). Abhinav is a struggling actor and Reva an aspiring choreographer. Both are intent on making it big in the world of Bollywood. But their ideologies are different. Abhinav has no problems subscribing to the accepted to make his name, inspite of the fact that he resents formula cinema himself. Reva, on the other hand, wants to revolutionize the style of dance and music. Obviously, the idealist takes a long time to climb the ladder while the pragmatic reaches there instantly. But despite the success, Abhinav craves for the company of Reva. What Varma establishes here is the dormant yet inherent desire inside every actor to satisfy his creative and artistic urges that no amount of money and fame can satiate! In telling the stories of Abhinav and Reva, Varma also informs us about the machinery of Bollywood that governs what is produced and what is rebuked! Star-tantrums, artistic differences and egoistic upheavals determine the outcome of the final product. Reva(a play on Ramgopal Varma's initials- RV) is Varma's personification of his idea of beauty and cinema. Just as she defies the conventional style of dance, Varma uses her body to define grace. In fact, in every contour of her body, Varma shows us true beauty. So pure are his metaphorical references, that none of the scenes can be thought perverse. If people find this movie vulgar, then every sculpture at Khajuraho and Elephanta and every painting at Chola temples are vulgar too!There is a scene in the movie when Ritesh Deshmukh tells Antara Mali that her ideas are ahead of her times. Ironically, so is this movie! NAACH is unlike any Varma movie, but it is about Varma’s movies! Go see it, and devour this large canvas of beauty!
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