By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Not every potential terrorist belongs to one particular community. Yes, sounds like a brutally vulgar adage in this day and age of murderous rage.
The man who violates your privacy and right to expression, or the woman who uses the educational institution to propagate prostitution, are the true terrorists of our society. Look around you. Terror stares and stalks you in so many garbs, in and out of the burqa. You cannot escape it in one form or another. Terrorism is a religion of its own.
In Dhoka, writer Mahesh Bhatt brings the savagely rampant cult of terrorism into the precincts of the middleclass household. The portrait of a derelict soul looking for his lost domestic utopia in the rubble of a nasty bomb explosion, is stark real dark and poignant. You can't miss the urgent and brutal honesty of Mahesh Bhatt's writing skills. He weaves a pastiche of angst and heartbreak from the raw material of headlines. The end-result is thought-provoking emotional and, most important of all, original.
In a week where we are subjected to two remakes of 1970s' films Dhoka with its renewable but non-derivative topicality washes away the sins of excessive inspiration that plagues present-day cinema in Hindi.
Pooja Bhatt directs the stark story with a keen sense of historicity overlapping lives that would like to go about the unfinished business of their day-to-day activities, if only destiny didn't have other plans.
Presume for a minute that the woman who shares your bed and sleeps in your head has a secret identity. One such inescapably poignant situation was created for Harisson Ford Sidney Pollack's Random Hearts where his dead turns out to have a secret life.
Could the man or woman you trust with your life be planting bombs in her head? As Hyderabad burns you wonder what thought processes go behind minds that plan the carnage of the innocence. More than anything else Dhoka is a pungent and powerful product of our troubled times, told with a spirited and sustained energy that allows sound technicians to do their jobs with quiet authority.
At the center of the excruciating jigsaw of trust and betrayal is the debutant Muzamil Ibrahim. Playing the tormented widower he exudes an aura of confident tragedy that belies his rawness as an actor. The brawn never comes in the way of sensitive expressions of a cop whose loyalty and integrity are weighed against his personal loss .The newcomer carries the emotional scenes well on his sturdy shoulders.
And if you're tired of seeing Anupam Kher doing comedy, here's the actor getting back to his roots, putting in a powerhouse performance as a bereaved after battling ostracization from a society that never accepted him in the first place.
Suffused with a sense of imminent catastrophe and an aura of implosive tension applied to the explosive theme, Dhoka is a film that persuades you not-so-gently to think about the quality of lives that we live and a social order that thinks terrorism happens only to 'them'.
Really, one hasn't a more jolting reality-check in a while.