Superstar & Mithya – Twin Reviews February 11, 2008Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, Bollywood, Culture, Entertainment, Films, india, Movies, Reviews, Thoughts, Writing.
Tags: Bollywood Reviews, Hamlet, Identity, Mahendra Shetty, Mithya, Rajat Kapoor, Superstar
Saw 2 films this week. Superstar and Mithya. Superstar because a friend, Mahendra Shetty, helmed the camera. Mithya because of Rajat Kapoor’s reputation. One had loved Mixed Doubles. I have not seen Bheja Fry.
Surprisingly both the films have similar concerns. Both are situated in the Hindi film industry in Bombay. Superstar is about a wannabe from the suburbs, struggling as an extra, desperate to break into the higher, rarefied regions of Bollywood. He has a striking resemblance to the son of a famous film producer, who is only concerned with partying and other vices.
So the clever producer uses the struggler as his son’s double. Everything works clockwork till the producer’s son dies in an accident.
After that it’s all downhill. The script, screenplay, everything gets plodding. You lose interest and pray that the film ends.
Mahendra did a wonderful job. Each scene has a quality about it. There is a texture that only good cameramen can give. Kunal Khemmu has never looked better. And one scene, of the producer and his investors having a drink reminds one of Gordon Willis’ work in Godfather.
Rohit Jugraj also is known to me, although I can’t say if we are friends. His debut was James. Famous for the controversies with Ram Gopal Varma. James was a huge disappointment.
Therefore I had little expectations. Superstar surprisingly reveals the best of Rohit. There is a certain element of realism in the dialogues, acting and emotions, which is refreshing. Kunal manages to hold his own and all is fine. Till the interval. After that it is downhill, as I have mentioned.
Mithya is again about a struggler from Noida, extremely fond of mouthing ‘To be or not to be’ from Hamlet. He unfortunately resembles the most powerful Don of Mumbai. The rival mob transplants the extra after killing the real one. Good one liner.
Mithya sadly doesn’t have the wit that was almost omnipresent in Mixed Doubles. It is initially pitched as a funny film – swapping identities and humour in danger. In the 2nd half, Rajat further expounds on the ‘To be or not to be’ monologue, the stand – in has lost his memory and actually believes that he is the Don although the rest of the characters are convincing him to the contrary.
The question of identity, so important for us all, is amplified by the character being an actor. Who are we when we ACT out something? What happens when the METHOD takes precedence? When the part becomes US? Ranvir Shorey’s loss of memory makes him completely worthy, able and willing to play the dangerous part of the Don. Inspite of the threats, he is sucked into playing the role.
Rajat had a wonderful conceit to make a great film. Films, actors, the process of creation by erasing one’s identity, the dark obsessions that fuels our passions; these and many more themes linger in the background, wishing for proper attention and exposition, but…
The 2nd half demon visits again. The film repeats itself, the screenplay is meandering and the tragedy of an actor; the tragedy of a love story, the unrequited aftermath of creation; nothing touches or moves. And the loss when the credits roll is real, not Mithya.