Forty years after the Emergency, filmmakers still lack the freedom to criticise the establishmenton June 28, 2015 at 6:07 am
In the realm of Raja Bhadrabhoop Khojpuri rules. He is just in appearance, but lack of intent. Your Nagri is being attacked by mosquitoes. They are insidious enemies of the state, King thunders.
And then one day, there comes a boy named Hunshilal likely, it starts working in the laboratory of the Queen, in an attempt to find a potion to get rid of the annoying things. But he falls in love with a girl who knows more than him, mosquitoes are not the bad things that are being done for. They bravely say no, when forced to say yes.
The almost forgotten 1992 film Gujarati-Hun Hunshi Hunshilal is shaped like a parabola. Director Sanjiv Shah of FTII has an interesting filmography: he has produced and directed several documentaries. His credits include editing Bombay Anand Patwardhan Hamara Shahar and Ketan Mehta Mirch Masala: their interests are very clearly with the marginalized and dispossessed.
The film is crippled by a lack of budget. It was dismantled in places and filled with too many songs. And yet, Hunshilal has power, because cocks one bass. It waves a fist. There is talk of making waves. It is a disruptor. And that has a special meaning in this week marking the 40th anniversary of the emergence, in which all dissent was attacked with a ferocity never seen before. You can see all kinds of resonances in Hunshilal: citizens groaning under draconian laws and megalomaniac rulers fiddling while the nation burns. Mohan Gokhale plays the king with a manic brightness; Dilip Joshi and Renuka Shahane, looking absurdly young, playing young scientist who will lead them to freedom (or he?) And his beloved.
The King wants to banish the mosquitoes that bite their subjects and give them ideas above their station. How? Banish the slum where they reproduce, what else. Where will the poor go? Ask Planning Commission declares slit. Within five years, we will have mosquitos! To fly kites? Forbidden! Dreaming? Banished! Red, the color of the protest? Avast! And what to do at night, which invites machchars? No more darkness, only Savera eternal! Delivering a speech to his troops buck channels Bhadrabhoop Raja Rajeev Gandhi famously, “Humein dekhna hai” and its other price “Denge Nani yaad dila!