White noise is a random signal (or process) with a flat power spectral density. In other words, the signal's power spectral density has equal power in any band, at any center frequency, having a given bandwidth. White noise is considered analogous to white light which contains all frequencies.

Who am I?

Neo-hippie cinephile. Follower of the great Jim Morrison who once said "If the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Khoya Khoya Chand

I was told KKC was a pathetic film with horrible acting by the two leads. However, I must say my expectations were not really lowered because of this in any way since my opinions of films aren't exactly what you would call conformist. The film is Sudhir Mishra's epitaph to the starlets and filmmakers during the adolescence of Indian Cinema - the 50's, or so he claims in his blog. However, I am not so sure about that. Having watched the film, I think he got confused mid-way about whether he wanted to create an ode to the era, or showcase the tragedy of the life of a starlet, fighting with herself to transform into a woman (in the classical sense), and an actress.

I will not delve into the purity of the music, which has been discussed fairly in detail, at least in the literature I have chanced upon online. Like you come to expect in most of Sudhirbhai's films, the cinematography is top class. The use of softer and gaudy lighting in specific sequences manages to portray the mood of the characters effectively. Once the screenplay shakes off its initial inertia of rest, it flows quite nicely. The editing is choppy to start off, but ends up mellowing down later. For any period film to succeed, it goes without saying that its art department has to do a good job. KKC's art was meticulously chosen, whether it was a poster of Awara tittering in some late night breeze, or the Filmfare magazine covers of the time. Also, the director's honesty in portraying the bedroom scenes makes them realistic enough to make them believable.

The greatest strength of the film is Soha Ali Khan. I had refallen in love - with her mother after watching Amar Prem recently. What can I say other than that I have fallen again. Not only did she look delicately beautiful, her acting seems to have improved leaps and bounds from her Rang De Basanti days where she was decent. She manages to give us a peek into a troubled girl's haphazard mental state, and thus seemingly, random priorities. This may very well have been the reason why the most memorable scene for me was that of her and Rajat Kapoor on a moonlit terrace, even though Shiney Ahuja played the male lead. The rest of the casting is also near perfect, though, Ahuja is superficial in parts, but good in others. Maybe he did this in order to shake off his tragic hero tag. Who knows! Vinay Pathak (minus buddy Ranveer this time) does an excellent soft portrayal of Shyamol. Your heart really goes out to him in the scenes towards the end. Rajat Kapoor exudes charm and hides his dark intentions well in his gentlemanly facade.

Even though I would not have advocated the amount of attention Ahuja's Zafar got in the plot, I can't help but feel for him. Anurag Kashyap claims in his blog that this character was partly based on the great poet Sahir Ludhianvi. His frustration at not being able to sell meaningful cinema to the audience of that era, mainly a sucker for escapism, is really heart rendering. If only, he was born twenty years later, he could have at least dipped his fingers into the satisfying pot of what has come to be known as 'parallel cinema'. The ending is most ironic for this character, though it has a positive undertone for Khan's Nikhat. During the middle of the second half of the movie, the W suddenly turned to me and called Zafar the C word. This just shows how layered this character has been made and that you really need to look within him to understand his actions. In fact, the script is a lesson in itself in character building.

I liked the film quite a bit. Apparently the budget was very low, and in that light the achievements of the film are even more poignant. I doubt this film would be a box office success, even with its low budget, which is ironic because Sudhirbhai would then be in the same boast as his Zafar. Please don't judge this film against the yardstick of the filmmaker's recent works like Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi and Chameli. All three are different films about different people, and it wouldn't be fair to these people.

12 comments:

ad libber said...

Hmm, I watched the first day, first show and hence could watch it without any burden of reviews.

Soha Ali Khan was good, surprisingly so. But her character remained in the shadows, sadly, were one did not really know what might be going in her mind. Shiney Ahuja was a nightmare. As long as he just looks, he emotes perfectly. Its his stilted speech and forced joviality which gets on one's nerves sometimes.

Vinay Pathak was a revelation. If only he receives more well etched roles.

You are right about the confused part. No one could very clearly say what the movie was actually about. The positive note was a bit surprising. Looks like the director is mellowing as he ages.

ArSENik said...

I don't take the burden of reviews. At the end of the day, a review is just someone's opinion, and its not necessary that I will like/dislike a film based on the review.

I felt the aura of mystery about Nikhat was deliberately retained to show the tragic femme fatale angle. I agree with you about Shiney's expressive eyes, but mediocre dialog delivery. Vinay Pathak is fast becoming a favorite of mine with each passing film. Don't know what he was doing wasting his very natural acting skills as a VJ on a late night Channel V show all these years. I really liked him in Johnny Gaddar.

I have asked Sudhirbhai about the confusion. Let's see if he replies. As far as the end goes, I thought it was positive for one character (Nikhat) and ironically not for another (Zafar).

ad libber said...

Hmm...Zafar did make many successful movies though after KKC, and he was never the kind of lover who would give up all in the memory of Nikhat.

They could have explored her character a bit more though. There appeared no real motivation as to why she wanted to be an actress, where did she get her acting passion from, for it was not only for money.

It was a very strange movie industry though. Seemed to have only two major actors and actresses. I am sure 1950's had not seen that lonely a Film industry.

ArSENik said...

No, I wasn't talking about Zafar's life after Nikhat.
*********SPOILER ALERT*************
I was talking about him having to compromise on his ideas in order to attain success. That colorful song in the end was certainly something he would not have resorted to when he came to the industry initially.
*********END SPOILER ALERT*********

Nikhat represents any of the female stars of the time - Madhubala, Meena Kumari etc. They all came from relatively obscure backgrounds with stars in their eyes, blinded by the shimmer of this new shot at fame called Bollywood. I thought any more depiction of her intentions would have made the film unnecessarily longer.

Well, I think that was the case in the 50's. Rajat Kapoor was Raj Kapoor for the most part, with glimpses of Gurudutt. These two were the main honchos at the time.

ad libber said...

It was not that simple. She had the love for a good script, most actresses in that generation banked on the actors who favoured them and gave them the better movies. But she felt the urge to do a good movie because she felt she could do justice to it. She had the confidence and the will which comes only with passion.

As about what Zafar really wanted, no one really knows. None of his scripts seemed to belong to the same set of genre. His first movie seemed more of a Bengali movie of the same generation. His third movie no one really knew what it was all about. Except maybe about hope. It looked gladder than his other movies. Zafar took himself too seriously in his beginning days. I think his failure and his loss made him see things in perspective. Not that he could ever put himself in the wrong. He was too proud for that.

Rajendra Kapoor was undoubtedly Dilip Kumar and Rajendra Kumar rolled into one then.

ArSENik said...

Yes, in that part, she was Madhubala completing Mughal-e-Azam despite the hole in her heart.

Hmm...interesting take on Zafar. For me, Zafar is only shown to make movies from his life experiences. First there was the one with him, his Dad and his step mom. And once that bombed, he went into exile and his second (not third I think) film is the one with the dance, about Premji, Nikhat and himself. I am talking about his directorial ventures only, not the ones he wrote script for.

Rajat Kapoor was also those guys, yes. In fact, Anurag claims that Rajat Kapoor is a generic star. There was at least one in every generation of the industry, as there are now.

Mala said...

Okay me not reading the comments. Getting too detailed and I would love to watch the movie, of course when the pirated version is out on DVD.

WHAT'S IN A NAME ? said...

Timely review, now that I was actually planning to go watch the movie after my wretched sems gave way. But, thanks to you and your analysis that I have been spared the misadventure. I assumed that KKC would be about Gurudutt-Waheeda-Geeta Dutt triangle. It seems it is not so. And hence the revision of plans.

ad libber said...

By his first movie, I meant the one about Gayatri, I stick to his movies as a scriptwriter. He was more of a story teller than an executor anyway. That would make his biography his second one and KKC his third.

ArSENik said...

@Ad Libber: I thought the Gayatri one wasn't completely his own. He basically salvaged Premji's story since it was so bad, unless that wasn't the Gayatri one. Can't remember clearly.

ad libber said...

No, that was a Devdas rehash, Gayatri was the one Soha won the film fare award for

ArSENik said...

Yes, so even the Gayatri one was about the younger brother and the bhabhi, which was similar to his own story.

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