Sunday, January 16, 2005


Full marks to Shonali Bose’s Amu for earnestness. She wanted to make a film about the mystery surrounding the mass murder of Sikhs in 1984, after Indira Gandhi’s assassination (the films talking about this horrifying slice of contemporary history can be counted on the fingers of one hand), but chose a rather flimsy back-to-roots story as the medium.

Kaju (Konkona Sensharma), adopted by LA-based activist (Brinda Karat) comes to Delhi to look for her birth parents and finds there is a reluctance on the part of her genial Bengali family to tel her anything. She finds an ally in uppercurst “bourgeoise snob” Kabir (Ankur Khanna), and her real past starts getting revealed in bits.One knows all along that her parents must have been killed in the riots and there is no surprise there, but Bose with able support from her actors, still manages to keep the interest in the proceedings flowing. Her slice of Delhi life from the elite to the “jhuggis” is bang –on, the ambience, the language, the clothes. The riot sequences are powerfully done too.

But what’s strikes one as odd is the insinuation that there is a conspiracy of silence about the genocide and that the filmmaker has uncovered something that was hidden. The climax is also very tame (okay so the heroine has found out what happened to her parents, so what next?), with a very forced reference to the Godhra incident.Anyway, Amu is a sincere debut--Bose has made documentaries earlier and gives the film a kind of authenticity that is appealing. That, and the performances of Konkona Sensharma and Brinda Karat. Worth a look.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker