Friday, April 12, 2019

Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai? 

Directionless Rage

A filmmaker who dares a remake -- conceptual as he calls it-- of a film like Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai, is already setting the bar too high. Saeed Akhtar Mirza,  director of the 1980 film,  knew what he was talking about and understood working class angst. Soumitra Ranade's Albert Pinto has plenty to be angry about, but issues like corruption and crime have been dealt with in many far better films, which prevents this one from having a distinct voice.

Albert (Manav Kaul) is deeply affected by his father's suicide (caused by an unfair accusation of corruption) and decides on an impulsive and immature mode of revenge. He  'disappears' one day, as his family and girlfriend Stella (Nandita Das) tell a sceptical cop (Kishor Kadam), when in reality, he takes a road trip to Goa, in an open jeep driven by the worldly wise hitman Nayyar (Saurabh Shukla). Albert has been assigned a kill job, and he is eager to reach, even though Nayyar has wisely left the gun unloaded.

Instead of the sharply-observed, bitter realism of the earlier film, Ranade's approach is to have his Albert suffer a slow mental breakdown and go through disturbing hallucinations. He throws away his career and a stable future with Stella,  and starts raging against a system in which everyone can be bought.  

Ranade leaves the audience to construct a lifestyle and milieu that Albert represents from the testimonies of his loved ones, but he remains a puzzle.  Kaul is a fine actor and captures the inner turmoil of the character, but pays no attention to little details like accent and body language to make his performance better realised.  Nandita Das is miscast as Stella and other women Albert encounters, so Shukla ends up carrying the entire flimsy structure of the film.  

We are living in such a time of rage and political turbulence, this film had the potential of voicing our concerns through a protagonist not yet inured to a crumbling society-- it falls way, way short.

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