Sunday, May 29, 2005


I had a lot to say about Vijeta, a film produced in the early 80s by Shashi Kapoor to launch his son Kual Kapoor. But I find myself hidebound by the pressures of writing for an imaginary audience and trying to explain why I choose to write about a film made in the early 80s. It is not easy to discard this audience or the rules that have been ingrained in me--the "so what" factor being the hardest to shake. There is no reason really to write about this film except that I just watched and I liked it immensely. And I would like to share it with myself :-) (What seriously are the odds of anyone stumbling across and actually reading this blog among the millions that exist.)
OK, now for the movie. I have always been a great believer in the power of the written word. Movies have never appealed to me the way books have, even if these days I actually do talk more about reading than actually reading. But what was really, really wonderful about Vijeta was that it was such a wonderful story--a neat beginning, middle and end. And since I am my only audience, I shall indulge myself and not waste my time writing about the story of the film.
Sometimes the yardstick by which one measures what one likes is by what one doesn't like. I do not like this constant emphasis on love between a man and a woman being the only relationship that deserves attention--and that really is all that our movies talk about. It is irritating to always come across this assumption that everybody is always seeking love, and that it is only when one has a mate that one is complete. THere are so many other relationships in our lives--the ones that we share with our parents, our siblings, our friends, our relatives, neighbours, colleagues. Who is to say that we live only for one relationship. And that is why I like Vijeta. Because it talks of a troubled relationship between a father and his son, the son and his mother and the son's struggle to carve a niche for himself, not because he needs to, but because he has a point to prove to his father. and of course love does happen, no hindi movie worth its salt would ever not have that angle.
The point really is that everybody is real in the film. Shashi Kapoor as the father who had to face partition and comes out of it tougher than nails, rekha as the long suffering wife, kunal as the son who cannot forgive his father's transgresses.
One can so easily identify with Kunal and his need to prove of himself; his need being so great that he is crushed under its pressure, has to struggle with it and yet overcome it.
What I did not like about the movie was the way it ended. Got way too filmi. The war scenes were way too long, and the bit where Shashi kapoor goes and tells his son "Vijeta ban," just did not work with the rest of the film. Almost like "ab film ko khatam karo." but still it is one film that I know will watch over and over again.