Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Having finished shopping at an Indian grocery store I was just having a look at what DVD I could rent. Denesh and Anita picked up a film 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' with the cover bearing a resemblance to the countless movies that have been made on various bomb blasts in Mumbai and said that it was a nice movie made on the chain of train blasts that happened in 2006. I expected another movie with scenes full of communal-forces-bashing, police being ridiculed, visuals of terrorists and explosives and a corrupt police chase. But after seeing A Wednesday I was not sure if I could brush it aside as another one of those. So I decided to watch it.

The movie started off with introducing 5 or 6 people in various economic classes in Mumbai, from various walks of life, going on with their daily chores. The bomb blasts are shown in graphics and stills, to avoid the audience from receiving too much of a brace, in the first 5-8 mins of the movie followed by a couple of more minutes. After this the focus completely shifts from the blast sites and moves on to show how this affects the daily life of all these 5-6 people. It shows how they realize that what they had been doing is not good for the society and how it affects it as a whole. This was totally unexpected from the viewers and it stuck a really nice chord. I call this a really feel good movie as against the karan johar flicks.

Personally I condemn emotional journalism and this aspect of the profit-centric-manipulative-media of our country has been criticized in a way that would definitely not upset or stir up an uproar but would at least make people in that profession sit up and think about it a little. Media is a great force in a democracy which helps make the common man’s opinion. Hence it should operate responsibly and report only the news, rather than loose all its purpose in an effort to make it sensational. The journalist learns it the hard way in the movie.

A talented but angry youth realizes that all Muslims are not terrorists and that they are affected as badly as everyone else in terrorist attacks. It dawns on him that an-eye-for-an-eye attitude would lead us to only piles of dead bodies. A not-well-to-do chai wala is furious with the way the affluent flaunt their money with total disregard and little respect for the people from the lower economic class of the society. Seeing these people panic gives him a kick but then he realizes that such acts of selfishness only make law enforcement more difficult for the police and also that such acts could turn out to be fatal in the end for common man.

A budding police officer is not happy with the slack in law enforcement in the society on the part of the police force. He is guided by a more senior officer about to retire who suddenly starts to doubt if his life was worth anything at all looking at his enthusiastic subordinate who wants to contribute to the society. In the end he passes on his wisdom to the junior officer that everything cannot change overnight and also that there are better ways of handling such situations. A well-to-do man with a white collar job narrowly escapes the blast and wonders if it worth it to stick to the country and in Mumbai or if he should also settle down for greener pastures in the US. He understands, in the end, that these are part of every big city in the world on this day and that it sure is not the end of the world.

All these characters have been played by really talented actors such as Soha Ali Khan, Madhavan, KK Menon, Irfan Khan and Paresh Rawal. Each one of them has tried to surpass the other and in the end have made it a real feel good movie. The director has more than succeeded in saying what he wanted to convey in a way that it lingers on but still does not hit the viewers with so much force that it derails them and makes them wonder as to where the world is headed to. One would really feel happy in the mind on viewing such movies amidst others, which either show scantily clad women or the ills and problems of the society to make a mark at the box office. A good movie for everyone.