Saturday, April 13, 2013

"27 DOWN " AVTAR KRISHEN KAUL'S FORGOTTEN 1974 CLASSIC MOVIE .


                                                                  



THE  LANGUAGE  OF  SILENCE  .



RAKHEE  GULZAR  AND M. K. RAINA   IN   "27 DOWN"



I do not know why am i coming to the movie 27 Down again and again. I wish the talented director had lived to add his part of creative output to the Parallel Cinema that emerged during seventies and early eighties .

I am informed that Avtar kaul was not only the director of this movie , he had also arranged Finances from NFDC .He wrote the script and dialogues. Personally selected the talented cast comprising of M K Raina ( 1970 Batch NSD Graduate and a man from Theatre) , Rakhee Gulzar , Sadhu Mehar ( He shifted to Oriya cinema) , Om shivpuri, Rekha sabnis and Sudhir Dalvi. He arranged the music from Bhuban Hari ( Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Bubaneshwar Misra ). I saw this Black and White movie again recently from the rescued version put on DVDs by NFDC.



The film came out at a time when Amitabh Bachan had begun his rise to stardom .Shyam Benegal had set free his ANKUR on us. Amol Palekar's Rajnigandha had created a demand for new cinema .And Manoj Kumar had come with Roti kapda Aur Makaan , a new variant  of entertaining cinema .  



I liked the storyline ,screenplay and the dialogues .I am informed that Avtar Kaul made it a point to shoot inside Bombay local trains and crowded Railway stations to give the movie a realistic feel. The frames shot at Bombay’s VT station and inside the crowded Local train give a sense of kinetics to the shots. Such shots give you a feeling of commotion within and outside .


                                                    




You confront silence also . I believe this silence is corollary to settlement in a relation.. In a relation if attitudes are identified and reflexes established to deal with them , not much needs to be actually talked about . Silence then engulfs togetherness . This phenomenon one observes in this movie . I confess being guilty of not having seen this grand movie seriously on a previous occasion.

No character in this movie makes the usual filmi or impressive gestures .

                                                  





“ Phir koyee pull hai Kya ? Shayad Pull hi hai ”     
“ Has another bridge Come ? Looks like a bridge only “
( A dialogue from the movie )

A routine traveller seeks to confirm his assessment by the thud and sound of the train that he is used to.. This traveler has been crossing bridges daily without reaching Anywhere .

“Loag Ek Din ya ek raat ke baad Kahin pahunchtay hain , par mein to ek khayal ke baad Duusray khayal pe pahunch jaata huun ” from the movie .

“People reach some destination after a day’s or night’s journey . But I continue to leave one dream to enter another .”

Fathers generally choose their own profession for their children ignoring the preferences and likes of the child. In a sense it is forced upon the child. Here in this movie the hero Sanjay faces this from his Father.
Anna ( Sanjay’s father ) is a train-driver and works for the Railways. One day his train meets with an accident and his right leg gets paralyzed. When Sanjay grows up, Anna wants his son to join the Railways as a Ticket Checker.  Sanjay on the other hand wants to carry forward his artistic career but his father, decisively wants him to join Railways .His father believes that such a job shall give security and a handsome salary . And a good salary with a secured job would mean an ideal life for his son. Put to passionate pressure from his father ,Sanjay takes up the railway job. Annoyed and discontented with a monotonous life he feels, he is heading nowhere until he meets Shalini.

“ Din Raat Bhi Agar meri duty Lagaa dein To Mujhey Koyee Eiteraaz nahin ”
( If they put me on round the clock duty , i have no objection to it . )
                                                         

 Sanjay ( M K Raina ) measures life in train sounds and distances .The demands of conformity affect his relation with a young woman Shalini ( Rakhee ).

Sanjay befriends the commuting typist Shalini.They meet often and explore having a relationship. Thinking that Shalini wants to marry him, he accompanies her to meet her grandfather and two children. He is shocked when Shalini introduces him as a married man, working as her co-worker. Sanjay, in disbelief  wants to know   why Shalini lied about his martial status and employment with the Railways.
 Sanjay's father  comes to know about this relationship.He  puts pressure on  Sanjay to marry a village girl  chosen by him. When sanjay faces his father Ana ( Om shivpuri ) who tells him what future holds for him,  Just two words slip from his tongue..
“Par Ana ( Then Ana ) "
  This village girl  resembles the buffaloes she brings as her dowry. Sanjay escapes in yet another train journey but when he  meets Shalini again, he finds they have nothing in common any more.
                                                               

“ Loag hain ki ek jagah se doosri jagah tak jaatein hain . Mein hoon ki kahin se chal kar kahin bhi chalaa jaa Rahaa huun ”
( People start from one destination and reach the other . Look at me . I start from any place and go anywhere )

The unexpected Zoom Ins , Zoom Outs and freeze frames give a moving visual sense to this film. Avtar Kaul learnt this technique possibly  during his apprenticeship with Ivory Merchant production BOMBAY TALKIE ( Sashi kapoor , Jennifer Kendal , Aparna Sen and Utpal Dutt ) . Avtar kaul  also worked as Assistant to James Ivory .Had he lived , he would have certainly made films that would have been middle of commercial and Art cinema.

The film won National Awards for Best Film  and  Cinematography in 1974...

Prof Jaya Parimu Adds:

"Avtar was pushed by a wave against the stone wall and he had an instantaneous death.
January , February and march 1974 we got to be with him often at Sam's  restaurant Jehangir Art Gallery.Kurta,pyjama and a cotton cloth bag hanging over his shoulder.He was financially broke ,waiting for the premiere of his  movie and eventual release .He and we Samavor goers  all  attended première and Avtar was thrilled by the overwhelming response.Excited and happiest he was with astounding reviews about his movie,but destiny had something else stored in for him ."

I am adding some lines from  a poem HISTORY  by noted Bulgarian  Poet Nikola Vaptsarovto this write up. ...


( HISTORY )

History, will you mention us
In your faded scroll?
We worked in factories, offices –
Our names were not well known.
We worked in fields.
For the hardship and affliction
We do not seek rewards,
Nor do we want our pictures
In the calendar of years.
Just tell our story simply
To those we shall not see,
Tell those who will replace us –
We fought courageously.
( HISTORY is a famous poem composed by noted Bulgarian  Poet Nikola Vaptsarov 1909-1942 )

( Autar Mota ) 13.04.2013 .. GOOD  DAY..


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1 comment:

  1. Can somebody please arrange/ upload/ tell about a source of the novel itself. My dad is a huge fan of that book and someone borrowed it to never return! :(
    I want arrange a copy of the novel for him.

    ReplyDelete