Saturday, June 02, 2012

ISHAQZAADE: CAPSULE




                The lesson to be learnt from Mr. Faisal’s landscape might have been somewhat acceptable had it been a straight-out schematic extrapolation of “no country for gender fusion”.  Instead, what he starts with here is a “men are from hell, women are from a trashcan” routine, where, well, for obvious reasons being/possessing/representing a symbol of masculinity is the desirable social position to be in(almost everybody is over-trying to put an aggressive display of the usual traits), and the feminine is pushed to the periphery. The girl desires, and the film practically “unloads” her prized phallus, which also happens to be its interval-cliffhanger. Mr. Faisal then proceeds to “correct” this imbalance by equating feminine with female and female with grace. Which is probably not the right order to proceed with, if you ask me. And no, there’s absolutely no scope for the nature (masculine, aggression) versus grace debate, and you need to thank Mr. Faisal’s schematics for that, where the men here are poorly designed objects with badly defined properties (equated with animals), whose behavior is utterly unconvincing and inconsistent. They’re apparently progressive (the election-symbol is a computer), who’ve no inhibition in giving all the freedom to their daughter, yet do not exhibit the necessary trust in her decision-making. I’m still unsure who’s being undermined, but Mr. Faisal pushes it under the rug in the second half by setting up the feminine as the desirable one, which the “animals” ought to aspire for. What makes matter worse is the fifth-grade-level unity-in-diversity lesson here, which basically is seeking to inspire us in asking each other that if this eternal biological gender conformity imposed on us could be conquered (the metaphorical bridge he constructs via the coda) what chance does caste and creed and religion have. Eternal, because the silence of a new morning ( or a new day, or for that matter a new world) is broken by the cacophony of a standard-issue schoolgirl-schoolboy quarrel, which happens to be so loud (all-encompassing) that it drowns the sound of a train running in the foreground, and which runs over the film’s closing moments. Which left me pretty vacant and uninspired, and probably even confused about the moral outrage and shock I have been listening from some quarters. I mean, if some of those I had read were white, they would’ve been eligible to carry the burden. I’m all for ethics, but the moment I ask myself if Mr. Arjun Kapoor’s name appears before Ms. Parineeti Chopra’s in the credits, I guess we’re becoming a little too touchy. And yeah, for all those wagging fingers, I got two titles for you – Laadla and Indra: The Tiger.

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