I should first make a declaration that I like Nagesh Kukunoor’s Cinema.
I was just reading the box-office reports of the movies. The taste of the Indian audience is pathetic. A movie like Mod has earned just ₹ 40 lacs, and is being termed a “disaster”. Incredible! Mod is zillion times better than Ra.One, Bodyguard, Dabang, Reddy, Singham, and, for that matter, even 3 Idiots. I also watched Aashayein, and even that was also a fantastic movie. The Indian audience are being taken for a ride by these marketing companies: They can convert a movie like LSD into a hit, but a movie like Mod disappears without a whisper!
Mod is a fantastic movie. Some other recently-released low-profile movies like Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, Love Breakup Zindagi, Sahib Biwi aur Gangster, Soundtrack, Shabri, That Girl in Yellow Boots, Bol, Rivaaz, Sahi Dhande Galat Bande, Not a Love Story, I am Kalaam, Chala Musadi, Chillar Party, Bubble Gum, Khap, Bhindi Bazaar Inc, Pyaar ka Punchnama, Challo Dilli, Shagird, Tanu Weds Manu, etc, are also good movies, especially when compared to the filth that is being produced in the Ra.Ones.
The script of the movie Mod is well thought off, and Ayesha Takia has given a splendid performance; but the best thing about Mod is its comprehensive appeal. It is a subtle entertainer without a spectacle but with lots of soul. The focus has never been lost, and the underlying idea has been preserved from the beginning to the end. The movie actually ends with a clean social message too. I wonder what else is required in a good movie. I liked the thought presented in the movie that “love always succeed because it is the most selfish”. Certainly true! The climax of the story is perfect with a subtle message on Women Empowerment too.
There are two striking aspects of the movie: first, the subtle message on Women Empowerment and, secondly, the handling of the delicate issue of psychiatric illness.
The message on women empowerment is just rightly placed: There is no conflict of women v. man, etc, and the girl in the movie naturally evolved into a women via responsibility, not sexual intercourse. Thus, there is no need to load the women, so evolved, with the titles like “Women of Substance”, etc. She did nothing extraordinary, and no man need be offended; she was just doing her job and following her destiny, and, on the way, took up some responsibility.
I have observed that the delicate topic of psychiatric illness has been dealt most frivolously in the Indian movies, whether be it Karthik calling Karthik or 15 Park Avenue or Black. There is a tendency to project mental illness as an almost incurable disease in absence of special medical attention. In fact, the reverse is mostly true: It has been found in scientific studies that there is no significant correlation between the medical treatment and the improved condition; rather, if diagnosed wrongly, the treatment may lead to further problems because psychiatry is only an evolving science. The, once preferred, ECT has been found to be the worst treatment leading to many further complications. In most of the cases, the psychiatrists just try to sober the excited state with pills, which can well be achieved by alternative methods like love. The preference shown to the love over the medical treatment in the movie is thus pretty sound.
After watching this movie and Ra.One, I seriously feel that the directors of the movies like Mod need to do something to survive in this dog-eat-dog world: There ought to be a movement against these big banner movies because, at the end of the day, the audience are getting cheated.
©2011 Ankur Mutreja