Rattan Gujadhur

[Rattan Gujadhur] Aadish Kelushkar ‘Jaoon Kahan Bata De Dil’ - A Movie Review of an Artistic Feat

Rédigé par Rattan Gujadhur le Dimanche 11 Août 2019

Aadish Kelushkar’s ‘Jaaon kahan Batra de dil’ is a ruse, a trick, and a masterful one too. The lullaby like Mukesh song should not tempt one into a feeling that this is yet another Bollywood flick about love, shove, doves. No Kelushkar is a bhakt of Goddard and Truffaut.

The movie is one day in the life of a lower middle class couple, boyfriend and girlfriend, living into the intestines of a polluted megapolis, Mumbai, where plastic bottles on the beach, and the dire desperation on the face of the taxi driver, reminiscing on his dead end long lost village, already gives away that India has really no sanity, no atmosphere, left, no breathing space left in the souls of its inhabitants, and people get on with their lives whilst trying to pretend there is a rosy future ahead. 

Living at all costs is what you see behind the scenes. Life is going on with a tense sense of doom. A world where the Bollywood’s actors the Salman Khans, the Shah Rukh Khans, and actresses goddesses are the new gods, and one talks about them constantly, so one can forget that there is no future, no breathable space, left, unless you live well sheltered in fortresses and air conditioned mansions. 

One starts to get edgy at the start of the movie, the caustic energy in the conversations starts to unsettle the audience (me in this case). Note here so say, that Khushboo Upadhyay and Rohit Kokate acted to perfection, chapeau, hats off ! Strong independent actors emerging instantly to prove their grits. 

Rohit is the cynical accountant who thinks love is just a transaction, and he comes up with brilliant snippets all through, that in India, the public knows it all, they get it, yet they always vote for the crooks, just to suffer more, and to get fxxxxx more. Like in love, there is always a reason to be in love for one to continue the daily dramas of life, winning and losing, losing and winning. Khushboo of course, thinks that accounting and numbers have gotten into his head, and that her boyfriend is a depressed fool. Love? What’s that, he says. If not just an illusion for the loved and the lover. When one is tired of what it offers one will simply just move on. 

Kulushkar the intrepid one has other plans for this intrepid movie, this is certainly not a movie about a trivial love fest of an ordinary Mumbai couple. Rohit’s conversations mirror the end of history for Mumbai. Despite his self-centered cynicism, he still dearly needs his asked-for blowjobs, sex and weed. 

There is no hope in a country, where he says, the politicians control everything, and the police need permits, for everything, even deciding who will screw who, in a taxi, after hours. And to make it worst, we have the moral BJP police. Is this very Indian Orwellian truth, true or not, you make your own conclusions, you will understand as things slowly unfold. 

Khushboo on the other hand is on a mission to ‘chercher un mari’ in a world where insecurity for the bus-hopping women, lead them to only one road: find a secured man that one can marry and ‘love’ for there is only pain for a single woman destined to be hounded by rascals everywhere. She takes in a deluge of insults from Rohit, the cynical intellectual who on all accounts, the self proclaimed thinker extraordinaire, the self proclaimed philosopher, seems to be the stronger of the two, for his abject existential bullying all through the day. 

He does not believe one can love in a loveless polluted world. Why do you want to trick me into marriage he says? What good should this do to us he says? Dekhte hai (let’s see) how things unfold with us. 

The unfolding designed by Kelushkar is magistral. He is not scared of the Indian censorship board and uses the temporal relief of sex scenes on his canvas, like a surgeon, to show us that for Rohit his search for relief, is a tell tale of the state of the country. Despite his Sartre like independence, he is just a toddler in a world he just does not understand, and the only way out, is to escape via porn and sex reliefs (don’t we already know the addiction for porn sites in India). 

It is Kelushkar’s true ode to women to Kali, to Saraswati, to Bhavani, to the spirit of women, that is the coup de grace of this intelligent flick: the emergence of Khusboo as his destiny, his solace. He says at the end ‘no one will love me like you do’. The hope of India is in it’s feminine elan, it’s creative women and the men who will realize it before eroding themselves of any hope, are the ones that can be saved in an unlivable world. Alas for Rohit, this comes too late. Porn India Inc. had by then already eaten his soul.

A propos de l'auteur : Rattan Gujadhur   left Mauritius for higher studies in the US in 1999. He has practiced in the Pharma and Biotech world for over 29 years and is a Dr in Chemistry. He remains deeply in love with Mauritius and has published reminiscences of Mauritius via a poetry collection and a novel.

Dimanche 11 Août 2019