The purpose of writing this review is essentially to spread
some good word of mouth about Hazaaron Kwaishein Aisi
(HKA) which otherwise is going to go out of theatres in a
jiffy and make way for Bunty aur Babli.
The story revolves around three main characters Siddharth
Tyabji, Vikram Malhotra and Geeta Rao, three classmates during
graduation in Delhi. The story is set in the tumultuous late
60s and 70s when Naxalism, Emergency, etc. set campuses and
young minds across the country on fire. The movie is in equal
parts English and Hindi.
Siddharth is a typical JNU, left of centre ideologue who is
increasingly veering to the left than the centre disturbing
his affluent British Accented Muslim father and Hindu mother.
Sid and Geeta are in love. Geeta is a Telugu girl but has
spent her life across the world. High on dope and after frantic
lovemaking with Geeta, Sid joins the revolution and becomes
a comrade in Bhojpur in Bihar so that he can kill those pillaging
Thakurs and corrupt thanedars. Geeta refuses to join him in
Malhotra is a middle class Meerut guy born in a Gandhian family.
He has a crush on Geeta but knows how deeply she feels for
Sid. He believes that revolutions are for rich kids. He is
intent on using his links with the Congress party and succeed
to 1973: Siddharth is playing his role as naxalite to
the hilt. Vikram is doing very well fixing his way in 'Dally'
and improving his connections in the political arena. He also
meets someone who looks suspiciously like Sanjay Gandhi and
does some shady transactions with him. Geeta, meanwhile, has
married an IAS officer. Once a month she goes to the village
where Sid is and stays in a circuit house where she is joined
by Sid for some breathing exercises.
are hints of political upheavals in the country. Hints of
ideological differences between the naxalites too. Vikram
keeps coming to Geeta's aid, spurred by a deep rooted desire
to sleep with her. Alas she keeps going back to Sid. Geeta
finally leaves her husband as she wants to go the village
and wear cotton saries and blouses two sizes too large. She
goes to Bhojpur and bears Sid's child. Vikram is busy fixing
his way to glory and power.
to 1975: Emergency. Sanjay Gandhi does his bit to castrate
the people and Indira Gandhi does her bit to castrate the
country. Vikram continues to pull Geeta out of trouble with
the police. Sid's ideas start to weaken at the roots. Political
persecution, police encounters, ideologies gone awry and everyone
comes out shaken - Sid, Geeta and Vikram.
almost feels like Sudhir Mishra was inspired by Ginsberg's
Howl and its first line is like the theme of this movie. "I
saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness".
HKA is probably one of the finest political movies made in
India. The main theme of the movie revolves around naxalism
and emergency. However, the movie is as much about the rush
of youth and the persistence and poignancy of love.
imbues his characters with an inherent honesty. Siddharth
is honest when he wants to join the naxalites, not because
Vietnam is fashionable. The dishonest ones would have gone
to Harvard to do Oriental Studies. Vikram is honest in his
undying love for Geeta. Sudhir is honest in his views about
the political scene. Even though there is some resentment
against the immaturity of the ideology, he still appreciates
those who had the courage to take the jump. His sharpest criticism
is though against the Congress, Sanjay Gandhi/ Indira Gandhi
and their cronies and specifically against the emergency.
of Sudhir Mishra's earlier movies include "Dharavi"
and "Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin". But none of
his earlier movies have the kind of scope he achieves here.
The movie is funny, acerbic and grim but always gripping in
its execution of what is essentially a large format movie.
Kay Menon as Siddharth is excellent. He suits the role of
a naxalite but seems a bit old as the college student. Chitrangada
Singh, in her debut film, is brilliant as Geeta. A dusky beauty
with a striking resemblance to Smita Patil, she takes the
honours easily. Shiney Ahuja plays Vikram. He looks more like
a model than an actor. He is passable.
music, photography and editing are all top drawer. The music
especially, by Shantanu Moitra, evokes the mood and times
very well with a mix of folk and classical. Bawara Man and
Mann Ye Bawara are by far two of the best songs you will have
heard in recent times.
HKA sometimes make you wonder what you will have to say to
your kids when they ask "what did you do in your twenties?"
I feel that saying "I transitioned a cross-country payroll
process to Bangalore within 2 months" or "I got
my client out of a drag-along clause in the shareholders agreement"
wouldn't pass muster. This movie leaves you with a feeling
that we have missed something.
My Movie experiences:
Shyam - Black
Sai - Anand
Rohit - Anand & Veer Zaara
Jaya Prakash - 7GBC
Raj - Anand
Purnesh - Anand
Purnesh - The Village
Sriram - Gudumba Shankar
Purnesh - Gharshana
Purnesh - Lakshya
Purnesh - Yuva
Leenesh - Yuva
Kis - Lakshmi Narasimha
Indian Pride - Tagore
Raj - Boys
Phani - Gangotri
Phani - Khadgam
Vikram - CKR
BKR - Indra (Singapore)
Ram - Indra (Dubai)
Ranjeet - Idiot
King Koduri - Indra
Srilakshmi Katragadda - Mitr: