It’s a quite unknown and debut full length film of Producer, Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra who gave us some of the most technically sound Hindi films like ‘Parinda’, 1942- a love story’, ‘Kareeb’, ‘Mission Kashmir’ etc. The film was made with financial help of NFDC with the limited budget and roping some of the brilliant actors of parallel cinema of 80s- Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Aazmi, Amol Palekar, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Pankaj Kapoor, Pawan Malhotra, Avtar Gill, Ajit Vachchani and Soni Razdan to name a few. But among all these fine ensemble cast its Pankaj Kapoor who outshone all others in almost all the short scenes given to him.
Crime is the most recurring theme of most of the Vidhu Vinod Chopra films and this one is a well made murder mystery where a film unit goes to Pahalgam for shooting where a murder of rising young actress took place. The first fifteen minutes of the screenplay is very crucial for every well made film. Vidhu introduced almost all characters of the film in the beginning with keeping certain amount of ambiguity around them showing intrigues in the world of glamour, rivalries pressure, exploitation of new artist etc. which fixed all of them into suspension of doubt when murder/suicide took place. Naseer’s entry as C.I.D Inspector gives interesting twists throughout the film where you keep your heads busy pointing your doubts towards suspicious one. Cut and the next you witnessed the murder of that suspicious fellow in same dressing room with same modus operandi. Vidhu has maintained the level of exciting mystery thrills along with technically perfect and almost faultless crime thriller even in this first low budget production of his career.
There isn’t a single song in the film and its one more proof of Vidhu’s unconventional directorial decision to make a crisp and no nonsense suspense thriller.
We can clearly see the influence of Coppola and Hitchcock in Vidhu’s direction as in one of the scene Shabana’s watching those classic bathroom murder scene of ‘Psycho’ and in another she’s found reading Puzzo’s ‘The Godfather’. One more scene resembles where a blood soaked butchered hen was found when Shabana was resting on her bed just like that head of the horse was found on the bed in ‘The Godfather’.
Cinematographer Binod Pradhan has worked in almost all Vidhu Vinod Chopra directed films and personally I regard him as one of the Best cinematographer of India. He is master craft man behind all those wonderful shots of Vidhu’s films. In mystery the role of camera is very vital and there are many scenes which gives us clue about Pradhan’s mastery of his medium.
Remember the framing of almost all scenes in ‘Parinda’. Jackie’s entry, Anupam Kher’s slow motion murder scene on the road where pigeons started flying disturbed by the noise of gun, the cold blooded murder scene of newly wed Anil-Madhuri done by Nana Patekar or brilliant climax. Its my favorite Vidhu Vinod Chopra film till day and equally the credit goes to his alter ego of visuals Binod Pradhan. In which other film you find such a class and nostalgic cinematography of each and every song as in ‘1942 –A Love Story’. Even in the last Directorial film of Vidhu- ‘Eklavya’ the train sequence was shot so brilliantly. That’s the reason why Binod is the first choice of every technically perfect director like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra who repeated him in ‘Delhi-6’ after his brilliant work in ‘Rang De Basanti.’ Sorry for dragging too much on Mr.Pradhan but I think these are the technicians who remain unknown to public attention where all the credit of well made film goes either to Director or Actors. Can ‘Parinda’, ‘Rang De Basanti’ would have been made so better without Binod Pradhan that’s the question.
The film is available on Eros VCD/DVD, even in case if you don’t get the torrent on any site.