Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s films have queer long titles featuring the protagonist’s name like- ‘Arvind Desai ki Ajeeb Dastan’, ‘Salim Langde pe Mat Ro’, ‘Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho’,‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’ and off course this one- ‘Albert Pinto ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai’. The film was co-scripted by Kundan Shah and shows the anger of a working class young Christian of suburban Mumbai. Mirza portrayed last phase of seventies when urban middle class milieu passes through critical social-political-economical condition of jobless youth, textile strike and strong emergence of labour unions and rise of money power. An educated and upfront urban middle class working youth have three options- either he remains content and satisfies with his daily wage and dreaming big like Albert, play a directionless ruffian like his brother Dominic or going abroad for dream money and better life like Stella's brother. Albert is a face of repressed and angry youth who's angry and yet helpless to rebel against the system unlike those Big B's commercial angry young man avatars. The angry young man here is angry against the injustice, pretended society, changing class-culture-society and above all on himself who's unable to do anything that leads towards solution. He on one hand considering himself as one and only upfront garage mechanic of Mumbai able to repair imported cars knowing rich and famous people and on the other hand getting angry on his family and girlfriend.

Watching films like this, I wonder how both conservative market and Indian middle class evolve economically towards a new height in post ninety’s open economy. Five lac Rupees foreign made car was considered next to impossible for working class then (as shown in that garage song in film), today it considered as average economy model. Anything foreign and imported grabs attention immediately compared to mediocre Indian goods. The film has strong cast of Parallel cinema’s torch bearing names- Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Om Puri with some of Mirza find and regular like Sulabha Deshpande, Dilip Dhavan, Satish Shah and Avtar Gill. As per the title, it’s film of Naseer who played too many shades of Albert and he acted as per expectation level. That mirror scene is surely an inspiration from De Niro’s Taxi Driver’.

The problem with the film is its unnecessary tad slow pace and incoherent narration scattered in multiple direction and characters. What I hate is how makers like Mirza, absolutely under on unutilized the potentials of terrific actors like Smita Patil and Om Puri. The later half of film is quite stretching one looming between conventional happy end and unconventional rise of rebel workers union. Nevertheless the film is worth a watch to check Mumbai’s unglamorous, unadorned later phase of seventies. 

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