Subtitles have been my best friends and perhaps the surest way to knock off The Tower of Babel (Google it, please). Subtitles have earnestly helped me embark into unknown worlds, the risk of ‘reading’ a movie than watching it, notwithstanding.
Hadn’t it been for subtitles, I’d have never discovered the genius of Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of cherry), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, 21 Grams, Amores Perros, Biutiful), Ingmar Bergman (The seventh seal, Through a glass darkly), Michelangelo Antonioni (Blowup), Federico Fellini (La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Ikiru, Kagemusha), Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), Roberto Benigni (Life is beautiful), Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves, After the Fox), Ritwik Ghatak (Meghe Dhaka Tara, Ajantrik), Paresh Mokashi (Harishchandrachi Factory), Sandeep Sawant (Shwaas), Sundar C (Anbe Sivam) and most importantly, Satyajit Ray (Apu Trilogy, Charulata, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Mahanagar, Nayak, in fact all his films) to name a ‘phew!’
So here’s an attempt to destroy the Tower of Babel and share experiences of watching films in foreign or regional language at: ‘Reading between the (subtitled) lines’.
Premachi Goshta (Story of love)
“Relationships end, love remains” is an underlining thought that binds the movie, ‘Premachi Goshta’ together. A rather complex plot, simplified through a Venn diagram by Atul Kulkarni’s character, Ram Subramanyam (South Indian father, Maharashtrian mother, settled in Mumbai) explains to Sagarika Ghatge (‘Last seen’ in Chakh De India – the girl who dated a cricketer), Sonal about the complexities of relationship between four individuals comprising two men and two women.
The first guy leaves the first woman. The second woman enters after leaving her man, and these two characters are in a dilemma whether to give their respective spouses a second chance or go with the flow of life. The dilemma ranges from being moral, logical, and consequential, to instinctual. Confused? There’s a Venn diagram explanation, so don’t fret, it isn’t as complex as it seems. And by the end of the film, you’ll be as sorted as these four characters, like SRK would like to put it, ‘end mein sabkuch theek ho hi jaata hai’.
There’s a scene in the film (beautifully shot by Suhas Gujarati), which deserves a special mention, where Ram and Sonal are watching an old film (for writing a remake script which is part of their job) and they start analyzing how films should be. “The melodrama could have done away with…” sighs Ram (The film, too, steers clears from melodrama. We never see Ram’s mother played by Rohini Hattangadi sobbing, doing attyachar on his ex-wife or scheming plots to keep them separated).
Further, Ram affirms, “I want to pick up every film and turn it on its head!” and Sonal is quick to retort, “Why don’t you write your own story?” This gem of a scene where the protagonist articulates the process of script writing and plot development is worth a takeaway from ‘Premachi Goshta’.
The story is constantly given a twist and the debate runs across every frame, where one is compelled to wonder, ‘to be or not to be married’. Kudos to the writers, Satish Rajwade (Director and Story Writer), and Chinmay Kelkar (Screenplay and Dialogues), who are easily the real heroes of this heartwarming film, apart from of course, Atul Kulkarni, who is already a ‘young’ veteran, when it comes to flawless acting and awe-inspiring performance.
Last, but as the cliché goes, not the least, hats off to Writer-Director Satish Rajwade takes a simplistic approach to answer profound questions. A simple conversation on marriage and divorce between two strangers no longer seems a ‘pehli mulaaqat’ scene, and it’s the director who takes it to another level.