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Aam Aadmi Learns The Parable Of ilama Fruit :-)
Jan 21, 2007 01:11 AM 23279 Views
(Updated Jan 22, 2007 12:27 PM)

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Guru of a Movie: Perhaps one of the greatest ever movies made, this movie is about communal harmony & religion. The message of the movie is universal & opens the viewers eyes to truths that lie covered in dusts. Unlike most movies which tell one story, this uses another story, a parable to reinforce the message. To me this is storytelling at its best. Its no secret that the movie attacks blind faith, ignorance, meaningless rituals in religions.


Hav U Met ur Guru: The movie begins with a text quote “Guru is someone who with his wisdom removes the screen of ignorance & makes you see again”. I hope like me you too have met your guru. For the time being lets do with the MS ka guru, Guru of VRs ( at the rate he is winning ‘seats’ flightraja might give him a plane itself) Sri Sri…(27times) Shyamgurubaba ;-)


Disclaimer: film’s disclaimer says ‘this movie is intended at avoiding a great tragedy tomoro & to hold mirror to human conscience’!! did they fail considering we had our Godhras, Mangalores…..?? just pondering .. I know this is just a movie with a message.


Crew: story-direction – Rajiv Anchal, Music – Ilayaraja, Screenplay, Dialogs – Dr Rajendra Babu


Cast: Mohanlal (Raghuraman), Charuhasan (Raghu’s father) Murali (Maulvi) Suresh Gopi (king Vijayanth), Sreenivasan(Shravanan)


Story: is set in a kerala village where there is communal harmony. Raghuraman is the son of local priest. The father thinks son is unbrahmin due to his drinking & roaming around with foreign tourists which is part of his job as tourist guide. Their arguments always end with raghu declaring ‘I don’t want to be a Brahmin, I want to be human’. Soon over a issue involving kids the seeds of division are sown. The local politician wants to hijack this division for votes. His men dressed as Muslims attack the temple & desecrate it. Soon we have communal riots. Raghu loses everyone in his family, which makes him vengeful & join a Hindu Sooside Squad. He is now to drive a truck load of explosives into a Muslim Refugee camp. The mission fails & he escapes by jumping into a river. When he opens eyes he finds himself rescued by people at Shanthigiri ashram, where a holy guru lived and worked – a place where ppl from all faith are given shelter. He finds other sooside bombers there & they plan to stay there using it as a hideout. Soon as raghu is about to leave ashram at night on a sooside mission he confronts sitara, the disciple of Guru. She knows what he is up to. So asks him to touch & bow to the Guru’s Sandals once before leaving. Now these are sandals like the one wore by Sri Rama in Ramayana serial ..the hawai chappal without bars! ;-) he touches & bows to it ..a peace fills within him ..he has an out of life experience .. which is the next story ;-)


Story Within a Story: In the out of life experience guru drops Raghu in a country of the blind where people do not believe in the sense of sight. They believe it as a sin to think that there is a thing called sight. Their kids are taught that there is no world of sight. when our man tries to tell them that there is a world of sight and that he can see, they don't believe him. How will you explain sight to the blind? To the one gone blind in hatred, how will u explain love? They consider him evil because he can do things that they can't. slowly he wins over some of them. raghu takes as his mission to tell them abt sight. He soon finds out by experience how they went blind. With the remedy he restores the sight of all of them & saves his own life too. I am not going detail here bcos I don’t want to adulterate the director’s story telling abilites with mine ;-) with raghu having leant these new things from the Guru, he is a new man – no more into hatred & communal violence.


Parable of the ilama Fruit: a key element in the fantasy story above is the favored food of that people – the ilama fruit. ( sounds reverse of malai!!) now raghu finds out that ilama fruit is what causing them to go blind bcos every new born is given its juice. Raghu also experinces that the bitter seeds of the ilama fruit can restore sight. .. this must be the reason behind the phrase ‘bitter truth’ ? ;-) the parable of ilama fruit & country of blind is a mirror parable –for we see ourselves in the story. The parable of ilama fruit explains perfectly how the very religions that had to spread love among people, end up spreading hate & dividing people – due to misinterpretation!! Not only this, the parable can be used to explain any social evil!


Acting/Music/Costumes: Mohanlal superb, so is the rest of the crew. Story telling makes a child out of you & one just ends up watching in awe, as misconception, half truths come tumbling down. There are about 4 songs which fit into the story too well that you wont notice it nor remember it separately ;-) great costume work especially in the country of the blind story.


Super scene/dialogs: scenes of arguments between Raghu & his father which has all elements of a theist-atheist argument. Raghus out of life experience, all scenes in country of blind, climax. The movie is home to a host of dialogs which have meanings deeper than the Indian ocean!! ;-) many dialogs of the movie are so classic to be a seeker’s treasure. Sample this “in the sighted world the walls of religion are blocking people from reaching god, just as in the country of the blind lack of sight is preventing them from life” – raghus answer to the blind king! Or “you & I are samples of the humanity that has lost its inner sight” – raghus words addressing the now sighted crowd!!


Hope: The director ends the movie with a text slide that reads “this is a world with people who can see, yet are blind. Raghu, the light that you got from Guru’s wisdom, share it to the world thru the younger generations. In the coming century let India be the Guru of the world” !! what a wish that is. Remember this was made in 94, post babri. If the wish is to be true India first needs to be communal-riot free, so it can be a guru of secularism to the world.


Trivia: Did you know govt of India submitted this for the Foreign Language Category at the Oscars? I didn’t know till sometime back. thanks Govtji ;-) thanks imdb for trivia ;-)


Recommended: I think every Indian shud see it, but then the ‘walls of language’ are still there. Copies with English subtitles do exist. I recommend this to everyone. If you alredy know the message, u can see it for the story, story telling, acting. Surely worth the time & money. .. over to you for RRC ;-)


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