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Immiscible ingredients?
Aug 23, 2005 07:55 AM 1153 Views
(Updated Sep 07, 2006 03:07 AM)





Based on the work of Vijay Dan Dehta and a screenplay from wife Sandhya Gokhale, Amol Palekar takes us to the mystical world of Rajasthani folklore in 'Paheli'. Ably supported by his team of artists and technicians, Palekar tells a ghost story, with such adroitness and care that the shared sense of purpose shows though every frame, resulting in a work of art that is colorful, melodious, and graceful. But, on the other hand, it is also something that ends up being too spooky, airy and weightless, at the same time.

Adopting the decades-old work of Rajasthani literature of such reputation (Sahitya Academy Award winner and the basis of Mani Kaul's movie 'Duvidha') does place its own sense of awe in how one presents it all over again, and how one receives it, but it is fair to say that between all the eeriness and the emptiness, the beauty of it all does get a nice double whammy. And, that makes the sumptuous fare a bit too tricky to savor. However, if some things remain a bit resolute, they are moments like when the ghost initially approaches his inamorata in a truthful way, resolving the first of the dilemmas ('duvidha's) with valor and honesty.

Lyrics by Gulzar, music by MM Kreem, background score by Adeesh Srivastava, camera by Ravi K Chandran, choreography Farah Khan, art by Muneesh Sappal, and performances by Anupam Kher and Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee and the inimitable Amitabh Bachchan speak for the synergy Palekar brings to bear. But the applause, somehow turns into sympathy for the project. Perhaps from a back firing of all the mysticism, that gets a bit more accentuated in the closing scenes.

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