Why do we connect with a cinematic character, a film, a television series, a poem, a phrase? Is it because we find in them something that was unarticulated in us? A longing? A deep hurt with tangled roots that we cannot pull out? Anger and demons and darkness we are too afraid to face? A sense of vindication we somehow did not get in real life? A desire that we never saw actualised except in wistful, unfinished dreams? Everytime something connects with us, it completes something, echoes something, answers something, heals something, stirs something. Kunal Karan Kapoor’s Mohan Bhatnagar does almost all of the above in Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha, an unlikely love story between a crime reporter and a grieving widow on Colours.
As a critic, I cannot bring myself to laugh at films or plays or television shows that make people laugh or cry or are entertaining in a cleansing way. Critiquing is one thing. Dismissing is another. And always, I ask this, “why did this work?” It is not always about intellect, technique, smarts. Sometimes, what works tickles the surface. Sometimes, it goes deeper as during the days of contained entertainment when we watched rationed episodes of dramas like Hum Log and lived with those characters in our mind space and in those tacky sets. That show spoke to our fears, our concerns, our aspirations. For many of us, a show like Kavita Chowdhary’s Udaan for instance was about strength and giving a fitting reply to poverty and misfortune. Somehow that title song played in my head, everytime I commuted back from my university to home in the lonely days after my father’s death. It was the music of courage. Of hope. Of resilience.
Reema Moudgil is the author of Perfect Eight (http://www.flipkart.com/perfect-eight-9380032870/p/itmdf87fpkhszfkb?pid=9789380032870&_l=A0vO9n9FWsBsMJKAKw47rw–&_r=dyRavyz2qKxOF7Yuc