Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jungle (2000) - Thriller

I think Ram Gopal Varma's last 5 movies have made his fans write him off completely of his reputation as a master story teller of his own kinds. To relive that experience and to rekindle my faith on his talent - I saw today a lighter and yet a riveting movie from his stable "Jungle", based loosely on the life of dreaded dacoit "Veerappan" and his team. One hell of a movie I must say, I am sure all of us must have seen it at some point of time. What shocked, surprised and made me happy is its casting. What a team of talented people did he pick up to tell this fantastic story. Starting from Sushant Singh as Durga Narayan the Dacoit, with his right hand Desu (Vijay Raaz) in a totally outstanding role, followed by Rajpal Yadav in a rocking role, even the little part of informer is played by none other than "Nawazuddin Siddiqui" who will be in limelight shortly after the success of "Gangs of Wasseypur", now imagine how long they've been part of Indian Film Industry. What an amazing movie. Although the less said about the main lead the better as Urmila, Fardeen and Sunil Shetty - are in a proper run of the mill role of their life, so nothing great but again RGV was able to take the best out of them too. With those fantastic expressions from Urmila while kidnapped and a couple of great action shots by Sunil, I somehow liked Fardeen for a change in this movie, he was too cute. Overall - its a treat to watch this movie after so many years and it gives you some kind of satisfaction that someone was making this kind of a movie even at that time (Read a decade ago) which was totally cleared by the censor board. A must watch if you haven't seen it yet. Do not miss it at any cost.

Movie starts as a typical love story of a Rich girl meets a poor boy, fall in love, family coming in between their marriage and before even they could tell their parents and convince them - all hell breaks loose as the whole family with some other people is kidnapped by a dacoit. They want their one of the gang members to be set free by cops in lieu of these people. How do they overcome the whole situation is the movie all about. Entirely shot in the deep dense forests - its an amazing movie with so much going on at a damn good pace that before even you realize its over in no time. Even the running time of 150 minutes isnt too long from any angle and you are totally hooked to it as the narrative is quite interesting and never slows down for a moment so you get distracted. What I loved about this one - even today when I saw it almost like a dozen years after it was made was the freshness of the cast. While you are easily impressed with the simplicity of Fardeen and Urmila as lovy dovy couple. You are totally hooked into the lives of those dacoits too - who for a change are regular people like you and me otherwise. I was specially impressed by the Trio of Rajpal, Vijay and Sushant Singh. One thing which caught my attention big time was their body language, accent, behavior and specially their discussions. Now imagine one scene, while they have to kill one of the hostages to prove a point to the cops. They actually discuss which one to kill and who could be easily taken to a location where they would like to put the body, from a young kid to a feisty fellow to a female they discuss all the pros and cons, finally killing a fairly young female, now the killing scene too is discussed in all its glory, would you like to stab her, strangle her, cut her throat or simply shoot her before cutting her head off. I mean - Amazing that too in the year 2000 - RGV had guts to do this scene the way he did it. As I know - Only he could have pulled it up the way he does that and guess what - Censor clears it off.

Everything about the movie is damn good, starting from the straight forward story to the way it is shot. The camerawork for which RGV anyways is famous is excellent. Even the songs are pretty good and nicely shot. Urmila was at the top of her career while this movie came and did wonders to it again with Fardeen in a role of a lifetime, although he had too little do in comparison to others but still he made quite an impression and was good to cute in his role. The best part about this movie was its support cast. Totally rocking. This was one of the best thrillers of its own time and I must have seen it like a couple of times then and now again I am totally bowled over by it. It was quite close to reality as its shown. Even the characters were author backed, like the life of Fardeen as a college dropout, his room full of Super Car and Bike posters is quite convincing, doesn’t know where his life is going yet falls in love and still we were convinced that he will get somewhere. Urmila and her family - is as good a regular family put on screen.

What made me wonder was the outcome - even after making such gems - how come Ram Gopal Varma end up where he is today when he finds no takers of his movies? And look at the quality of the movies that he is making now? I couldn’t believe that this is the same guy who gave us those classics and the movies that we could swore by and it is the same guy who gave us those recent disasters which were made fun by one and all. I hope he returns to what he did best in the past and will prove all his critics wrong once again. I am sure I will get to see that day pretty soon, being a big fan of him. Amen to that.

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