Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trishna (2011) - Drama

I have seen almost all of the movies of Michael Winterbottom and definitely found some of them to be too good. The most recent one that I saw was The Trip (2010) and I found it to be hilarious. The story of "Trishna" as I read everywhere is an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel “Tess of the d'Urbervilles” but I differ as the novel goes from the very start till Tess ages to her late 50’s. But here in this British version they have wrapped it up in hardly 2-3 years of her life. May be they took too many cinematic liberties and botched up the perfect story to make it better for movie going audiences. Now, I know why I couldn’t find that depth in the movie and it sounded more like a drama cum thriller in the end. Good part of the movie is its cast – Trishna (Freida Pinto) fits in the character to the T, with Jay Singh (Riz Ahmad) as rich business man’s son is too good and convincing, Roshan Seth in a small role is good but the best part is cameos by Anurag Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin and Amit Trived (Music Director) with a short item number by Huma Qureshi of “Gangs of Wasseypur” fame. The story revolves around the life of an ambitious lower middle class girl, who needs to supports her family at whatever cost yet need to fulfill her wishes and what it takes to achieve and where she lands in the end is heartening to see. I am sure Ms Pinto will claim yet again that the sexuality shown in the movie was “Scripts demand” but we were definitely shocked to see what they showed, beware if you watch it at home because I am sure it isn’t getting a very wide release anyways as it got a limited release in USA.

The Movie: I actually wondered why they had to shoot this in India and change it as per obviously Indian standards, anyways we are not getting any replies to those questions but how they screwed the actual story is very disheartening to see. The original story as per the novel goes almost 40 years whereas here its wrapped up in a just a couple of years that too with a way too different ending. What further shocked me is while they changed it as per their requirement to make a movie with Indian characters – what they did not change the sexuality of the same. I mean, it was surely a little too much to show on screen the way they showed it. Its Trishna’s story set in the current time that belongs to a lower middle class family based in a small town of Rajasthan. She is very ambitious and educated too. One fine day during her one of the part time jobs in a hotel, she meets Jay who is son of a rich NRI businessman. He is fascinated by her beauty and looks forward to meeting her again and again. Finally, due to her poor financial situation, he offers her a job in his hotel in a nearby city (Jaipur) on a very good salary and she joins them. Jay even offers and enrolls her in a hotel management course too to upgrade her skills, but as they say “nothing comes free of cost” this too doesn’t and she has to pay a hefty prize as he starts making sexual advances towards her, she gives in one time and but leaves the job very next day, later she becomes pregnant and she goes for an abortion without telling him.

Her family situation worsens with her dad’s accident and she is forced to join her maternal uncle’s family and work in a Henna factory. Jay finds her again, offers her to move to Mumbai in a live in relationship. She meets his high society friends, models, movie makers, dancers etc. Right when you think her life is going to change for good the twist comes. Jay’s father falls sick back home in England and he had to rush immediately, he doesn’t return for quite a long time and in the meantime the lease of their flat expires and she has to vacate. She tries her had in film industry too but doesn’t lasts long, goes back to her home and again starts from a scratch. Her parents coax her to go back and get a better job. Jay comes back and again with a fresh hope she joins him back in the hotel, although she had hopes that he is going to marry her but again her heart breaks when she realizes that the only way he treats her is a sex object – he actually never loved her in the first place. The ups and downs in Trishna’s life are amazing stuff. Her ambitious nature sends here everywhere and she is desperate to succeed in whatever she does but life always has a second plan for her. How she is used and abused is totally heart wrenching stuff. What happens next is the rest of the movie; would she take a stand and go back to her life? Or would she take revenge from him? How does it all ends – is what you need to see the movie for. The way they have changed the story altogether works and not works partly. I am sure this movie is going to get mixed reviews – some will like it as an individual movie but when you compare it with the original story – you are going to hate it. Check it out and decide for yourself if you like it or hate it.

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