Friday, December 19, 2008

Aziz Mirza's Niche.

FEATURE: Satire in Aziz Mirza’s movies.
Hello Folks, let me take you all to the magical cinematic world of Satirist movie maker,Mr. Aziz Mirza.

“Acche Logon ke saath hamesha aacha hi hota hain.”
- (An excerpt of a dialogue spoken in the movie, ‘Yes Boss’.)

Aziz Mirza, seasoned filmmaker, has created a niche for himself in Bollywood.
He made his foray in the entertainment world when he along with his brother, Saeed Mirza and veteran Kundan Shah tried to set up a production company “Iskra” in 1985. His movies appeal to people of all age groups.
His Movies always depict a ‘Working class hero’ who is an underdog out to conquer a ‘big city of dreams.’ The most important element in his movies is the development of the tale from a surreal one to a real situation. He very economically uses satire and irony to serve a social statement. What has carried him so far is how he manages to tell the problems of Indian city life from political, social, economic, cultural, psychological perspectives unassumingly. These kinds of techniques in filmmaking was adopted by Kundan Shah (Jane Bhi do yaro, Kabhi haa Kabhi naa…. fame.)in the early 80’s and early 90’s.

Also during the glorious days of Doordarshan, when the serial “Circus”(1989) was on air which is co- directed by Mr..Mirza’s brother, Saeed Mirza, and himself, these trends were seen.
The treatment given to his movies is such, one can co- relate to it. Movies like Yes Boss, (1997), “Raju ban Gaya Gentleman” (1992) has stood the test of time and still click with cinegoers.
His movies centre around simple human aspirations to be better in his/hers fields. One would especially be enthralled by his production , “ Phir Bhi Dil Hain Hindustani.” (2000) The story revolves round the urban and corporate world of Electronic Media which takes into consideration the careers of two high flying media persons Ajay Bakhshi (Shahrukh Khan) and Ria Banerjee (Juhi chawla), representing rival channels and at professional war with each other. The movie very unassumingly speaks of the political incorrectness, Red -tapism, highhandedness and other negative attributes of the administration. Shahrukh’s character is shown from the beginning to have a firm belief on the incentives he receives from his concern and while his father (a man of Gandhian values.) is worried as to how his son is climbing the ladder of success so fast. He justifies himself and his concern firstly by stating that these incentives were given to him due to his hard work and also by saying that this age thrives on news and adds that, “Father, in your age, when a dog bit a man it became news, nowadays when a man bites a dog it becomes news or we (media) make it appear so.” This very statement brings out trends of expediency and sensationalism prevalent in the present scenario of media.
On an apparent level, Patriotism is the theme of the production, Yet it delivers hidden layers of present Political, Social, Economic, Cultural, and Religious scenario in our country. He pokes fun at politicians and politics of today.

He uses Comic relief in it in the form of the character of a failed gangster (Johnny Lever).
The last scenes are pathetic conditions of today’s Judiciary which has to function at the whims and fancies of the head of influential Political parties. It so happens that a person who shot dead the secretary of an M.L.A. in a political meeting (avenging the death of his teenage daughter at the secretary’s hands due to sexual assault, who had gone to him for a job interview promised to her Father.) and who evolves as the link in the story and is branded a ‘terrorist’ having foreign connections and subsequently bringing out orders to hang him initiated by the Chief Minister as well as the candidate in the run up to the Chief Ministerial elections. This is done apparently to rake up an election issue and kindling the sentiments of the public. The director questions the role of media in such issues which is often interested in ‘sound bytes’ and ‘expedient reporting’, the ‘public’ – which, counter questions us as- ‘Are we Indians spineless Individuals’ ? ‘Don’t we have a voice of our own’? His films are such which approaches the complexities of life in a light manner and simultaneously showcases the idiocy of the elements which drive them.

To sum up, his productions are the right dose of humour designed in such a well-crafted manner that stirs the thinking individual in an Indian’s heart. We still become nostalgic when we go down memory lane and recollect memories of Shahrukh’s dead father, passing away due to a stroke while sitting on a chair and overseeing the arrangements of his Circus troupe in the series “Circus” with Shahrukh sitting besides him reflecting over his father’s suggestion to take over the management of the troupe someday while, his father’s voice rings in the background stressing that “the show must go on.”

The magic of audio visual media is overwhelming and it is the overall ‘feel good quotient’ which will drive Mr. Mirza’s movies and strike a chord with the audiences.

Thank you all.
Be positive and keep posting.

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