Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Parineeta - Great Moments In Cinema Await You!

The 2005 version of Parineeta is one of my all time favorite movies!

There are movies that make us laugh, some that make us cry, and some that make us roll our eyes and groan, but only Bollwood can make us do all of those things simultaneously for two (usually closer to three) hours solid.

Parineeta will make you do all those things and do them hard.

I was mysteriously captivated, held rapt, when I first saw it, and subsequent viewings have only intensified this.

It has become my go-to mood elevator, right up there with the first season of The Beverly Hillbillies!

Sooo many scenes are indelibly and eternally etched into my neural pathways -

Oh! Oh! Saif Ali Khan in his wife-beater, embracing his Inner Elvis with that lip-dangled cigarette and precious little product-driven hair pouf!

Great Moment in Cinema!

Anyone who has not seen Parineeta should rectify that sad circumstance immediately, if only for that image alone!

It does not matter whether you know who Saif Ali Khan is or not.

But I think my favorite part is the legendary Miss Rita Languly bestowing the gift of Dhinak Dhinak Tha upon earth residents!

The songs in this movie have a staying power comparable to Gorilla Glue.

This can be a very good thing, as in Dhinak Dhinak Tha, or it can be a most disturbing thing, as in Piya Bole, and its coordinating leitmotif.

It is an extreme situation. Even thinking of Parineeta, as I am doing now, invariably results in that adjective-defying ditty embedding itself firmly in my head for hours, days. Yes, weeks have happened.

Oh! The family all piled up on the bed playing cards - I loved Sanjay Dutt in this! He even kept a straight face during that whole semi-soliloquoy at the end.

And Oh, the End! Chill, I'm not going to spoil it. To do so would be to deprive future viewers of the cardio-vascular benefit of hearty laughter. I can state with confidence that Parineeta taught me the true meaning of the phrase "hilarity ensues."

Special Features:

Fun trivialett: We are told that the year is 1962 but the "newest Elivis record" BFF homie dude brings into Shenkar's bedroom has cover art of White Jumpsuit Fat Elvis, who was not invented until the 70s.

Fun head-bop with the culture club: Roughly 25% of the scenes involve somebody or other just waltzing into Shenkar's bedroom, whether he is awake, asleep, no knocking, no yoo-hoo, no nothing. Pradeep Sarkar captures perfectly that exhilarating cultural feature of privacy as a file not found, so popular in both subcontinents and beyond.

Advanced Placement Note: Parineeta is based on a novella (meaning short novel, not to be confused with the Spanish novela, or soap opera) written in 1914 by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay (aka Sharat Chandra Chatterji), a famous Bengali author. Noble saintly women consumed by selfless love for a men who descended way on past flawed and into the nasty territory of sorry-assness were among his favorite tropes. The 2005 version discussed here is the 4th film adaptation of Parineeta.

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