I saw Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi today.
I generally do not attempt movie reviews, but I doubt too many people have seen this, and since I want them to, I will write something about it.
Nothing I can say about the film will be new, but it does no harm to repeat that it certainly is a wonderful movie.
For one, it has this student-documentary feel - you know, no panning out to an awe-inspiring(if a trifle boring) Swiss vista, no rave-worthy camera effects , except for the home-video feel in some places that I liked.
Also, it has the lovely Chitrangada Singh. Apart from being graceful and convincing, she is certainly one of the most beautiful women in Indian cinema. Also, you cannot miss the startling Smita Patil resemblance. Smita Patil had this barely-under-the-surface smouldering intensity, which Chitrangada Singh, however good, lacks, but this lady more than makes up for it with her very wonderful nose!
KayKay Menon's firebrand act, and Shiney Ahuja's very slick transitions from Gandhian-by-default to wheeler-deeler to loverboy are well executed, and very much appreciated.
One thing about this movie is, that though everyone has carried through very well, the appreciation of their individual performances can only be complete in context of each other. As in Shiney Ahuja's brilliant pragmatist against KayKay Menon's raging revolutionary, and Chitrangada's armchair idealist against, interestingly, Chitrangada's political awakening vis-a-vis Siddharth.
Many of the flame-ups of modern India's political scenario - very volatile in the time the movie is set (Indira Gandhi's antics, for example) are captured very nicely, in context to the characters and their lives, and not, as is more conventional, as a subject by themselves.
This allows the movie fluidity and continuity, and puts the three characters in focus, allowing us to watch them be influenced by each other, and the turbulent times they live in, and grow into who they are by the end of the film.
And if you feel, at some point, or at every point, that the political scenarios are exaggerated to the point of being entertaining in themselves, or that neither such powerful turmoil exists that it can pull into its vortex ordinary people like us, nor that such people exist, who'd want to make a difference anyway ; or if you're just plain tickled at the circus they show us, and call the Indian Government...
Well then, wake up. This is the truth, and perhaps the source of the greatest sadness.
As for the movie itself...I cannot be sure who I liked more...I know it is Shiney Ahuja, but I'm tempted to say Chitrangada, because, well, she is so beautiful.