Thursday, April 06, 2006

Being Cyrus





homi adjania must have drawn inspiration from spike jonez.'being john malkovich' with john cusack in the leading role and 'being cyrus' share similar sounding titles and a story that is off the beaten track.stark and at times weird.parsis are not a normal lot.i believe that they all have some kink in them.and who would know better than homi himself.the debutante director,tells us a morbid story of a disjointed parsi family.

saif ali khan(cyrus mistry) had a terrible childhood.both he and his sister too.the trauma has remained and manifests itself at a later stage in the most unexpected and gruesome manner.cold blooded double murder.killing an unsuspecting old man who was getting fond of the killer was a shocker.and then taking the gun and shooting the headlights out of boman irani(farokh) with vengeance.

sculptor naseeruddin shah(dinshaw sethna) and wife dimple kapadia(katy) live in panchgani.in a huge bungalow they have inherited.naseer is hooked on to charas.and lives in a world of his own.his wife has an ongoing affair with her own brother-in-law boman irani(farokh) who lives in mumbai with her father-in-law(honey chhaya).enters saif(cyrus) into their lives.and thereafter their lives are turned upside down.he comes from jamshedpur and ostensibly wants to learn pottery from the sculptor guru but his attention is always drifting to the curvaceous dimple who wants the young man to explore her without any inhibitions.boman,simone singh and honey chhaya live in a parsi colony and the parsi culture and their eccentricities have all been brilliantly photographed by jehangir choudhury.the old man has pots of money,but is very parsi-monius and is confined to the four walls of his room by the son,and 'pappa' is abused by boman physically and verbally.honey is terrorised by boman to the extent that when saif is sent by dimple to hand over some gifts to the father-in-law,he refuses to open the door to let him in.gradually saif wins his confidence.he gives him chocolates which the old man is dying to have and which boman and simone hate because he overeats them and then suffers from dysentry and they have to clean up the mess.boman and saif start hating each other instantaneously.during his next visit cyrus gets a bottle of scotch for the old man.they enjoy each other's company.and then the shock.cyrus kills the old man in cold blood.jabbing a knife into the stomach of a kind and unsuspecting victim.

the comedy part of the film is in the incident when boman's neighbour,a fat parsi lady,finds her dog kicked by boman.in typical parsi style,they trade charges with all the expletives and finally the lady throws a stone at boman's car smashing his windshield glass.boman irani's acting is superb and the unknown and unheard parsi lady did a good job too.

simone singh is under shackles due to a tyrannical husband boman.she feels liberated once boman steps out for office and she undresses and has a gala time in privacy smoking and drinking.and generally relaxing which would be taboo with boman irani around.she takes boman to a parsi bonesetter after the smashoff with the parsi neighbour results in some muscle pull.next in line for the bonesetter's attention is the police inspector manoj pahwa and a subtle warmth develops between the two.little does one know that this police inspector was ultimately going to solve the murder riddle.at least in his own way.the real murderer goes scot free and the panchgani couple are on the block.when questioned by the crude police inspector, naseer doesn't seem to know what on earth was going on.dimple's histrionics are a bit excessive but it doesn't convince the police inspector.he has already solved the murder mystery.nasseer and dimple have killed the old man and the brother-in-law.all evidences left behind cleverly manipulated by saif point the finger squarely at the couple.

human mind it is said is like a monkey's.here it is shown like a monster's.childhood memories of hunger and deprivation and abuse manifest in the most gruesome acts later in life.why did cyrus kill the old man? did katy really give him all that cash to finish him off? or did cyrus find the abuse by farokh too much for the old man.anyway he would not live long in such conditions and so why not put an end to his misery.some euthanasia.and why did he bludgeon farokh.because he was unfaithful to his wife simone singh who, i suspect is cyrus's sister,which does not come out clearly in the movie.what did cyrus really accomplish? besides wiping out the sethna family.nothing.simone has advertised in the newspaper for a life partner.that pisses him off. he leaves.and that is the end.

saif matures as a star.dimple,a granny in real life,shows that bobby was not a flash in the pan.talented naseeruddin acts effortlessly.manoj pahwa's humour is a bit crass.honey who plays the role of the senior sethna detested by both his sons,speaks english with a marathi accent.his acting was brilliant but his pronounciation was,i thought,unparsilike.

homi adjania has exhibited some of his special skills.homi is an expert scuba diver and that he used to great effect in the water scenes.he has targetted a niche audience.the investment on the film has been about rs 2.5 crores.i am told that the box office has already registered a collection of rs 2 crores.an unusual film,no songs,no dishum-dishum.story line-complicated,complex,convoluted.but then here is a parsi making a picture on a parsi family.he has done it in a most unconventional manner.it has made an impact on the audience and it has had the desired effect.

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