Monday, January 10, 2005

Review - Raincoat

I have just become a big fan of Rituparmo Ghosh having watched only one film of his - Raincoat. It's a poignant film that deals with nostalgia and has to be one of the better films that i have seen this summer.

Two estranged lovers meet again and pretend that life has turned out really well for them. The setting matches the mood - an old dark house in hues of blue and grey, filled with furniture, no electricity, the windows are shut and its raining outside. The background sounds are muffled. This is where the main part of the film, i.e. their meeting is set. The real world is outside, inside, in the dark, they act out their pretence. There are flashbacks to the past, but these are small and deal with a particular moment and emotion connecting the past and present.
Midway through their meeting, the woman leaves the house and a stranger enters. The windows are opened, outside light and sound pervade inside and the curtain is drawn from their pretence. The true story emerges but the intrusion is so sudden and brief that you are left wondering whether there is more to the story. But then the woman returns, the stranger leaves, the windows are shut and we are once again back into the pretense. In the dark and quiet, nostalgia for the way things were reawakens.

The story is beautifully told. No songs, thank god. The background score and the dialogues are local, rustic, appropriately reflecting the character of small town people in a large city. Its a well choreographed film with beautiful poetry, a must see.

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