Sunday, August 4, 2013

Delhi Dystopia: BA Pass

Ok, I didn’t want to do this but I was asked so many questions about BA Pass that I had to write it out on the blog.
Warning: The below text contains elements of the plot.

It is a movie rife with dystopia - dark with no glimmer of hope... It accentuates the hell that life can be for an aspiring middle class "BA Pass". And worse of all, shows the defeatist side of humanity that has no spine and keeps on bending as more pressure is piled on... and at the climax, the spine breaks and the protagonist is down flat.

It starts off with an unassuming, just ‘adult’ Mukesh being asked to collect a carton of apples from the manipulative Sarika’s house. Apples – the first sin committed by mankind..! What he doesn’t know is that a plot has been laid out for him to be sucked into a world of male prostitution. Yes, he is reluctant at first, but soon accepts it as a way of life. And not surprisingly, very soon he begins to enjoy the money that he earns! After a few repetitive erotic scenes, we land at the intermission.

Things change after the intermission. Mukesh is discovered by Sarika’s husband, thrown out of his aunt’s house (under a different pretext) and lands into the open and waiting arms of the man who makes his daily bread from the dead. Suddenly, Mukesh has no “business” and no money (having handed over every pie to Sarika for “safe-keeping”). Instead of working to make a living and also paying for his sisters who stay in an orphanage, he does what he knows best – pimps himself out – this time to a gang of unruly guys who pick him off the road. Ill-treated, he decides to rob Sarika and ends up killing her. Not surprisingly, the Delhi police is after him. On the other hand, his “friend” from the graveyard has disappeared. His sisters are waiting for him at the Delhi Railway Station in the dead of the night. And he decides to jump off a building and kill himself.

The video is dark, the colours gloomy and the music melancholic. I'm sure if screens could smell, the theatre would stink. The actors do rise above the melancholy to give standout performances. Shadab (Mukesh) is amazing in his controlled display of emotions (imagine control during the first half and you will know why I appreciate it). The story is powerful and incisive. However, this is a movie made for the critics to applaud and not for the mainstream audience to enjoy and appreciate.

Overall Verdict: Go if you must, but don’t blame me if, after the movie, you feel like there is no good left in the world. The only movie that comes close is Requiem for a Dream, and I, while appreciating that movie, had bad dreams even days later.

Music from "Requiem for a Dream"

P.S: Btw, this movie could as well have been “Engineer” or “Doctor” :D

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