Saw the movie ‘Suraj Ka Satvaan Ghoda’ (Seventh Horse Of The Sun) and liked it, even along with the confusions that it left me with. It is directed by Shyam Benegal and is based on a novel of the same title by DharamVir Bharti. (that book I haven’t read though)
The movie clearly reminded me of Dharmvir Bharti’s typical style of writing (and credits are due to the Director); even his book ‘Gunahon Ka Devta’, which I read earlier, shows a similar anti-idealistic (not using the word realistic as it is necessarily positive) character of its main protagonist and heroines, and others. The script and its style of narration are such that the story is very open-ended, at all points, including the end, and hence, madly thought provoking. So much so that beyond a point it is difficult to move ahead with the thought.
Also, this Tolstoy-esque class of writing I have seen in English, but I don’t think there is any other hindi writer that I have read (very little hindi literature I’ve read, I must confess) who had this style of story-telling. In fact, in this movie, there is a scene where the protagonist (played by the very versatile Rajit Kapur) says that story telling does not require any ‘technique’, and that is why he has so much respect for writers like Chekov (Anton Chekov, wasn’t he?) (and 2 other names he takes that I didn’t knew of) who used to say that art (which is the artist’s prerogative) needs to be so binding that the observer doesn’t come out of it, however surreal or unrelatable the art itself is.
Therefore, a good story-telling, and this is what I want to conclude, is more about the telling rather than the story. I like this thought and hence like the movie all the more now. Having said that, I did not really understand the characters in the film, or the decisions they took at various points in their lives.
About the clip I’ve put here: That little 4 line poem I found awesome, esp the first two lines (made more special by Rajit Kapur’s rendering). Although it hints at the trivia that life is, I found it more spiritual than negative, more well-meaning than hopeless, again esp the first lines – “Main kya jiya, mujhko jeevan ne jiya”
(As I wrote this, I was just reminded of one John Lennon quote: “Life is what happens while you are making other plans”; conveys quite the same, doesn’t it?? ;))