For all my friends bemoaning the purpose, rationale, and economics of parallel cinema [ like it was a mythical beast]- there’s one desi movie I’d recommend straight-off. It’s an indie where contradictions abound. It’s shot totally in B/W but it has Kamal Hassan’s name as a producer/presenter. It’s an obscure film but it stars one of India’s best-known film reviewers ( Raja Sen). It’s not a ‘weepie’though it ends how a lot of short /long love affairs usually do. It doesn’t have a big budget but its shot completely abroad (east coast of USA). It features desis but talks about the universal appeal and eternal quest for that one elusive force that most humans spend their lifetimes running after. Love.
Good Night Good Morning (2010) takes a course over the course of one night only. New Year’s Eve. A bunch of desi yuppies is out on the prowl looking for the next-best place to get drunk in and maybe score with women. IF they can find any,that is.
In between locating pubs on soiled car-maps and spilling beer on the seats, a phone call happens between one of the dudes in the car- Turiya ( Manu Narayan) and a random stranger –Moira (Seema Rahmani). The Phone call lasts the entire length of the film and is a phone call to end all phone calls. There are no extensive flashbacks or sub-plots to serve as plot deviations but the phone call manages to not just sustain attention but hold it in a way that makes you feel sick in the stomach when it’s over and sim cards are flushed down the toilet(literally).
Good Night Good Morning is one of those rare Indian Films in English that works as a romantic comedy without having to resort to any cliches of the genres whatsoever. No songs. No coy flirtations and No minor misunderstandings that are resolved in the climax. In fact, it even features a 2 min spoof of Kuch-Kuch Hota hai with the protagonists playing SRK and Kajol to aplomb. Worth digging out if you can get hold of it anywhere, anytime.