Monday, July 16, 2012

Movie Review: Party

Party is a 1984 film by Govind Nihalani. After tackling the issue of tribal injustice in Aakrosh, followed by a stark depiction of the Indian police and its juxtaposition with politics in Ardh Satya, Nihalani comes up with another gem. This time he takes on the hypocrisy of the so called 'artistic' people namely poets and writers.

Party starts with all the invitees getting ready for the evening in their own ways. From the rich to the poor, Nihalani showcases the emptyness of their lives. Once all of them have descended on the place, various inter-woven stories take place.

Group discussions and one-to-one meetings happen concomitantly. Nihalani handles the screenplay deftly and keeps the narrative crisp. The narrative is mostly about the politics people play in the world of art and literature. How new talent is crushed so that existing war-lords can continue to reign.

There is an interesting scene in the second half. The winner of a prestigious literary award, Manohar Singh, in whose achievement the party has been thrown opens up to Vijaya Mehta in a solo meeting in a room. He explains how he has managed to stay at the top of the literary world for the last twenty years.

He explains that he has been very astute in his life. The way to success is to grasp trends, use them before others and talk about life in complicated terms and then suddenly make it look very easy. These tricks have enabled him to make every empty word he says turn to dust.

Party manages to bring out the monster out of every "civilized" person. Perhaps, this has been Nihalani's sole motto in his films. To have long, deep conversations among his characters and then finally bring out emotions usually in an outburst. In that frenzy, they say what every person thinks but is too afraid to speak out, sometimes even in solitude.

Like most of his films, Party does not have any specific ending. Its main task is to delve into the disgusting facade of the literary world.


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