Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In Custody - Movie Review

I got a bunch of Ismail Merchant (of Merchant ivory fame) DVDs that Sumana was getting rid off and have been planning to watch them ever since. Yesterday I watched a movie that he directed, 'In Custody'.

Its so visually captivating that you yearn to go and live in those spaces. Deven (Om Puri) is a Hindi lecturer in a college but his true love is Urdu. He gets an assignment to interview the last of the great urdu poets Nur Shajehanabadi (Shashi Kapoor), finds the poet sunk in bad health, bad company, bad wives. The interview is done over a long period of time, with great difficulty. The movie ends predictably with the poet's death. But it leaves a haunting image of a world gone by (even then) and the new. Clealry the poet could not cope with the change - something I am sure many are not able to cope with even now.

For those visuals, I could watch it again. And perhaps, again. For sheer ease of performance you can watch a grossly overweight Shashi Kapoor, Om Puri, Neena Gupta, Sushma Seth and Shabana Azmi along with many other immensely talented artistes. It's based on Anita Desai's novel of the same name.

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