I spent the entire Sunday afternoon lazily watching re-runs.I managed to squeeze in Memento as well. You can call it the Ghajini effect. The English version was a million times better. Somehow, we lack the subtlety to make/ re-make a movie like Memento.I saw Mumbai Meri Jaan for the fifth time that day. This movie is a very intelligent take on the 2006 Mumbai train blasts. The movie is based on the aftermath of the ghastly attacks. It traces it’s path through five common men.
I loved the characters in the movie. Tukaram Patil (Paresh Rawal) is a policeman who is due for retirement in a week and has done little in the 35 years of his career. He colleague, Sunil Kadam (Vijay Maurya), is disgruntled with the system and is frustrated at his helplessness and ineffectiveness in bringing about a change.
Kadam’s leave is cancelled because of the blasts. Maurya is paired with Tukaram Patil for the routine patrol following the blasts. They come across a bar that is operating beyond the scheduled time. Kadam marches into the bar and orders the patrons to leave.
“Aaj Shehar main bomb phootey hain aur tumlog ko beer peeneka hain? Chal nikal!” Bombs have exploded throughout the city and you guys want to drink beer?
Tukaram Patil calmly walks into the bar and demands a bribe from the bar owner. He asks the owner to give the money to Kadam. Kadam storms out of the bar.
“Patil Saheb mujhe ek baat batao, yeh shehar main Bomb blast hota hai..mera chutti cancel hota hai.. lekin sahab ko raatko beer bar chalu rehta hai, voh chalta hai?” Sir, they (his superiors) cancelled my honeymoon plans because of the bomb blasts yet allow the beer bars to operate beyond the time limit, is this fair?
Paresh Rawal answers, “Abhi Bomb Blasts ke baad tum yeh beer bar bhi band karega, toh Mumbai main ‘Spirit’ kidhar se aayega?” After the bomb blasts,if you close down the bars as well, where will Mumbai get it’s ‘Spirit’ from? (Pun intended)
It was one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. Apart from Soha Ali Khan, the movie has some really terrific performances by Kay Kay Menon, R. Madhavan , Paresh Rawal and the best perhaps, Irfan Khan.
Irfan Khan plays a tea vendor in the movie. Personally, he is unaffected by the blasts but the feeling of being left out by the city’s elite, he find a way of retribution by making hoax calls to the Police. His Tamil-accented Hindi is a revelation and though he does not have many dialogues, he is the most expressive in the movie.
I frequent malls a lot. We shop, dine at malls. Until this movie, I never gave thought to how left out an ill-educated, tea vendor would feel in a mall. Irfan Khan did that with a few incoherent mumbles.
In the end, Paresh Rawal says, “Mumbai ke mills gaye, hartal bhi khatam ho gaye. Aur ab toh, Mill ki zameen par ek bahut badha, alishaan mall khada hai. Par kabhi kisi garib, bechare aadmi ko uss mall main dekhta hoon na, toh lagta hai ki uske mann main toh yeh hartal abhi tak chaalu hai.” With the mills, the workers’ agitation also died. And today, there is a luxurious mall in it’s place. But whenever I see a poor man in a mall, I realise that he still agitates, silently.
The movie depicts the human side of the cops and it ends up endearing a much maligned lot. As the proverbial stone thrown upon an anthill, the film depicts the aftermath of the incident, traversing individual journeys of five worker ants, amongst the millions that belong to the colony, towards normalcy.