20 October, 2020

Sahir, Circa 2009

A film on the cynicism of Indian democracy

Sahir, Circa 2009
It might have been eight long years in the making, but the release of Anurag Kashyap's Gulaal could not have come at a better time. With elections round the corner, Gulaal's visceral handling of the theme of political power, intrigue and corruption makes for compelling cinema.

Gulaal is dark, violent and disturbing. Like most Kashyap films tend to be. "I wanted to bring out the all-pervasive yet veiled sense of angst across the country," he says. The location is Rajpur, a fictional small town of contemporary Rajasthan. Here you have the innocent, gullible Dilip Singh (Raja Chaudhury), a 28-year-old law student who unwittingly gets initiated into dirty college politics. Then there's Dukey Bana (Kay Kay Menon), a member of the erstwhile royal family, who has been masterminding a covert separatist Rajputana movement and challenging the very idea of Indian democracy. You find Dilip too willy-nilly getting roped in the movement. Will he give in or will he resist?

For Kashyap, Bana's game becomes a metaphor for...


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