Punyalan Private Limited Review

 I don’t film messages. I let the post office take care of those – Bernardo Bertolucci 

One of the many legit complaints I receive about this little blog of mine is my nonchalant attitude towards contributing in it. One of the major reasons for this (except my ever prevalent writer’s block of course) is that I can only write about a movie once , and most of the movies which hit the theaters are the same movie being made and remade again and again with a different cast and settings to mask this fact up. Punyalan Private Limited is another addition to this array of films, an exercise in borderline mediocrity which crusades as the public opinion to redeem itself. Unfortunately, it takes only the opening five minutes to see through the act.

When Punyalan Agarbattis hit the theaters four years ago, my admiration for it was, and still is apodictic. It wasn’t a movie trying to be anything except than the tale it was telling, and in doing so, spoke for everyone who was watching it. On the other hand, this sequel is like a puppy wanting to be petted by everyone. Movies, just like people, end up being only what they truly are at the end, and what Punyalan Private Limited is at the end of the day is just a vehicle scampering on the last residues of glory its predecessor amassed and its viewer’s miserable existence.

And that last part is my major issue with this movie. Every scene feels tailor made to make space for a mass dialogue which feeds right into the hate accumulated in the viewer’s heart towards the system. It’s not just the exploitation of the viewer’s insecurities that bothers me, it is of the character’s as well. If characters are mere caricatures to get a point across, how could one possibly relate with them ? Jayasurya is fabulous in his role, yet do we know anything more about his character when this movie ends than we knew from before it began ? For all you know, I could have played the rest of the characters in this movie and it still wouldn’t make a difference. And I happen to be a terrible actor.

Whatever it sets out to do, it crashes egregiously at. Yet, there is an underlying sense of irony that the movie which sets out to proclaim everything wrong with the system ends up being everything that is wrong with the medium which it has chosen to explore. This brand of cinema is not entertainment, it is spoon-feeding, giving the audiences what they want, when they want it and dumbing their taste to utter mediocrity. Punyalan Private Limited says all that the common man of India (me included) would like to say about the fallacies of the system. But think about it, isn’t paying to hear what we say to ourselves everyday a really stupid deal ?

RATING :- 4 / 10




Network Review

The truth has enormous power. Whenever we hear it, although we may not fully comprehend it, truth always seems to resonate with us. I believe that is why since its release in 1976, Network has resonated with audiences of all decades. It speaks of the unadulterated truth.

Howard Beale is a madman who has a breakdown following his firing on television which garners high ratings because of which Diana, a ratings-hungry employee puts forth the idea of the Howard Beale show, where he would rant about our cynical times. As obvious, the money-oriented management of CCA laps it up.

Network is one of the most important movies, in terms of real and reel life. Its screenplay has inspired countless others throughout the ages, most notably, that of Aaron Sorkin’s. The influence Network’s structure and dialogues have had on Sorkin’s dialogue writing and most importantly, on his great sitcoms West Wing and The Newsroom (and the criminally underrated Sports Night) can be comprehended by any nitwit. Network was one of those few movies which did not succumb to the pressure of dumbing down its content so as to suit the general audiences. Movies which want to please everyone end up being for no one. Network has intelligent, fiery dialogues flowing at a torrent pace in the pure beauty of English language, which unleashes a power so paramount on the minds of audiences that it transforms into a great cinematic experience on the strength of only its dialogues.

Its importance extends to today’s culture, considering the irresponsible media which have failed to report on platonic shifts in global politics over and over again. Its satirical portrayal seems to be a near-perfect reflection of today’s media which places its resources to fish out ratings-drawing new bits rather than the ones which amount to something. Howard Beale is Chayefsky’s Don Quixote, a madman who thinks he can save the world from an epidemic of incivility by acting as a knight himself.

Network is not much about the corrupt and unethical ways of news-broadcasting agencies, it is about a midst of individuals trying to retain their sanity in the midst of a world full of insanity and becoming mad themselves, one by one. It wasn’t meant as a classic when it was made, it was meant to be a wake-up call to all of us. In the midst of this world where any hogwash can be passed on as a movie, Network is the kind of cinema which leads with the clarion call resounding in the heart of all cinephiles ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’

RATING :- 9.3 / 10


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