Daayen Ya Baayen – Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on November 1, 2010 | No Comments
FILM – Daayen Ya Baayen
PRODUCER – Sunil Doshi
DIRECTOR – Bela Negi
WRITER – Bela Negi
CAST – Deepak Dobriyal, Manav Kaul, Badrul Islam, Bharti Bhatt, Pratyush Doklan, Girish Tiwari
MUSIC – Vivek Philip
Mundane has a delectable quirkiness and the regular can be enriching. While we sink into ‘urban’, ‘hip’ and ‘fast’ tales that reflect our lives (to an extent), Daayen ya Baayen goes deeper into the hinterland and validates this truth. It goes to this removed, remote, untouched-at-the-core place and tells a story fresh, natural and engaging, both in its voice and concerns.
Ramesh is an average Joe who left his village and went to Mumbai in search of prosperity, growth and self fulfilment. But now he is back to his small village in the mountains of Uttarkhand. It is far-flung and reclusive, its direct connect to the ‘other’ world being just the TV. Pop culture and consumerism are images on the screen but seeped into the aspirations of the natives. These are two stark realities that co-exist, in contradiction yet parallel. It is a contradiction both shackled yet free at the same time.
It is this two-faced, deeply schizophrenic reality of our times that is hard-hitting. But Ramesh, our ‘hero’ (we can call him so here) has managed to put this dissonance in perspective and ‘come back to his roots’. He now wishes to open an Arts Academy here but the problems of ignorance, power-play and myopia do not let him succeed. His dream becomes a joke.
Until one day when he unwittingly wins a car in a jingle-writing contest. The symbol of all things modern, affluent and aspirational is his to flaunt now. The car begins to affect his life as only material things have the power to. But it cannot touch his straight-forward values and neither does it reach his simple idealism. Like his sensitive, father-worshipping son Baju moans, ‘Why do you always let yourself be fooled?’
But Daayen ya Baayen does not flourish on the foibles of its hero. Neither does it take a patronising view of his idealism, his simplicity or the rusticity of his surroundings. The film takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the whole package and its inherent quirkiness with a removed but friendly observation and by that virtue commenting on our times and values rather than the people and their choices. By presenting Ramesh as an upright, poetic man, not materialistic yet susceptible, not pompous yet self-important the film outlines the struggle, failures and victories of a simple man trying to live a better life and get one for his villagers. The fact that he does so by trying to open an arts academy rather than trying to give them electricity or water, is an extremely telling point. Basic necessities will always remain basic, but art is a spiritual necessity without which true progress and refinement of the human soul is impossible. Ramesh, in his own simple ways tries to bring about this change in his backward and complacent surroundings.
The film offers a lot besides a delightful, inside view of life in the mountains. To begin with, are the spirited and truthful performances. Deepak Dobriyal’s poetic, idealistic, a little lost but never willing to admit it Ramesh is not only perfectly cast but brilliantly delivered by the explosively talented man. He gets superb support in his co-actors. His hyper-energetic, frustrated, nagging wife Hema, a complete stereotype is portrayed by Bharti Bhatt with convincing reality. The sensitive Baju speaks with his eyes and the self-appointed assistant Basant is another delicious stereotype brought alive by Badrul Islam.
Daayen ya Baayen is neither a regular story nor a regular film. It speaks of the divorce of the urban and rural but not in activist terms. It entertains and engages but never goes outside its purview to do so. It observes its characters but never forcing them to a conclusion for the sake of it. Most importantly, it brings to life an existence that is simple yet wrought with its own difficulties in a human and heart-warming manner. Individual voice is a rarity but Daayen ya Baayen shows a lot of glimpses of it. That is one of the most important things that make it more than just an endearing piece of cinema.