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April 16, 2016 / subramanyam

Buddha in a Traffic Jam — My take


Imagine, just picture this,  you are a student in one of the ivy league colleges in India.  You were born and brought up in a metro city with a focus on a career. Your dream has always been to excel in studies and have a great corporate career.  Now, given this background what is the probability that you would know about Dandakaranya and lives of the people over there ? Minimal (close to zero) isn’t it ? Now, what is the probability that the tribal in Dandakaranya might even know that a metropolitan city exists and the people there have a plethora of opportunities to make it big in their lives. Again zero isn’t it ?  The Irony of the matter is that these people live with in 700 kilometers of each other and still do not know that each other exist.

Now, what if a master storyteller weaves a story that touches the lives of both these people? Interesting, wouldn’t it be?  I saw a movie that depicted the lives of both these people in it and this post is about my feelings on that movie. Here is the trailer of the movie.

Buddha in a traffic Jam brings these both extremes of the society.  In the heartland of the tribals, we have these self-declared revolutionaries who say that they are fighting for the rights of the tribals. They try to make the tribals believe that they are trying to bring in a revolution that would solve all the problems of India.  In the ivy league institutes, we have the professors who try teach the other set of Indians as to how to tackle the problems of the real world.  In a way, both these communities have people who are there to guide them and make them realize their dreams.  Now, are these revolutionaries and the professors doing what they are supposed to? What do these people have in their mind ?  What are their ideologies?  How does it impact the tribals and students?  What would be the final outcome of the battle ? Watch the picture on the big screen to get the answers.

What did I like in the movie ?

I loved the way the director tried to bring the movie pretty close to the reality. I loved the way he blended the parallel stories.  On one hand we have an India that is aspirational, resplendent, uses technology to the maximum possible level  and is making the world dance to its tunes. On the other hand there is another India that does not even have access to the bare minimum necessities of life.  It takes a lot of skill and effort to tie the knots together and blend these two parallel stories into one.  The director displayed his genius in

vivek-agnihoti-freedom

Vivek Agnihotri –The director of the Movie

putting all the pieces together.

They say that a genius has a free spirit.  It is in the nature of the free spirit to bring the facts out and  ask tough questions.  Vivek questions the existing narrative and outlines the facts threadbare in this movie and I liked that part.

What did I not like ?

There were too many expletives in the movie.  That made me little uncomfortable. I felt that the excessive smoking and drinking too could have been done away with.  These are the only things I can complain of.

Conclusion

We live in times where politics and art are inseparable.  A medium like Cinema is extremely important as it helps people control the narrative.  People of a particular ideology have been controlling the narrative all the while and today the movie industry gives us a certain viewpoint on poverty and people who are fighting on the behalf of the poor.  You would rarely see a movie that speaks about the stats of the Naxal violence and the dark underbelly of the Maoists.

To question the narrative and expose these China worshippers takes humongous courage, Vivek Agnihotri  has done this in his movie.  He also tried to show us as to how these radicals have infiltrated into the systems and the way the nation is paying a price for it.   He silently makes us aware of the ideological war that is going on and the need for the nation to re-examine its strategies as it charts out a path for itself.

Do watch the movie, every penny you spend on the movie and every moment you spend watching it are worth it.Do watch it.  This is a movie you must not  miss.

P.S. : I watched the premiere of the movie in a workshop.  The movie is going to hit the theaters in a few days.

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