Thursday, 14 August 2008

July 22, PUSHPAK

Laughter is the best medicine, it is said. This week Film Club presents comedy films.
First up,

Singeetham Srinivasa Rao

...Kamal Hassan is an updated little tramp for 1980s India, a young unemployed man who searches for a job in a desultory and hopeless manner, and is a bit of a pushover. After a chance encounter with a millionaire who is a drunkard, Hassan kidnaps the man and replaces him at Pushpak, a swank five star hotel that he is booked into...

Pushpak is a black comedy Indian film released in 1988. Set in an large unnamed Indian city (shot in Bangalore), the film is based on the king-for-a-day story.

At a time when only very self consciously art house films eschewed songs, Pushpak went a step further and did away with dialogue as well, creating one of the most sincere silent films ever made. There are very few scenes of characters in conversation and no cue cards — a staple of even Silent Movie, Mel Brook’s tongue-in-cheek tribute to the era.

And yet there was a lot more to Pushpak than just a gimmick. It may have done away with some of the trappings of commercial cinema but had all the elements that make a great mainstream entertainer — a love story, a crime caper, a thriller and a comedy — with plotlines blending together seamlessly. The primary narrative pays tribute to Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights.

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