Friday, September 16, 2005


We always hear stories where the good guy is tested but he wins at the end. Confirming our belief that good/truth will always triumph and the bad guy will be punished for his mistakes. But life is not a fable where truth triumphs and the slow and steady wins. Reality is harsh, reality is a place where dreams crash. In katha, Sai talks about reality in the lines of tortoise and hare story to point out how we ignore the unglamorous right choices and go after the glamorous wrong ones in our life.


The tortoise of katha is Rajaram Purshotam Joshi(Naseeruddin Shah) and the hare, Bashudev bhattacharya aka bashu (Faroque Sheikh).Rajaram is a text book example of a good guy.He is a kind hearted, helping and introverted person. He has a steady job and lives in a flat where everyone takes advantage of his helping nature.In comes his college friend Bashudev aka bashu. Bashu is a thorough manipulator, who sweet talks people and uses his charisma to get things done.

Bashu races a head of rajaram in terms of his popularity at the flats, position at his work place and more importantly with sandhya, rajaram's secret love. where does this race end?. Whether the tortoise rajram beats the hare is the climax.


Again sai parajpaye comes out with a brilliant screenplay. which is funny, realistic and different. You can pretty much write a book called "sai paranjpaye and the art of story telling" by just analyzing chashme buddoor and katha.

Her creativity is seen in many scenes in the movie. The movie actually starts with a grand mother telling the tortoise & rabbit story to her grand son. The credits are shown on the cartoon of the tortoise & rabbit story. The cartoon comes up at the end also, to figuratively convey the lifes of bashu and rajaram as hare and tortoise. Like her earlier movies there is a creative dream sequence in this movie also. There is a scene where rajaram dreams his office females as evil women who force him to eat the apple of sin and sandhya his loves comes as a saviour. Another creative and interesting thing that she used in the movie was the photograph of rajaram's parents.

The movie has a good cast.Nasrudeen and farooque sheikh playing the role to perfection. The egoistic anirudh of sparsh becomes the kind hearted and introverted rajaram in katha. Nasrudeen is just awesome in this movie.Its a role where he is always manipulated and taken advantage off. He is one of those introverted characters who does not know how to express himself properly. He acts through untold words and subtle expressions conveying his inabilities to break his own soft nature. It is hard to imagine that he is the same guy who came as subeidhar in mirch masala. Fantastic performance by him.

Farooque sheikh who comes as the soft spoken good guy siddharth in chashme budoor comes as the manipulative bashu. He has also given a great performance. He is the easy going guy, who is always with a smile, a genuine warmth, sweetest of words and an easy feel to charm anyone he meets.

The movie is humorous and light hearted. It is light hearted to the level that it fails us to make us feel the pain of rajaram. I thought more emotional scenes for rajaram would have added so much to the movie. But sai has stayed away from the emotional scenes.The movie ends in a climax that will make many feel unjust.But who said life is fare.

Sai parajpaye entire family is in the movie.Her husband Arun Joglekar, song gautam and daughter vinni are all in the movie.Sudha Chopra comes for a scene to sing Thum sundar song for farooque and mallika.Vinod doshi the premier chairman again comes in this movie.But only for a couple of scenes as a guest in a party.The credit said Tinnu Anand and sarika, i was not able to find them in the movie.

Music is by Raj Kamal and lyrics by indhu jain.Music again is great in the movie.It is sad that music director like rajkamal didn't get many movies.The songs in this movie are so simple and pleasing.It has four songs.And 3 of the songs start with simple repetitive words.

Kaun Aaya
This is the first of the two songs in the movie that involves everyone in the flat and uses one simple and common hook word in a group song.Basu has arrived.The flat is buzz with curiosity.who is this new guy??.They start signing kaun aaya(who has come?).The group song is sung by various tenents, in the end the beautiful voice of sandhya ends the song(with some beautiful expressions from deepthi naval).

listen to the sample here

Tum sundar hoo
Bashu acts in Padambhushan Vijay Tendulkar's play staged for the flat peoples.He says thum sundar ho many times to the heroine sandhta.The scene later moves on to a song that starts with those same words.An enjoyable melody with the romantic and playful facial expressions of farooque sheikh and the ever pleasing smile of deepthi naval. The simple words Thum sundhar hoo(You are beautiful) becomes the catch words for this song.Then it switches to this jazzy beat with the same starting line sung by sudha chopra for a different pair and the degradation of the beautifully melody and the visuals are completed with the third version. This time a discoish techno version. The song which started so wonderfully comes to a pathetic end.The 3 different format where used to show tastes of 3 different peoples.Raj kamal shows that his strength is in In classical melodies and not in the hip moderen musical version. Well the first version sticks the rest are forgotten at the end of the song.

Kya hua
Another song with simple words. The song comes when the flat peoples comes to know about the marriage engagement of sandhya. There is again a buzz in the flat, everybody is curious. the simple word that one uses to enquire "kya hua"(what happened) becomes the hook word for this one. The song which has the joyous occasion feel is decorated with chorus and shenai's. It cuts to a kind of techno and un synching interludes to match the visuals.

listen to the sample here

Rajaram is very disappointed. He is not able to sleep, he vents out his frustration in a melody. who else can sing a melancholy here. None other the greatest comes to deliver a wonderful melody. A la kishore kumar song. A beautiful melody from the golden voice.

Best Regional Feature Film : Katha (Feature Film) 1982

On a earlier post zero told me that.Angered by the late release of Sparsh, Sai Paranjpye named the manipulative Farookh Sheikh character in Katha as Bashu, after the producer of sparsh Mr.Basu bhattacharya.

Mallika Sarabhai
Vijay Tendulkhar movies
Farooque sheikh
Basu Bhattacharya

You see a lot of movies these days!!
Nariya Free time iruku polla?
a Q 4 u...What's the english version of Oh Sona from Valee?
u dont have a clue i am not writing all the movies that i watch.only a few

yeah yeah.It is 'suzanna iam crazy loving you' by art company.
sen, that was a nice memory-trigger. A very nice movie.

Talking of remakes, Katha has inspired many.
There was a Rajashekar(Nizhalgal)-Janakaraj starrer in Tamil, which marked Vidyasagar's tamil debut(Nila Pennae was his second). I think it was called "Pinju Manam" or something implyint a "soft heart"

Then it was made in Telugu couple of years back with Vineeth and Abbas.
This was remade in Tamil with Pandiarajan and Karan.
thanxs for the info.Didn't know so many remakes on this one.Well any good screenplay in one language gets remade in all the other, so no surprise.
hey Sen..
nice review!!!!
good to have you back!!!!
as far as our old argument is concenred, i wasnt busy typing the big post, i was just being lazy....
anyways i have some more to add to your next set of comments but right now i'm trying to counter this sulekha chap ...
and i read that link you had provided in your comment on the naxalites and most of the branches from there...
pretty heavy stuff..
shall write some thing about it soon...
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