I’m not an artist. But I know artists transcend languages. I am not an artist, but my understanding of artists improve every time I see them. I disturb many people, but I’m still not an artist! They disturb with their art, so they truly are!
What I witnessed in the past 3 hours was revolt on a live-wire! As a promotional program before release of the film Court, I attended a music performance by the people who did the music and songs of the film. Referred to as Lokshahir or the people’s poet, Sambhaji Bhagat and his troop, over the length of the show took the graph from shallow (but energetic) Jay Bhim shouts to the disgrace-yourself-dead-people silence! From culture politics to communal harmony. Having failed to blend-in for about 30 minutes, the show took me through myriad of emotions – Introspection to Euphoria, Pride and Disgrace. My thoughts traveled through the various levels of Maslow’s hierarchy placing myself, the performing artists, organizers and Microsoft at various levels and taking a worms eye view of the setup. The team of the film present at the venue were called on for discussion about the film and their experiences. (If open to the questions from audience, I would have asked Chaitanya if he was a left wing believer or not!) Beyond the realm of the film, this show was very close to a real street performance (but inside an auditorium). The energy was deafening, quite literally and the high is still intact. I knew none of the songs, and the remaining were incomprehensible. But as artist always do, the revolt conveyed. Sambhaji said that they were not singing songs, they were singing thoughts. Some of the thoughts they sang were Cyber capitalism, young love and nature…possibly even fringing away from the context of the film. Some really intense poetry I’m going to have to look up and understand better.
There were a couple of other artists who joined them on stage and added their own layer to the graph. I was in two minds to go alone or not, but the desire to experience a new thing ensured I did. (While I was writing this, the train travel from Elphinstone Road to Andheri felt like teleportation.) These loud words made sure I wrote this blog post (kicking sleep and other distractions), leaving the hall in pin drop silence!
“तुम्ही सगळे जय भीम बोलता ना? तुम्हाला जय भीम चे अर्थ माहित आहे का? ह्याचा उत्तर मला नको हवं, स्वतःला द्या! हे विचार करा ”
What the cast / crew shared (not in the order of appearance):
Satchit (starting with the most known person) – He’s humble and charming as ever when addressing crowds. He spoke about the casting of course and was just being himself while speaking in Hindi to a majority Maharashtrian crowd. When he mentioned Jai Bhim Comrade as a reference point I smiled at his openness.
Geetanjali – She spoke of her role and how she had never been anywhere close to a court in her life. The workshops and the court visits they did and the lawyers they met were the source of inspiration for her. Again very humbly accepting the fact that she isn’t a known name (as claimed by the host), in spite of actually being acclaimed for her theater work.
Vira Sathidar – He spoke about himself, his life and profession – and how acting came about. How he didn’t have to struggle with lip-syncing the songs and how he will do anything with utmost diligence. What a lovely character. It looked like he is Narayan and Narayan is him!
Vivek Gomber: Extremely humble in the slight discomfort that he had even in speaking Hindi. He spoke of how the film began when there was nothing on the table. Also how happy he was when he got the confirmation call for the casting. His bonds with Chaitanya and how he had extreme faith in his abilities. What a pleasant person to listen to. However brief, he impressed me with his charm. While off the stage, he spoke to anyone and everyone who came over to him (most probably to congratulate him). The story of their 1st award at Venice (₹30L) constantly played in my mind as they (Chaitanya and him) spoke of how it would have been a very risky project to invest in.
Okay, now slightly off, but he looked dashing and people (mainly the men) whistled at him when he spoke.
Chaitanya ( I kept him for last, so that I could elaborate at ease): So here’s a person under 30 years of age, who has made a film that traveled all over the world while I kept waiting for a release at home (Krutika worked in the film as an AD, so I received regular updates about every new award they won). So after having seen multiple interviews on the internet of him speaking about the film, I thought I pretty much knew everything he would have to share today. But I was totally wrong. The host asked him about 3 major dares he took in the film. His answer to all of them was a simple – Bombay! It was amazing how simply he said he wanted to be real and honest to how Bombay was. His presence didn’t feel like someone who has achieved such accolades. He spoke of how it was going to be the people who would decide if COURT become a part of the industry or a film which won awards. Vivek and him exchanged admiration for each other and it seemed completely organic. Others only testified how he got the team driven through his vision for the film without being bossy. I wondered how Chaitanya would be, when being a tensed leader on location of the film, shooting and shouting. Humbly getting the right act out of his actors. Feeling down about some scenes and now even international awards would be a normal news 🙂
The show began with an AV which they recently shared on youtube about the journey so far from April 2013 to April 2015. I felt elated by how much love and recognition it earned in the form of 18 international awards.
The trailer was played later on, which had an additional impact (on me, at least) and I thought of keeping the order that way. So, here’s the trailer:
Don’t wait for any reason I give you to watch the film. Just go watch it. I’ve been following the film for long and the news of the release was a great relief.
In Sambhaji’s words, watch the film because this is ‘vidroh’, their ‘vidroh’. Don’t be dead people. Come together, above the caste, tribe, language barriers and watch it because we’re all humans.
I don’t believe I can convince people to watch a film (I try every Saturday and fail, for those who know me, shall know this) but I sincerely wish to try my luck with this film. 7 days away now, drop a word if you can accompany me to watch it! Ticket will be on me.
P.S.: With genuine respect for the amazing artists, I write their names without any suffixes because I don’t feel the need to. Chaitanya, spoke to everyone like he would have narrated to his friends. I wouldn’t need to call a friend, ‘sir’. What I must do is watch the film and spread the love.
P.P.S.: After watching the film, gift yourself a National award winner documentary called ‘Jay Bhim Comarade’ by Anand Patwardhan.