I saw the movie this weekend and i should say it was marvelloues.
First of all a word of praise for Sudhir Mishra for taking so unconventional subject and succeeding in refusal to fall in typical Bollywood trap.
As more historical movies(Hollywood or India ,if they exist) pass my scanner or literary works ,my belief that we have an acute sense lack of sense for history is strengthened.There is no mention of Alexander's invasion in Indian works.It is all from greek history that we know about it.While Jews kept memories of their homeland and Temple Mount alive even after being driven out of their motherland we in our own country don't remember the famous Sun Temple of Multan which was the ransom becoz of which Rajputs never attacked sindh.Had Britishers not come we could never have known that Gautam Budhha was from India itself.
In Hollywood they have milked every single historical event except perhaps French revolution to make a movie out of it.Even non descript events like Scottish resistance to Britishers have been turned into beautifully told saga.We needed a Richerd Attenbourogh to do Gandhi.No Indian film can stand before it.Sardar had the potential but it omitted various datails and lacked in techonlogy.As far as Bose is concerned first part of escape is realistic and pretty good but INA part has been messed up.No fighting sequence while telling story of an Army.
See the no of Oscar winning films taking background of bible in a desert like land with no heroine or war.Comapare this with rich stories of ramayan and Mahabharat which have every emotion humans have possibly felt and after so many works in regional languages no work can calim to be a masterpiece.
Secondly Indian directors avoid scene creation ,all events in their historical films take place in room or personal surroundings.they fail to create ambience of that period.In Gandhi,successful depiction of Congress session,communal riots,dharsana salt outrage,Dandi march,Jallianwala etc have been created.Sardar and Bose fail on this point.Wherever they have tried to create they fail miserably.in this respect 1947 earth was better.
Emergency and corresponding political upheaval was such a phenomena that its effects can be felt till now.First of all not emergency but subsequent failure of agitators made the point that all rheotric of revolution is useless and can't be replicated in India.It exhausted youth of India and made them oblivious towards politics ,which tendency persists even today.
Movie does a very realistic portrayal of Sanjay gandhi who encouraged Vandalism in the name of Youth politics.Through the fathers of male characters it represents death of Old India in judge and veteran honest congressman.They have caught a contemprory phenomena of Mahals being converted into hotels.I guess this is a topic which demand more literary and film attention.Only other film which mentioned this thing was perhaps Zubaida ,but in that case it was essentially a part of story.
portrayal of Bihar is also very heart moving and all that sterlisation camps of Delhi.If they could show more urban settings instead of showing hero driving on empty roads it could have been better.They could also possibly make hero visit a Ministry office or railway staition of the time.
After sellingof hotel when son of Maharaja salutes them in all his regalia and demands a job it very ironically describes how the royal houses of India declined into hotelowners and antique dealers.middle class attitude of not posting a letter but sending by someone going over the same place whicg was very peculiar in that time but has vanished now is also interesting.
End of movie seems somewhat dramatic but what I have seen at IIT makes me believe that it can happen.
Lastly,I regard pritish Nandy an intellectual of high order.i once read his account of his mother's death and it was just like what Dom mOreas used to write.So called intellectuals like javed Akhtar or Kuldip Nayyar can take a lesson or two from pritish.