Did you watch Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court?
Yes, Your Honor, I did.
How was the movie?
Er.. cant say right now, Your Honor.
Did you like anything about the movie?
Lots of things, Milord, lots of things.
Can you please elaborate?
Yes, yes Milord.. the story, the camera, the realistic characters.
Stop! Can you please be more descriptive?
Yes, Sir, Milord! The very first thing that I loved about the movie was the portrayal of the city of Mumbai; Aamchi Mumbai of the middle class Maharastrian! For a person like me, whose life fabric has Mumbai cross-stitched all over, it was like stepping into a time zone that is completely indefinable - Mumbai seemed like that a few years back, or was it longer? There are things that the characters do and places that they visit, that seem to remind the true blue Mumbaikar of all the things that you did, or rather have to do, when you live in Mumbai. Like catch a play at Shivaji Mandir, or eat at Chetana Restaurant at Kala Ghoda or simply pass by Parla’s Parle Tilak at least once a month if not every fortnight.
Also, the language, Your Honor! It uses the quadruple tongue of English-Marathi-Hindi-Gujarati – unique to Mumbai! Very soul connecting I say, Milord!
Am not a technical person to make a comment on the camera-work and yet – it was like a stubborn pimple on your face just before a date! You have to do something about it! So my take is – that after a few scenes. I let it have its say. I aligned with it, maybe a bit reluctantly.
Milord, I got to know each character, in depth – and that is a commendable feat in about 100 minutes! I found each actor very very honest - no scope of any hanky-panky business.
I loved the symbolism – the camera rolls on and on.. even after the action is ‘cut ‘ – just like life in the court. You wait and you wait. In the last sequence of the story, the judge ends up slapping a bystander, instead of the real culprit. There are many more, which are worth looking out for.
Okay. That is enough. What did you not like about the movie experience?
Well.. Honestly the audience reactions – I think they don’t understand the black shade of humor. They laughed at the obvious jokes and at the not so funny satirical ones too. I wondered at that time, if the audience went into a denial of sorts?
Also, personally, I didn’t like the ending – as in the story-picturization – it was too much like Fandry kind of ending. That was the greatest put off.
So what is your opinion?
It is a good watch, you Honor! It will make better sense, if one learns not to laugh at life’s poorer jokes.