No! This movie is not about any drugs! The movie itself is trippier than LSD or any hallucinogen! I was studying about post-modernism in films and I got to know about this movie. Post-Modernism is a movement in art, where artists break all the existing conventions to create a piece of art. Many movies in the early 90’s, like Pulp Fiction, Run Lola Run and Chungking Express broke all the existing conventions of screenplay, making and editing. All these movies are hailed for breaking certain norms and creating a new path way, a new wave of filmmaking! I was astonished by Pulp Fiction! It was the most non-linear film I’ve ever seen. Then came Om Dar – B – Dar!

I can confidently say that there exists no film which is more non-linear than this avant-garde! That’s because no matter how non- linear a movie might be, it certainly follows a pattern. But this masterpiece, has no pattern at all. The director claims that it does have a pattern, but it is how a frog jumps! That’s what he said. The pattern of this movie is like a frog jumping. It jumps and stops in a place for a while and then it jumps again. Similarly, the scenes in the film move back and forth in time like a frog is jumping and suddenly everything appears linear and normal and right then the scenes start jumping again.

I don’t want to spoil this movie or interpret it for you in this article! This post is totally dedicated in hailing the artist and his art. It’s far beyond ahead of its time. The movie is about a boy named Om, living in a Indian town called Pushkar. His thoughts, his puberty, his life and his sister’s independence are shown in the film in a very absurd and non-linear way. This could have been told in a very plain way and yet it could have been a good film. But what makes this a cult classic, is all about its making.

a symbolical shot in the film representing character’s puberty

What’s the need to tell a story in a very linear manner? What if I just swap all the scenes front and back in timeline and what if it still makes sense? That’s the attitude behind such kind of making. The entire movie jumps back and forth in timeline and also between reality and fantasies. The surreal elements are shown as if they are very real and happening. There are no special effects to distinguish between reality and fantasy. There is no pattern to the timeline of that film. But when you think a lot about it and form a pattern in your mind and give it a re-watch now suddenly everything starts making sense and many more details start adding to your brain and after each watch the film gives you a new detail you missed in the last watch. That’s the beauty of this piece!

Director Kamal Swaroop says that initially it was a very long story which could easily make up to an 8 hour length movie! Then he might have took such a step to chop and skip timelines only to convey the 8 hour length of information in 98 minutes! For him, movies are an escape. He’s an escapist and that’s what this movie is. It’s an escape from regular movies. Even the songs in the movie are treated as an escape from the main plot.

One of those escapist songs from the film. “Meri Jaan A” which inspired Anurag Kashyap to make Emosanal Atyachar in Dev D

Also the thing I loved about the movie is its strong content which supports women to be independent! It neither gives a message nor does it comment on any existing norm. But the dialogue and character arc of Om’s (Protagonist’s) sister, Gayathri, definitely provokes women to be independent. There is also this one dialogue in the movie which might appear irrelevant and nonsensical but it’s repetead and resonated through out the movie. (dialogue in picture below)

And the next thing I love is its quirky and dark humour which is obviously far ahead of Indian cinema till date.

This made me roll on floor!

Movie also uses Sigmund Feud’s psychological theories to represent few surreal scenes. It’s the most artsy movie Indians have ever made. And I think this topped my personal list of favorite movies. It’s available on Amazon as DVD. It costs 199 Indian Rupees and if you are a cinephile who loves to dig and watch great flicks, the price shouldn’t bother you at all. I would suggest every aspiring filmmaker and movie buff to definitely watch and interpret this most artsy piece of art!

Freud’s reference in one a song in the movie

The amazon link to purchase the DVD: https://www.amazon.in/Om-Dar-Dar-Collectors-Gopi-Desai/dp/B00JGSYI9Q

India is one of the largest film producing countries. India produces 1,500 to 2,000 movies per year, which is the larger than US and Canada. But why Indian movies are not regular nominees at the prestigious film awards, the Oscars? Because not quantity, but quality is what matters when it comes to art! India has 9 or so industries which produce films in their own regional languages. But yet it has always been a tough thing to get into Oscars. It’s simple. It’s trash!

100 years of cinema and yet somehow only a bunch of films which can be discussed, studied as a piece of art. It’s because of the rejection towards globalization and hatred towards change when it comes to culture or art. Cinema has become all about identity and nothing about art in India. Mainstream producers who have already bagged many riches have stopped or maybe never thought of cinema as an art but somehow made it into a business. The movie with more digits of profit is hailed as “India’s biggest motion picture”. I’ll discuss few major points which are going very wrong in the norms of filmmaking in India.

Crafts involved in Filmmaking:

24 crafts are involved in making a film! It is not that Indian mainstreams don’t use those crafts. In fact biggie films use all of the crafts with utter hard-work and dedication. There’s nothing going wrong in the labour being used to make a film. But the purpose of using such labour is entirely wrong! All the 24 crafts are to be used to tell a story or to be precise, to give an experience to the audience. Whereas here they are used only for “FAN SERVICE”. For example, there’s something called as ‘Vertigo Effect’ where the camera tracks in/out while the focal length of the frame is changed creating a distorted camera movement. It was first used by Alfred Hitchcock and since then many filmmakers are trying to use that Dolly-zoom in various scenes to convey a different meaning. But here, Dolly-zooms are used randomly with no purpose at all! I remember watching a South-Indian film where the effect is used just to elevate the lead character with a rising background music. The lead character had to be elevated so that his/her fans would whistle and enjoy watching their favorite star being praised.

Storytelling:

It’s takes no Quantum Physics to understand the fact that Story is the soul of a film. I strongly believe that there’s no such thing called a bad story. There are stories which one might like or which one might not want to watch. It’s subjective. There’s no universal good and bad for the stories. But, the way the story is told matters! And again, here the stories are told in the worst way possible! There’s a film (which I won’t be naming) where the lead character is a businessman and visits a village to do some good and when baddies try to fight him, he suddenly behaves as if he’s hulk! Even the mightiest and the bulkiest baddies start flying and bouncing when the lead hits them. It’s nonsensical! Again! FAN SERVICE!

Celebrity making business:

Nepotism is not the only problem in not letting the real content appear. People who can afford to make a movie, started making movies to make themselves and their offspring a celebrity! Cinema has stopped to be productive, progressive and an experience to the audience! It has started to be ‘Easy Fame and Easy Money’ thing where people with no talent but lots of money do shit to gain fans!

Songs:

Back then, Indian movies looked special with songs because songs were dreams, surreal fantasies which metaphorically explore the minds of characters. The lyrics spoke out the minds of characters. Sometimes, the songs progressed the story and enhanced the storytelling. But yet again, FAN SERVICE has overcome all those reasons and songs happened to be just showcase of actor’s flexible moves and hot bods they built all summer! Songs are placed in the movie very annoyingly that they are sometimes forceful and irritating to watch. I remember using these songs as breaks to go the washroom or buy some snacks. Irrespective of the story, the movie definitely has songs in most senseless parts of the story. There was another movie, where the male lead role narrates his sad flashback where his parents and his ex were killed by a mobster to female lead and his new love interest. Then the female lead starts smiling and hugging him which then cuts away to a random stage-like location where both the leads start dancing with extras in weird costumes! Like, what?

These movies are nothing but big screen Soap Operas!

We all know how Indian Soap Operas are! They are beyond the word TERRIBLE! They are worse than Mexican Telenovelas! TRUE! Everyone knows they are bullshit! But yet they don’t stop airing them on TV and housewives don’t stop watching them! Because they just watch TV to pass some time while doing their chores! They know that they won’t miss anything! They don’t even need to watch the screen to understand it. They’d be chopping vegetables or washing dishes where the soap operas would be running in the background! These movies have turned into them! Their sole purpose of existence is to glorify the actors, make the fans go gaga and shout like a bunch of baboons looking at their favorite actor (who never really acts). You can play these films in the background and do whatever chores you want. I played Clash Of Clans while watching many of these mainstream movies in India! And I could tell you whatever the story was! Visually they don’t progress a bit! The stories are all predictable from the very first frame. The first fifteen minutes of the film would be a song and irrelevant bullshit because even the makers don’t expect the audience to come early! The next 45 minutes would be 2 or 3 songs and few fights and few dialogues which no one would ever speak out in real life. I’m not blind, I do know that there are many films which stood out of conventions and broke the path of regular fan service. But they were heavily overshadowed by baboons who were not interested to watch them because their favorite actor didn’t dance, didn’t break anyone’s jaw, didn’t appear perfect and the story didn’t elevate and exaggerate his character more than a human can be. If you are disagreeing with me in this, you are either ignorant or that baboon who jumps and screeches looking at your favorite actor! You can simply spot a crappy movie by watching its trailer! Only way to get new content is to stop watching the shit content! Watch the trailers and be quick to judge if the movie is crap or not! It’s not hard these days! It’s only rare to find rare and unique content in trailers! Let’s not be baboons and let art be art! Let’s not worship the actors and make them feel godly. Actors should be the people who can actually act! Movies should be pieces of art which are actually an emotional experience rather than a banana in an ape’s mouth.

Yours frustrated,

Cinephile Pro!

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