G H U L A A M I
A BALLAD FOR THE BOLD AND BRAVE
JP Dutta’s first cinematic venture in 1985 deals with the Jat revolution in the heartlands of India as the peasants rise against the tyrannical landlords to recover their stolen lands and dignity which has been mauled for centuries.
The movie deals with the intricacies of the corruption that absolute power can breed into human soul and yet optimises the struggle as a victory for human valour giving hope to a much-maligned human race.
From the initial sequences where a tenant(Dharmendra) swears to revenge his fathers death and restore his family honour to the tragic finale, this movie is a tribute to human spirit and it’s aspirations to liberate itself from the shackles of oppression and tyranny.
The soul of movie is captured by the taciturn soldier played by Mithun who returns home to find an enemy deadlier than the one he was waging a war on the borders of his land as the headstrong, stubborn yet quietly dynamic young man he brings a throbbing romanticism to his role of a man passionately in love with vulnerable, lonely, young beauty played with rare dignity by Anita Raj. The enigmatic doomed love affair is narrated poetically from the sun-drenched fields of corn to the ornate palaces of the corrupt aristocrats where the two are immortalised by their pristine love when they are forced to choose between life and death.
Mithun’s performance is a raw, spontaneous text book act as an intensely idealistic revolutionary who establishes himself as a champion for the desecrated weaker sex and for the famished peasants trying to get rid of their yokes, this is an awe-inspiring and realistic portrayal which steals the glory from an excellent cast where Naseer Uddin Shah act as an agent of the establishment, as a cop who is hunting the rebels but then starts viewing their cause sympathetically, after the truth is revealed as the script progresses with the lyrical prose and the great soundtrack penned by Gulzar, as the love poem “Zee Hale Masti”, which is choreographed uniquely in the picturesque rural India with astonishing sunsets and rooftop bus journeys, as is common but it still find enough to celebrate the spirit of the ordinary people by its buoyant verses and totally natural yet graceful dancing of Mithun with gypsy the girls roaming the heartlands as homeless vagrants.
The movie falters with its clumsy action, as the technical aspects are not top-notch and Dharmendra gives a stereotyped portrayal of a revolutionary seeking personal vendetta, but there is a enough here to forego those flaws and the movie has a poetic and savage passion with Mithuns matchless intensity to stir even the most lifeless soul.
JP Dutta’s fervent concept of revolution is his best and first effort to date and throbs with a rare vitality unseen in the Indian cinema from the eighties, as it details the social injustices prevalent in the modern age in a primitive society from the ragged peasants to the luxurious palaces of the rich, this movie brings a poignant view to class discrimination and the eloquence with which this tale is narrated will leave you pondering if indeed India is still colonised or free with only a of the change of ruling establishment.
A tragic heart rending romantic Ballad for the brave who dare to walk into the trap of their own self doom for the love and sake of their ideal .
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