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Mod: Kukunoor's return to the tested formula

Mod: Kukunoor's return to the tested formula

Filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor is all set to mesmerise the audiences with his latest film 'Mod'.

New Delhi: The market has not backed the recent projects of filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor recently. With three back to back flops 8x10 Tasveer, Bombay to Bangkok and Aashayein, Nagesh Kukunoor is desperate to hit the bull's eye at the box office. Kukunoor is all set to try his luck again with his upcoming project 'Mod'.

Featuring Ayesha Takia and VJ turned actor Ranvijay Singh as the lead pair, Mod is the remake of a Taiwanese film Keeping Watch.

This soon to be released film is a love story, something the director is not known for.

Once an engineer, Kukunoor decided to become a director with 1998 release Hyderabad Blues. Made at a shoestring budget, Hyderabad Blues was a funny but different take on south Indian NRI's.

Kukunoor's technique in Hyderabad Blues was raw and very unfamiliar for traditional cinema lovers. His emphasis on real locations and exact dialects were easily noticeable. He is one of those rare directors, who have captured the true essence of Hyderabad, that too without showing Biryani and stereotyped voluptuous women.

Fortunately for Kukunoor, who had doubled up as the lead actor also, Hyderabad Blues became a commercially successful film. Featured at several film festivals, Hyderabad Blues was close to documentary making in style. Use of locale and camera movements gave it a new dimension. It was a very important film for aspiring filmmakers too, as it gave them hope and courage to experiment in a small budget.

Rockford released in the next year and introduced Kukunoor as a sensible storyteller. Adolescence was dealt in Rockford with commendable efficiency. Surprisingly Kukunoor did not repeat the style of Hyderabad Blues in Rockford, a difficult thing for a director whose first film was a hit.

Rockford showed Nagesh's command on emotions. This convent based film was nostalgic and heart touching, even for those who never went to any boarding school.

3 Deewarein was Kukunoor's treatment of a story involving three inmates and a documentary filmmaker. Sensible to the core, 3 Deewarein was the first complex film by Kukunoor.

The story of four redemption seeking individuals, including the documentary filmmaker, was canvassed in a silent atmosphere, where the complexity of human mind unfolded with each scene.

However, the same film brought forth the confusion in the director's mind about which way to go. The illusion eventually led the film to become as something in between an offbeat film and a commercial film.

Then came Iqbal and Kukunoor got established as a director to look for. The story of a deaf and dumb cricketer born in an orthodox Muslim family showed the power of good research before hitting the floor.

Religious and cultural influences on an individual's personality traits was so well researched that some times the film looked like social documentation. The director developed his own style with Iqbal. Commercially and critically appreciated Iqbal was the proper blend of market oriented and self satisfying cinema.

Dor was slow but gripping. Nobody had ever imagined Ayesha Takia in such a non-glamorous role before Dor. The chemistry among Shreyas Talpade, Gul Panag and Ayesha Takia was stunning and evolved them as actors. Apart from Reshma and Shera and some other oldies, no other film had portrayed Rajasthan's rural lives in so convincing manner.

Probably, Dor's slow pace was a reason behind its relatively small success but it gave Kukunoor confidence to emerge as a new age director.

Kukunoor returned to cinema halls after two years of Dor with Bombay to Bangkok, and the bad phase began. A pathetic film with absolutely nothing to offer, Bombay to Bangkok was the mockery of people's regard for films. The prestige of the director brought audiences to the halls initially, but no respect remained once the show was over.

The phase became worse with 8x10 Tasveer and worst with Aashayein.

Aashayein was the best among three really bad movies and together these three films took all the kudos away Kukunoor had received in the past years.

Therefore, a lot is on stake for Kukunoor this time. The treatment and acceptability of Mod will decide the future and approval of Nagesh Kukunoor as a good director, which he was once believed as.