Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai Movie Review: Daring Look at Societal Ills
Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai was a timely expose of all that was wrong with the political class and their ism.
Nandita Das and Manav kaul in a still from 'Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai.'
Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai
Cast: Nandita Das, Manav kaul, Saurabh Shukla
Director: Soumitra Ranade
Comparisons are unfair, more so if they are made between a classic film and one that may not be in that league – at least for the moment. Who could have imagined even in their wildest dreams that the early 1940s Casablanca would go on to become a legend in the annals of cinema. So, it may not be exactly fair to compare Soumitra Ranade's just released Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai with the cult movie that Saeed Mirza made in 1980 with the same title.
To begin with, Ranade's work is not a remake of the Mirza creation, the only common thread running between them is the theme. Both talk about the common man's angst. In the 1980 film, Naseeruddin Shah's Albert is a motor mechanic with Stella (Shabana Azmi) as his girlfriend, and he fancies himself as a friend of the rich, whom he calls by their first name. But when Albert's mill-worker father gets beaten up during a strike by thugs hired by the capitalist owners, the young man is deeply distressed and disillusioned. He understands that the chasm between the rich and the middleclass can never be bridged. Coming as it did just after the draconian Emergency in the mid-1970s and the failure of the Jai Prakash Narain movement, Mirza's Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai was a timely expose of all that was wrong with the political class and their ism.
Similarly, Ranade's Albert (played by Manav Kaul) is – like the Albert of yore – an angry young man, whose frustration deepens when his father gets embroiled in a financial scam for no fault of his. Albert begins to rave and rant much to the consternation of his girlfriend, Stella (Nandita Das). Unlike Mirza who confined his story to capitalism versus Leftist morality, using Bombay's cotton mills as the playing field, Ranade explores a much wider canvas of how corruption has taken a firm vice-like grip on India. There is one telling scene where Albert shopping in a departmental store watches a television news and gets livid over the lies being aired. The shoppers and the shop assistants are perplexed and then lose their cool. They ask Stella to take Albert away. Does he need a psychiatrist?
But Ranade does not get into this. Albert leaves his parents, his girlfriend and job, vanishes into, what seems like, thin air. The police are foxed, but we know where the bitter guy is. He is travelling by road to Goa with Nayar, (Saurabh Shukla), a hitman. This ride is an engaging mix of humour and darks hints of what is coming. A marvellous performance by Das (who takes several avatars), and a piece of controlled acting by Kaul lift the movie to a gripping level.
What is more, Ranade's Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai could not have come at a more appropriate time, given India's pressing level of disenchantment with governance and the fact that the country is going into one of the most significant elections in history.
Ranade’s work is out and out political. It elaborates on the times we live in. Unlike Mirza’s creation, which ended on a note of hope, the latest work does not end so. Naseer’s Albert, at the end, joins a procession of Leftists.
Ranade's work has its flaws. At times, he takes the easy way out by over writing, and in places, Albert lets you lose your grip on the flow. But, nobody can deny that Ranade's effort is sincere and honest. Above all, it is bold and tries to waken us all up with a loud call against corruption and other forms of evil.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is an author, commentator and movie critic)
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