A small film offering an unexpected novelty expressed well through its bold and well written content certainly gives you a much better satisfaction than a forcibly hyped biggie supported by a known star. And that’s the reason whenever there’s a film like EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI thankfully bringing that much awaited relief and change, it rightly deserves an extra star and viewer’s support too for encouraging its makers to continue doing the good work in the future.
However revealing the ugly fact, once again there were no takers for this worth praising movie in its first show and I really felt ashamed as the multiplex manager cancelled it humbly expressing his inability to run the film for just one person alone. And while walking back from the theater I honestly felt that Yes, we people deserve all the crap thrown on us in the name of cinema promoted by the big names because we actually have not yet learned to support the right things and discard the bad ones even after acquiring all those major educational degrees and the so called learning.
Anyway moving ahead this usual disappointment I am made to face regularly, if the so called passionate movie buffs of the present world do need a third person’s assurance before going for a small, lesser publicized movie fearing their waste of money and time, then here I am assuring that EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI deserves to be seen, supported and appreciated too. Since we no longer are able to make a strong as well as enjoyable ‘Political Satire’ in today’s highly biased world, particularly in a country like India where films are often targeted for their every small remark made on any known political personality or religious figure.
With its subtle indications towards few real life political names, the film is a well written attempt to expose the silly but unknown backstage truths about the corrupt mindsets where everyone is willing to have the power eyeing on his personal monetary benefits be it a politician, a party worker, a journalist, a mistress, a brother, a son or even a mother having her ‘ultimate end’ closer than anyone else. And amongst these mean, dirty minds lives an honest Municipal Corporation worker superbly played by Anupam Kher, who gets slammed with a corruption notice on the very last day of his service in a shockingly insulting manner by his newly appointed superior.
Now since it will be a crime to disclose the film’s extremely fresh and interesting story-plot killing its main attraction, I would simply like to add that ETKS is a two part film wherein the first half has some extremely powerful family sequences depicting the ideology clashes between the father-son reminding you of the works of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. And the second is full of many satirical, comic sequences through which a strange wish is fulfilled making you recall another classic of the past JAANE BHI DO YAARON.
Personally I would strongly recommend the movie for its first half in particular as it may teach you a very precious lesson of life about how to respect our aging parents giving them our utmost love, care and time before its too late. Admitting our shortcomings, we do tend to lose our temper often facing the difference of opinion with the elders. But idea clashes with the old parents and ignoring/disrespecting or insulting them shamelessly are two different things altogether which need to be understood by every youngster urgently. Thankfully EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI does have that important lesson executed beautifully and thus deserves to be seen for those 30 minutes before the intermission as a must.
Coming to the second half, yes the film has few flaws and for many ‘thinking minds’ it might be quite weird and illogical too in its final hour. But to answer them all, I would like to remind that one of the most famous comedies of Hindi Cinema i.e. JAANE BHI DO YAARON also had all weird and illogical similar sequences in its second half which were never questioned by anyone (in the subsequent years) as the film enjoys an indisputable cult status accepted by one and all. However it’s a different irony that JBDY which at present is immensely famous as an enjoyable laugh riot was in reality intentionally made as a strong political satire on the corrupt system by its makers raising some serious questions. Sadly the satire was forgotten fast and the comedy took all the limelight in the following decades disclosing the unconcerned public mentality as usual.
Returning to the ETKS, it has many excellent satirical as well as entertaining sequences like the one revealing the truth behind the politicians great speeches, a spoof on the famous news anchor Arnab Goswami along with a renowned opposition leader, an interesting interpretation of a party symbol as a thumb shown to the public, the cunning change in outlook of an opportunist mother after the sudden demise of her politician son, the black money lying in the Swiss bank accounts and the evident corruption within the system regarding jobs and homes allotted to the Government employees. The soundtrack doesn’t give anything great to write about but a tight script (moving at a great pace), fine cinematography and an apt background score contributes a lot to its overall impact in the end especially with the track “Break The Line” smartly used towards the climax.
Finding a unique plot for his enjoyable, thought provoking satire, director Ravindra Gautam surely deserves the praises for making a film straight from the heart and extracting many outstanding performances from his entire cast bringing that much needed freshness in our Hindi cinema. Certainly one of those promising names to look forward in the future who can represent the common man on screen so wonderfully proving to be a bright flashing light in the dark cloud of all commercial ventures targeting the first weekend earning alone ignoring the content.
Displaying their highly impressive individual skills it is really tough to pick up any one as the best performer in the well-chosen cast ensemble. ETKS has Anupam Kher once again giving a splendid, flawless performance as the honest father, despite having only few scenes in the script as per its novel storyline. In fact such is the sincerity in his realistic performance that one finds it really hard to believe that he is the same person hosting a talk show on the smaller screen looking quite young and entertaining. Next is Divyendu Sharma repeatedly proving his remarkable talent with an excellent, emotional performance as the younger son going through the sudden transformation. Manu Rishi Chadha gives another fine performance post KYA DILLI KYA LAHORE. Aditi Sharma is the surprise package of the film in an effortless moving act as Divyendu’s love interest. Plus we have Neha Dhupia (with her much publicized tribute to the item numbers of the past), Rajesh Sharma, Uttra Baokar, Asif Sheikh and the entire supporting cast playing their given parts real well.
To compare it with some recent political satires like OH MY GOD!, PEEPLI LIVE and more, I would like to give EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI some extra marks mainly because of its significant depiction of family values which were not there in the above mentioned films talking about GOD, Government and Media but not The Family, which is the most precious and closest asset we have in our given lives. The film not only forces you to think as a satire but makes you shed some tears too which was missing in the above mentioned films as an essential feature.
Also if someone asks what kind of films would you like to be associated with?
Intellectual, knowledgeable projects like HAIDER coming from the mind or straight from the heart movies like EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI?
Then my vote would gladly go for the latter.
With the reason clearly given by the Law of Nature itself, as one doesn’t stop living and the life doesn’t end, if the MIND stops working or starts losing its power in any given point of time but one cannot survive even for a minute if his HEART refuses to beat in its natural rhythm…….!
So as guided by the mother-nature, the heart is certainly more important than the mind and I will always prefer to go with it unconditionally….……whatever be the consequences……..!
Rating : 4 / 5
(Including additional 0.5 only for the touching 30 minutes before the intermission capable of raising a personal alarm in our lives just at the right time before THEY are gone.)
[Note : If you will not watch a worth applauding effort like EKKEES TOPPON KI SALAAMI on the big screen and would only spend your money & time for just the biggies. Then how are these makers supposed to continue making such great attempts in the future?
Plus unless we support such off-beat, risky, courageous and fabulous efforts rarely made in Hindi cinema, we cannot really complain about the crap being made all around considering the viewers as fools.
So do watch it on the bigger screen and support such films wholeheartedly to bring that much needed change in the coming years.]