In 2010 I had the opportunity to interview Pan Nalin. Honestly speaking, at that time I had no idea about the ocean of creativity that he is carrying with himself which he has poured into films like Samsara(2011) and Valley of Flowers(2006). He has also directed a documentary called Ayurveda: Art of Being(2001). And this is only top of ice-berg! He has done a lot of work with camera, putting his heart into it (other than watching his films & documentaries, it’s of great pleasure to listen to him while he shares his thoughts on and about films & film making. A candid stream of words with depth which keeps flowing!).
“Indian content, Global Market” – this mantra seem to have been soul and core behind his award winning works like Samsara(spirituality), Valley of Flowers(ancient silk route), Faith Connections(Kumb Mela) & Ayurveda: Art of Being(Indian remedies). All his works have stole a number of award world-wide with winning claps & appreciation from global audience who loved the art of Pan Nalin.
It is quite a surprising fact that he gained identity world-wide first and in India later on! Although, his work has the Indian stories, producers were non-Indians! But this time he comes with “Angry Indian Goddesses(AIG)”, a female buddy film and I can say that it is Indian content for both Indian audience as well as global audience. It’s his first attempt to make a fully fledged bollywood movie. And as always, which happens with his films that they win awards, AIG has won People’s Choice Award at 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and is set to release in 32 countries. Isn’t that an awesome news for a film lover, for an Indian film lover, for a Pan Nalin film lover? “Film is to be release in India in November, 2015 during Diwali times”, says Pan Nalin.
My enthusiasm about Angry Indian Goddesses
But what’s my connection with AIG? Have I watched it at TIFF 2015? Or have I watched it at Zurich Film Festival where it was screened recently? Or I have I watched it or not?
Well, I have had the pleasure along with honor to watch AIG, but not either at TIFF 2015 or Zurich Film Festival. Then? Well, I did watch it in my city Rajkot(Gujarat, India) itself! You might wonder how is this possible when film is yet to be released in India?! Did I get a pirated copy or what?!! Some of you may even think so!
No, I haven’t done that. I’m saying this with utmost pride as a film lover that I have watched it with Pan Nalin himself. How so?
Pan Nalin is basically from Amreli(Gujarat, India) and now lives in France that some of you may know. He visits his native once in a while. I had come to know of him and met personally through a book publisher friend Dinesh Tilva who had invited Nalin(bhai[Yes, we add ‘bhai’ in Gujarati language to show respect to elder while mentioning his name. Call it a cultural tradition]) to launch a book at Rajkot. Later I had interviewed Nalinbhai and thus got connected and was in touch with him since then. So as AIG was under post-production, we were communicating and he mentioned about AIG saying that as it’s his first bollywood film, he would be happy to find an Indian producer and if a Gujarati person, nothing like that!(Love for the soil!) So I had talked with a couple of prospective investors in my city and organized a special show for them in a lavish mini theatre in a villa. But may be it was meant for something more than that! Nalinbhai suggested a brilliant idea to me that we can also organize preview show of the film simultaneously. He left the responsibility of inviting selected film lovers (as it was a mini theatre) who can give him genuine feedback about the film.
He also further suggested to invite few female audiences too as the film is about female buddying. So I made a small list (20 or something) of few film lovers whom I know personally or via, and with most of whom I do share my zeal, enthusiasm and love for films. So that was one of few private previews of the film, after Mumbai, Pune & Bangalore, in Rajkot.
How is the film Angry Indian Goddesses?
Being a male, I was bit concerned about watching AIG, which being a film with all leading actors as females! Yes, I too had that stereotyped boredom towards watching females getting ready(for hours you know!), Girlish chitchat(that I often fail to understand), Not interested in Cricket but in Soap operas(third reason for females to start hating me now, if not started yet!), laughing again and gain (with no special reason!) and list goes on. I also had this pre-thought about the film that a group of girls would be gathering for some social revolution(as the film title suggests Angry) in India and fight with the society, something larger than life, something which is not real, something that doesn’t connect with the actual life as on today(as Nalinbhai had said that it is his first bollywood film).
But I was proved to be wrong totally. Film grabbed my attention and interest from the first set of frames itself. Not a bunch of stupid girls but girls with solid status in their own fields(Goddesses you know) who get to gether in Goa upon a surprise invitation from one of the friends. And the story unfolds slowly, joyfully, curiously, erotically(I’m a big time fan of Pan Nalin for his art of displaying erotic moments on screen) and at times painfully.
Seven Goddesses, number of different stories, friendship, love, marriage, social taboo, hatred, care, passion, anger, lust, fun, ego, family and lot such emotions are crafted with utmost care that despite being a male, for the first time, I felt connected to a female only film. In fact, after half an hour I even forgot that it was a story of and about females!
It’s indeed remarkable of director to have been able to bring human nature values on surface. Some girl seems stupid from outer view but suffers from frustration for not able to find a way for her talent. While one character is very much bossy in nature and so manly that it almost displays her as non-feminine character!
Film started pouring inside me just as a STORY regardless of about whom. I wouldn’t be unfolding the entire story here, but I can say that AIG definitely is a touching movie. Although, it may seem that film is made for urban & metro audience, which is true too to some extent, it also keeps the centric emotional value intact such that regardless of where you belong, it does touch you. Because ultimately all the characters are human first regardless of their background. For instance, one character is a successful super model but gets attracted and has wet dreams about a village boy who washes cars for living! And aah! What an awesome erotic treatment Pan Nalin has given to that particular scene, truly as described in ancient erotic literature!
I must say that it’s a full package; music, songs, story, acting, cinematography, dialogues and above all the kind of treatment given to it. It is something different.
And when film got over, we spent one and half an hour discussing about the film. Among female audience who were invited, some of them were with wet eyes; some were pumped up with words to express how they felt about the film. Nalinbhai attended their questions and feedback interestingly and answered and express his views quite candidly and also shared his experiences of making of the film. Some friends were still in excitement that they were talking to Pan Nalin himself, that to in Rajkot. Few friends had conveyed me personally afterwards about how they really had enjoyed the film.
I congratulate one and all including Gaurav Dhingra, Sandhya Mridul, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sarah-Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda, Amrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande, Pavleen Gujral and Adil Hussain who made such a film together.
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