When movies do what they are meant to do - entertaining us while pushing us to think.
I’ve never been big on movie reviews though I can’t quite discern why I inherently steer clear of them. So without delving any deeper into my averseness to publicized criticism, I just want to state this is NOT a movie review.
Undoubtedly, over the years, all of us have watched some phenomenal masterpieces that we’ve loved, raved about and recommended. But Kaamyaab movie really struck a chord – with its underlying inherent thought, weaved into a simple storyline, that kept me captivated all along.
The movie with its heart wrenchingly real, though the fun portrayal of a veteran ‘supporting actor’ trying to get his 500th film, sent me on an introspective journey like no other. Blame it on the lockdown, call it 3 AM musings or me being hypersensitive – but man, have I mulled over it and how. (And now that I’m writing this piece, I suppose it’s rather evident how this movie, hit just the right spot.)
I hardly think my 2.8-something-years of being a tiny, almost non-existent part of the Indian Film Industry really account for much at all. But god, has it taught me!
A 90s kid, having grown up on films, I’ve forever been in awe of the silver screen but I had no idea back then, the sheer magnitude of work a ‘non-essential commodity’ entails.
(Though I wonder, is it not, what’s getting most of us through this quarantine - sane? Along with our good old pal, books, of course.)
The number of people, the amount of planning, the hours, the blood and sweat. Day in and day out, every single person puts in their everything, with that that one singular goal in mind – that’s nursed and nurtured for over 2, 3 or more years at times…
…But how many of them are actually really credited for it?
I mean sure, you’ll get it on your IMDb; unless of course, you don’t; which by the way, isn’t uncommon either, for a varied number of reasons – no fault of the platforms though.
In the film, Sanjay Mishra, very beautiful brings to the fore - via his well-crafted dialogue (and one of my absolute favorites)
Hum character actor ko aloo kaha jata tha. Aloo kisi bhi cheez mein padta hai – aloo gobi, aloo bengan, aloo tamatar, aloo pyaaz. Comedy ho, thriller ho, romance ho – Bachchan ho, Kapoor ho ya Khan ho, hum har jagah fit ho jatey they.
Simple but so eloquent; and in merely 2 sentences conveyed what I haven’t been able to as I ramble along. (Though in the film, Sudheer, Sanjay Mishra’s character, is one of the most well-known Aloo – the industry has ever seen.)
But it’s not just this industry – it’s all across; people behind the scenes, holding the fort. It's like bricks and cement, you might paint over them, but they’ll still be there. Warriors on the battlefield, silently giving it their all, solely for the cause minus the glory; to never be remembered in history. Over the past decade, there’s been a lot of jibber jabber against nepotism. And while I’m not going bore you with my views on the same, in the movie – very beautifully and subtly shown, is a ‘star’, whose father, Sanjay Mishra’s character (Sudheer), has worked with in the past. Without giving too much away, those sequences pinched my heart. The fake respect, evident disregard and Sudheer’s slow but gradual realization of the same, was a masochistic delight.
Please don’t get me wrong, we should get what we deserve, not an ounce less or more– like an earnest underground fight, the title should be earned not contrived. But in a world where creativity is commercialized and not merely for sustenance, it’s become - survival of the fittest. Most, unfortunately, don’t even avail an equal opportunity. If you’re not making yourself heard and seen, getting those likes, roping in those views, you are just sub-par, mediocre.
It’s the sad reality, only if you sell, are you worthy.
It’s exponentially harder to get a solo opening, a publishing deal or even an audition for the lead, if you don’t have ‘the presence’ that people seek. Unless, of course, you have some familial ties to the said industries.
Gone are the days when you can choose to build your brand along the way or abstain from a digital presence entirely, especially for those in the creative industries, it’s an unaffordable luxury. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got what it takes, very few today out there, will notice a diamond in rough and even less are likely to brave that risk and take that jump.
With patience running out and lowering attention spans, it’s the era of elevator pitches and micro-influencers. Algorithms and analytics, it’s all about the numbers.
And while I’m no authority on what’s right from wrong, I can’t help but wonder – how many will fade into oblivion without ever getting a chance to be known. Constantly finding myself questioning – is the ability to maneuver people and climb the ladders fairly equated with talent, skill, one’s authenticity and worth?
Just like coal under pressure transforms into the most enigmatic, precious stone – I hope we can all hold onto our integrity, creativity and faith; remembering along the way, why we started, what we set out to do, in the first place.
From the twinkle in Sudheer’s eyes to him spiraling into an abyss, the reverie of his old-timer (character-actor) friends exchanging anecdotes about their yesteryears to the hop in his stride even after all this time; and even more so, the rest of the world, melting away when pitted against sets, shoots and takes - passion personified.
The climax was honest, to say the least. And again, refusing to ruin the story, I could swear that in my childhood, I’d been a part of "that" crowd too (even if merely just turning around and admiring from afar.) Of course we must show our appreciation and admiration but at what cost? Breaking another’s morale?
Unfortunately though, there will always be "that" crowd. I suppose it’s just up to us, to choose to be a part or abstain, and constantly reiterate – not all that shines is gold anyway.
This 1 hour 45 minutes of sheer engaging delight, leave one bittersweet with lots of food for thought.
Thank you, Hardik Mehta and team Kamyaab for bringing to life a story that celebrates so many people’s truths and passions – for reminding us, sheer love for what we do - must outweigh everything else, and that too in such an entertaining way.
You can watch the film on Netflix.
And I’d love to hear your thoughts on the same!
The above piece is written by Sayasha Pillai who is a guest blogger to the site and also part of the book UNREAD 2020, you can connect with her on Instagram and also listen to her podcast Not The Only One on Hubhopper. The views are the personal opinion of the author and not attributable to the platform or author’s workplace.
Har Kisse Ke Hisse Kaamyaab movie is directed by Hardik Mehta and stars Sanjay Mishra, Isha Talwar, Deepak Dobriya, Avtar Gill and Sanika Singh majorly.
To know what to watch next or what to read next in quarantine, head to this Giant Quarantine Recommendation List by PFA Community.