Monday, 30th October 2017

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Flashback Friday: Parinda

Bullets & betrayals

By Sulagana Biswas
  • Published 7.11.19, 11:02 PM
  • Updated 7.11.19, 11:02 PM
  • a min read
(Screenshot from film)

Tumse milke...

Doomed lovers Karan and Paro steal tender moments in a grimy, grisly world. And they die a death that’s viscerally chilling, a spray of bullets turning the blanket over their tender bodies into grotesque red flowers.

Parinda, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s breakthrough gangster film that turned 30 on November 3, remains as gripping as ever.

US-returned Karan (Anil Kapoor) is shocked when his friend, a cop named Prakash (Anupam Kher) who happens to be the brother of his girlfriend Paro (Madhuri Dixit), is killed by people who turn out to be the aides of his brother Kishen (Jackie Shroff). Karan realises Kishen works for gangster Anna (Nana Patekar). What follows is far from predictable. Even the virtually indestructible, manipulative Anna, has a chink, he is terrified of fire. Chopra, the director, uses this to great effect in the film’s fiery climax.

With a tight budget of Rs 12 lakh, Chopra works with familiar tropes — brothers on opposite sides of a war isn’t exactly new — but gives an offbeat, almost psychotic twist to them. The taut plot (Chopra wrote the story) makes it a worthy precursor to Satya. There’s some superlative acting (Nana, Jackie, Anil and Madhuri live their roles, cameos by Kher, Tom Alter, Suresh Oberoi, Anang Desai and others feel lived-in).

The dialogues by Imtiaz Hussain, especially Anna’s, blaze with intensity. The cinematography (Binod Pradhan) adds character to every face and frame, no wonder @VVCFilms, in a series of tweets on 30 years of Parinda, said Chopra and Pradhan studied the paintings of Rembrandt, van Gogh and da Vinci to get the “texture” right.

Pancham’s score, one of the best in his later years, adds depth and tenderness to a lawless world. The editing (Renu Saluja, Chopra’s one-time wife who edited his movies even after their divorce, till her death) heightens the drama of the said and unsaid, the everyday and the extraordinary, the flight of the pigeons, the bullets and the betrayals.

Thirty years ago, Chopra was a young man from Kashmir, trained in FTII, who had made small movies (Sazaye Maut, Khamosh). Parinda, in comparison, was star-studded. If Nana and Madhuri were relatively new, Anil and Jackie were stars. But here’s the thing. In Parinda, they are all characters who struggle to make sense of a baffling world. Later, trapped in their stardom, perhaps the actors had hoped for another Parinda to liberate them.