February 21, 2020
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Party (Hindi)

This pitiless self-satire—animated by a brilliant cast—is adapted from a semi-autobiographical play

Party (Hindi)
Party (Hindi)
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
  • Director: Govind Nihalani
  • Year: 1984
  • Cast: Manohar Singh, Rohini Hattangadi, Vijaya Mehta

Cinema born of theatre plays by its own rules: a tighter frame, more portrait than landscape, camera aperture narrowed down to human figures, their social masks, the sabre-clash of their conversations. This is a subtler Nihalani than usual. This is not where you look for the sledgehammer force of an Ardh Satya. But it’s no less cutting for that. A famous theatre director (modelled on Vijay Tendulkar), his ageing-actress partner—driven to distraction by the thought that he’s bored with her and who seeks solace in alcohol—her actor-lover, a rich patrician patroness, a journalist, beautiful gatecrashers, and sundry ’70s left-wing types talking their eternal talk on politics and art—ensconced in single-malt socialist chic. This pitiless self-satire—animated by a brilliant cast—is adapted from a semi-autobiographical play by Mahesh Elkunchwar, whose part-outsider status as a young playwright from a small town (one of the minor characters who make up the scenery) offers the ironic distance and perspectual lens from which to observe the thick, ambient hypocrisy in the air.

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