Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai: Blunt, unapologetic and pessimistic but true
Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai is penned with pessimism in mind, it’s a statement of truth but hints at one thing dream beauty, at your peril
With a mentor like legendary filmmaker Saeed Mirza whose films like Arvind Desai KI Ajaeeb Dastan, Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai and Naseem, all critically acclaimed National Award winning films, one should not have expected anything than the same thought process from Soumitra Ranade.
This director who assisted Mirza for long time and went into making pungent films on socio-political reality of a society, ended up making a reversion of his guru’s Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai, released this Friday.
With a powerful cast in Saurabh Shukla, Manav Kaul and Nandita Das, the film is a road- thriller, engaging in several parts about what next, to doses of humour to release the tension. Laced with accumulated, bitter experiences of a middle class --- low, mid and high -- as opposed to those with money and power, the film bombards one with all evils in the society, in which a common man lives like three things -- drivers, dogs on the road who get run over by speeding cars and crows who crow when the dogs are run over, and then consume on that dead body.
Sounds ugly, bizzare but true? Welcome to the world of Soumitra Ranade’s realistic film. He lays bare, too bare, the truth of the society that hits your head, wounds your heart and you still end up saying, “Theek hi to kaha hai. Ye hi sach hai’,like four viewers of four generations (20- 60) who said it, whom I asked after they came out of the hall.
The protagonist Albert (Manav Kaul) is an angry man. His girlfriend Stella (Nandita Das) lives in dreams and hope, his father, Jeff Pinto an honest government official in Diplomacy, gives 30 dedicated years to the government thinking all educated, honest people should contribute to the government and nation building, his younger brother, a singer doesn’t work and his mother is a homemaker.
But the father is trapped by political goons against whom he speaks a truth of having been sold in few crores. He gets the reward for being honest and dedicated. He is suspended. His child asks him, why he decided not to be dishonest like his subordinate who is living a luxurious life because he doesn’t care.
Not ready to live with the stigma of a tainted officer, Jeff commits suicide. Albert now will avenge the death of his father. He had planned a life for himself with Stella, doing a private job and earning money, but he leaves both and now charts a journey of his own. His final aim, shoot the two corrupt politicians who designed his father’s stigma and death. He chooses a to learn the art of killing, and a driver (Saurabh Shukla), a contract killer will take him to his destiny.
The journey is full of experiences of bitter truth, of people living on highways, of truck drivers, women, children, banjaras and lives of people in small villages across India.
Till the viewer in on road with the driver and Albert, he looks for a solution or the result. By the end, he realises he already knew the end!
The film is penned with pessimism in mind, it’s a statement of truth but hints at one thing --- dream beauty, at your peril. The protagonist who is angry and abuses the system and the societal evil, is himself not a holy cow. The driver is his guide to the truth of the other side, of the people who don’t count in the census and still live and love their lives, stay happy, they smile and accept the system has nothing for them, will never have.. They know it was not for them ever.
Saurabh Shukla as driver steals the show with his naturalness, comic perfect comic timings, Manav Kaul for all his anger looks much more angry than his predecessor Albert (Naseeruddin Shah) in Mirza’s film. He speaks with eyes, face and body as if he has read Natyashastra and tried imbibing in his genes.
He looks angry every inch, justifying the title. Nanditas in multiple roles impresses as always with her effortless slip into all characters, a girlfriend, a wife, a sex worker and any ordinary girl in a restaurant. One question and answer, answers all your questions, respectively. Sample this -- “You could not see a beautiful dream of even two minutes with me”? “I have lost the capability to dream”.
Like Mirza, Ranade speaks in symbols too , hopes in vain like Faiz Ahmad Faiz in his stellar poem,
Hum ahl-e-safa mardood-e-harm Fai
Masnad pe bethae jaenge
Sab taaj uchale jaenge
Sab takht girae jaenge
(When we of clean hearts-condemned by Zealots those keepers of Faith, We, will be invited to that altar to sit and Govern-, When crowns will be thrown off- and over turned will be thrones, We shall see)
The film is not for those who are looking for fun and entertainment. It is hard hitting truth that hurts, though with sprinkles of laughter, a great background music and use of ghazals to make it sombre. Ranade also seems to demonise the contract killer/ the driver to justify evils that he may have. Well, go if you like Saeed Mirza, Ranade won’t fail your hopes. Don’t, if you think films are meant for tililiation and truth minus wounds. As a part of the rotten system, you might end up hating yourself. But if you are still a dreamer and realistic films don’t hit you. Go ahead. It's a wise, dark film that won’t insult your intelligence, largely.