Naach (2005) *Top Voted*

Ram Gopal Varma’s Naach is an intense love story about two characters with strong principles and values that drive them apart and eventually bring them together too. A filmmaker who likes to try something different in every film, Ram Gopal Varma bends a little too much towards realism this time to tell a credible story and, at the same time, embellishes it with his excellent cinematic technique and direction – thereby giving the movie a surreal and a somewhat abstract look.

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Antara Mali

Abhi and Rewa, the two protagonists of Ram Gopal Varma’s fascinating study of the dynamics of the man-woman relationship within a metropolitan setting, are on their way back after watching an average kitschy movie. “The same routine stuff, the same things being said over and over again,” Rewa the idealist shakes her head in rejection. Abhi is more tolerant. He wants to be part of that “same old stuff” where success apparently is obtained.

“Naach” escapes the blind alleys that Hindi cinema chooses to wander in. “Naach” is Varma’s most personalized and sensitive film ever. In it he creates an untried synthesis of realism within the morally suffocating world of showbiz and a freewheeling fantasy where both the struggling protagonists find success on their own terms.

“Naach” in fact carries the “Abhimaan” theme forward. On a simplistic level we can take heart in Abhishek doing an overdriven version of his dad’s compromised and jealous musician’s part in “Abhimaan”.

But the dynamics are far more intricate in “Naach”. The protagonists are no longer driven apart by their ego. They are victims of a well-oiled machine of power and passion that inflicts a certain self-annihilating rejection of a standard code of morality on their lives.

When we first see Rewa she’s sitting at the roadside impervious of passing traffic. As the music in her head plays a pounding invitation (remember Urmila Matondkar’s opening song in “Rangeela”?) she jumps to her feet and performs an enigmatic seductive and yet personal dance that has no definition.

Antara Mali’s Rewa dances to an indeterminate rhythm that goes well with the film’s restless unanchored hitherto-unexplored man-woman axis. The camerawork by newcomer Kiran Reddy is so anguished and passionate you begin to see the characters as dancers caught in a dance of self-destruction.

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