Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon
It is a Monday and the start of another promising week but I still do have a couple of new releases waiting to be covered. And one of them is Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon, a Hindi film which slowly started creating a buzz right from the last weekend when it had a limited theatrical release. There were statements from well known personalities within the industry who had overwhelmingly praised the vision of the director touting the film as ‘A Never Before Seen Experience’ and ‘Worthy Of The Big Screen’. I was very excited given the culture at Popcorn Reviewss which is to give independent filmmakers the much needed voice. But I was disappointed at the limited release which the film had. I couldn’t accomodate it last weekend and I thought I have missed my chance and now will have to wait for its OTT release. But fate had other plans!
Due to its glowing word of mouth, the number of shows were increased in Mumbai and luckily I was allocate some time over the weekend to watch this film. And with that I have finally finished watching Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon over the weekend. Does it manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon is an enigmatic ode to Old Delhi where four local characters form an integral part of the narrative. The story almost gives you a feel of a documentary with stunning pieces of animation in a multilayer setup. It blurs the lines between dreams and reality where the filmmaker demands to surrender to her vision. And the setup is very interesting. The drama is not set in an old Haweli but on the narrow streets and by lanes of Old Delhi. It almost takes you on an enigmatic tour of the neighbourhood filled with fantasy and broken dreams.
The humble background of the people are well shown coupled with an immersive experience with their situation and dreams is mixed in this surreal aural world of fantasy. And it is sprinkled with poetry and outlandish humour which will make you chuckle. The screenplay requires patience and is extremely niche considering its narrative style but you will need to surrender to the vision of the director and allow the film to get to you instead of searching for answers.
The immersive experience lasts right from the beginning to the end with a stream of animated sequences which are philosophical, meditative and open to interpretation. Right from serving food(Kachori) to a poor lady and comparing it to feeding God or the broken dreams of the migrant workers or even being satirical and mildly political at times, the writing is sharp and it takes the cake! One small drawback could be its length of over 2 hours where I thought there were areas where the makers were over-indulging in the narrative. But these are minor setbacks in an otherwise visually stunning and impressive screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are poetic yet poignant. The message is conveyed through poetry yet there is a sense of hollowness when it comes to the life of the people of the neighbourhood and their dreams. The class divide is represented through a beautifully through symbolisms and at times some thought provoking lines. All of these make you empathize with the characters and their situations. The BGM is sparingly used almost making it like a mild catalyst in the story. The cinematography and the VFX team need to be applauded for a wonderful job done. The former comprises of wide shots and also uncomfortable closeups which add an abstract layer to the narrative. The VFX are stunning and probably the best set pieces of animation that I have watched in an Indian film in years! Director Anamika Haksar almost wishes to take you on a nostalgic trip around the neighbourhood(much like its characters) where you as a viewer can form your own opinions instead of her spoon feeding you. And I quite liked that approach which was flavourful and colourful yet made you think about the film long after it had ended. The direction is pretty impressive here.
The performances comprise of mostly unknown faces other than Raghubir Yadav and they add authenticity and ambience of the drama. Gopalan as Lal Bihari really makes you empathize with his character especially towards the end. Lokesh Jain as Akash has some beautifully soothing lines to showcase and he mouths it brilliantly. Raghubir Yadav the veteran is such a pleasure to watch everytime he appears onscreen. An absolutely brilliant performance. Ravindra Sahu as Patru has delivered a wonderful performance which is well measured yet sprinkled with humour. This is one performance which is memorable and stays with you long after the film is over!
Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon is niche but is visually stunning and an enigmatic tour around Old Delhi. This one comes with my highest recommendation if you are in the mood to experiment. Even if you are not, do support this small film with a big heart. Available in a theatre near you.