Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of Idiot

Jun 28, 2012, 5:24:03 PM (8 years ago)



  • Idiot

    v1 v1  
     41991 180’ col Hindi 
     5d Mani Kaul pc Doordarshan st Fyodor 
     6Dostoevsky’s novel sc Anup Singh 
     7dial Hemendra Bhatia, Rajeev Kumar c Piyush 
     8Shah m D. Wood, Vikram Joglekar 
     9lp Ayub Khan Din, Shah Rukh Khan, Mita 
     10Vasisth, Navjot Hansra, Vasudeo Bhatt, Deepak 
     11Mahan, Babulal Bora, Meenakshi Goswami, Zul 
     12Velani, Amritlal Thulal 
     15With this tour de force of control over a 
     16bewilderingly complex narrative and a massive 
     17cast of characters (more than 50 key roles) 
     18constantly shifting about in both geographic 
     19and cinematic spaces, Mani Kaul continues 
     20exploring Dostoevsky’s fiction (cf. Nazar, 
     211989), faithfully following the novel’s original 
     22plot transposed into a scathing depiction of a 
     23feudal elite, largely bypassed by history, 
     24located in Bombay and Goa. The story begins 
     25with the return of Myshkin (Ayub Khan), 
     26having spent many years in London 
     27undergoing treatment for epilepsy. He 
     28encounters the beautiful Nastasia (Vasisth), a 
     29femme fatale pursued by the rich Pawan 
     30Raghujan (Shah Rukh Khan) and the ambitious 
     31Ganesh (Mahan). The wealthy milieu seems to 
     32live in a vacuum, alongside a formerly 
     33productive generation, such as the 
     34businessman Mehta (Velani) and his proud 
     35daughter Amba (Hansra) or the retired, 
     36drunken colonel (Bora) who is accompanied 
     37by characters like Killer and the cynical and 
     38suicidal Shapit (Thulal) on the beaches of Goa. 
     39At Nastasia’s party both Ganesh and Myshkin 
     40propose to her, but she leaves with Raghujan 
     41who throws a bundle of banknotes at her 
     42which she proceeds to burn. After the central 
     43sequence in Goa, the colonel leaves home and 
     44dies, and Myshkin becomes engaged to Amba. 
     45However, he suffers an epileptic fit and the 
     46next day Nastasia breaks the engagement, 
     47claiming Myshkin for herself. Just before their 
     48wedding she again runs away to Raghujan who 
     49eventually kills her, after which he spends the 
     50night with Myshkin awaiting the police. In the 
     51end Myshkin is revealed to have gone mad. 
     52Kaul coolly orchestrates with great virtuosity 
     53the continuously mobile, elusive points of 
     54‘stress’ (in Kaul’s phrase) as they shift from 
     55geographic location to cinematic space and 
     56back again, from the editing and gestural 
     57rhythms to the discontinuous soundtrack, 
     58achieving a multi-layered cinematic texture that 
     59at times threatens to stretch beyond the 
     60boundaries of the frame. The innovative 
     61approach to plot and narration keeps the film 
     62on a precarious edge between formal control 
     63and random collisions of speech and identity. 
     64Much of the film’s successful use of characters 
     65as ‘independent vertices’ (as the director 
     66describes them) follows the extraordinary 
     67performance of British Asian actor Ayub Khan 
     68who uses his difficulties with Hindi to 
     69considerable advantage as the nervous and 
     70culturally dislocated epileptic. The director 
     71commented: ‘Whereas for years I dwealt on 
     72rarefied wholes where the line of the narrative 
     73often vanished into thin air, with Idiot I have 
     74plunged into an extreme saturation of events. 
     75[P]ersonally, I find myself on the brink, 
     76exposed to a series of possible disintegrations. 
     77Ideas, then, cancel each other out and the form 
     78germinates. Content belongs to the future, and 
     79that’s how it creeps into the present’. The film 
     80was made as a four part TV series running 223’ 
     81and edited down to feature length.