“There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” (The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho)
Krishna D.K and Raj Nidimoru chose Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist as a philosophical ground for their movie Shor in the City(2011). Set in the city of dreams, Mumbai, the movie revolves around three different sets of lives, people involved in these social spheres and their quest towards existence, the search for a treasure they themselves have devised unaware of God’s plan. Tilak( Tushhar Kapoor), Ramesh(Nikhil Dwivedi) and Mandook (Pitobash) project a team living together, each spending their life according to their suitability, while Tilak struggles as a publisher his friends Ramesh and Mandook represent the street ruffians who involve themselves in eve teasing, threatening, small scale thefts, robberies and unknowingly extend this business too far. Abhay (Sendhil Ramamurthy) is an NRI who lands in Mumbai hoping to establish a small business of his own but ends up killing the goons who threaten and loot him, disrupt his peace and his dreams and even the police fail to secure his living. Sawan (Sundeep Kishan) is a struggling cricketer who plays with a hope to get enlisted in the state cricket team at the National level but is asked to arrange for a million rupees, he plans to rob a bank with the help of a local goon, but even after having successfully owned the amount through this plunder he withdraws himself from depositing this amount.
The movie is embedded with several themes, apart from the question of struggle, existence, quest and destiny under the philosophical umbrella of Karma, Mumbai serves as an exposed site, where crimes and criminals exist at gradations and abundance, they destroy or assist the lives of innocent struggling masses and money becomes a transaction easy or difficult to gain and loose! Someone travels in the bus with a bag full of weapons, the other small-time criminal steals the bag unaware of the stuff inside, to his amazement the bomb inside the bag becomes an object of curiosity, this bomb is tried at a barren place in the city outskirts and ends up ruining the life of a poor child! This is one chain of event, the purposelessness of life, the burden to continue and the sacrifices that unknowingly sum up every existence. The script passes references to forced arranged marriages, the pressure of career and love in a youth’s life, the officials who demand bribes and promote loot and plunder indirectly and much more from mundane domestic existence.
The movie begins with a shor (noise) and ends with the same shor, the story barely stretches to a week and still the middle class dwellers from the Mumbai streets reveal all that an average life span has to suffer to exist and then there is Ganpati Bappa’s visarjan that marks every character’s destiny as decided by God and not what he planned for himself.
The movie is a perfect amalgam of music and background scores that correspond with the mood on screen. Saibo is a soothing sensational offering to love lives concerning the three different sets of characters, while Karma acts as a precursor to character’s lives! Dialogues are realistic to the extent that language marks the class that a character represents and also gives an insight into the temperament. Tilak is composed and calm as reflected by his language which is meditative and moralizing.
The movie is an interesting ensemble of all that happens in a city and all that the people in the city suffer, survive, relish and continue. For them who see dreams and fail to hear the scream this is a must watch.
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