Nina Paley’s Sita Sings The Blues: A Film That Deserves Your Time, Sensibility And Sensitivity

The first thought one gets when having watched Nina Paley’s Sita Sings The Blues is that she is a dreamweaver and this story can indeed be termed as the greatest breakup story ever told. With the simple use of 2D animation, Sita Sings The Blues is a tale you just cannot get enough of. Speaking about life and love from a woman’s perspective, every woman who watches the film is ought to feel moved yet very inspired to move on from ever being bogged down by the blues. Eventually a woman must do what she must, as long as it nurses and heals a broken heart. Chronicling her real-life via this animated film, the writer-director-animator draws inferences from Goddess Sita’s tale as written in the many versions of the Ramayana. The most noteworthy point – the revival of The Blues sung by Annette Hanshaw, a popular singer from 1920s America. As stated by Nina, the stories that she read in books got more meaning with the songs by Annette Hanshaw, as they truly set the essence of the film.
With three sets of characters taking centrestage (so to speak), this re-telling of Ramayana is one by Sita – wife of Ram, object of affection of Ravana and point of inspiration for many women thereafter. She loves with all her heart, devotes herself to her husband and her one true love, faces dejection, weeps for days on end, and finally emerges strong from her plight of being the woman who was frowned upon for no plausible reason and hence, decided to move on, and move on like a boss she did. Most of us who’ve watched the film already know the complete story of the epic tale, but what we may not have understood was the pain our central character felt. Her voice, her emotions, have given many distraught, sometimes destitute women a voice of their own. Sita gained her Goddess stature because she proved herself to be the epitome of womanhood and this film reminds us of this.
The three narrators have the face of ancient kings (and queen) who are discussing this story like a group of individuals would make intelligent conversation of the topic of discussion. Kind of like the ones you’re likely to see at social gatherings, theatres and literature events around the country. (some views are usually borrowed tilting towards pseudo-intellect unfortunately, but we’ll get to that part later).
Nina Paley has masterfully ‘re’-created each of these characters to tell everyone about her own breakup (and how she probably moved on from it) which happened via email, and most certainly left her befuddled, without a clue as to why her husband/partner found such an innovative way to let go of the relationship. Once you get into the skin of this 2D character, you too, may find yourself empathizing with her, and perhaps, feeling what she felt. If a heartbreak causes the person at the receiving end to walk onto a path of greatness… then this is it.
When you walk into your room at the end of the day, and kick off your shoes, read a book, before you curl up and sleep, remember that there is always a better tomorrow and one partner’s choice or the ill-fate of a relationship doesn’t alter your life. Feel every bit empowered. Having said that, it’s not just about the women eventually, it’s likely to reach out to the men watching it and ensuring that it tugs at their heart-strings as well.
So, hear Sita Sing The Blues to you while she narrates her story in a span of 81 minutes. This is a crowd-funded film and every frame of it deserves to be watched repeatedly, and likewise, shared with one and all. Not to mention the beauty with which Annette Hanshaw’s classics shall become timeless through this apt usage.
*A version of this has been published under my author profile in July 2014, during my professional stint at BookMyShow*

Fitoor: Aditya Roy Kapoor-Katrina Kaif Give Us Reasons To Hit The Gym

Fitoor, an Urdu word for unsoundness of the mind, usually used when talking about situations denoting passion for someone or something. Directed by Abhishek Kapoor (director of Kai Po Che! and Rock On..!!), this film is said to be based on the love story of Pip and Estella from Great Expectations. In Bollywoodian scenario, Pip becomes Noor and Estella becomes Firdaus.

The film is beautiful, a pleasure for the eyes. The story, of course is yet to be known, since there are undertones of a political warfare set in white Kashmir. The promotional posters of the film had Katrina Kaif dressed in a pure white garb as she stands getting camouflaged by the snow with only her blazing red hair providing contrast. The trailer talks about the red of the Chinar (tree) and perhaps there is a metaphorical reference to the look of the film’s leading lady, who, I have to admit is looking nothing short of a Goddess.

Aditya Roy Kapoor played a man much-in-love in Aashiqui 2, but Fitoor shows him as more than just a lovesick puppy, and I’m sure glad to see this side of the VJ-turned-Actor. What’s notable is how the actors have worked so hard on their respective bodies that with every movement, slow or swift, you can see the muscles and the cuts, carefully carved and sculpted like they are real-life statues of beauty and grace.

The music of Fitoor, composed by Amit Trivedi is good, but definitely not his best work. When we think Amit Trivedi, the first thought that crosses our minds is a Dev.D or Lootera. Except Pashmina and Yeh Fitoor Mera, there is nothing to drive home about. Both songs, however, have something more special than just its tune. And that is the leading pair of the film, who are blending together like paint on a canvas. Watch Pashmina to see where Katrina Kaif has brought herself from being a pretty actress oft-ridiculed for her non-Hindi speaking ways (like a British National was expected to be the Paro of the yesteryears or something) or her thunder thighs to her lithe frame and remarkable yet flawed dancing skills in this love song which is winner in all departments, including the lyrics. What we see so far are several  metaphorical references in the songs including this one:

In 2:14 to 2:19, one can see how Firdaus (paint, color of Noor’s life) meets Noor (painter, canvas).

Nonetheless, the film will give you reasons to read and listen to soulful music, but that aside, it will also make you pledge to take care of yourself and aspire to look good in 2016. What do you think? That could be our ‘fitoor’.

Infact, come to think of it, was this breathtaking chemistry the reason for Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif’s recent split up? Let’s hope not. Infact, I recently read that Aditya is playing cupid to these estranged lovers, and we are supporting this cause virtually. 🙂