I’m doing it! I’m reviewing a new movie I watched! Just like my life is not in uproar and confusion!
First the good news. For those of us with a fetish for Intelligent Talented Actors, this film has Vidya Balan AND Vijay Raaz AND Neeraj Kabi. It’s like a Thinking Person’s Playboy. Also, they spend all their time in natural clothing with almost no make-up talking in quiet voices about moral/practical issues related to their jobs. Sexxxxxxxxy.
Other good news, it’s a jungle movie that makes the jungle look really good. Not pretty and fake like in a studio, but hot and green and complicated. And there is a career oriented heroine with a supportive husband (more or less) and no plans to have children. And a strong smart village headwoman. And nothing TOO tragic happens, like, no melodrama, no sobbing, no horrible horrible sad poetic ending.
Now the bad news. It’s a film that deals with the reasons things go wrong when they could go right. You spend the whole movie feeling the situation run out like sand between your fingers, come so close to a good conclusion and then moving away from it, and there is no reason for it! It was supposed to go RIGHT, everything was set up for it to go right, and then it got pushed and shoved onto the Wrong track.
This isn’t a film about “oh well, it’s the system, try to move on”. This is a film that takes the tack of “the system works, let it do it’s job, let the experts be experts, let the story play out, don’t think you know more because you have an opinion”. It’s timely and it’s universal, because it is dealing with the sort of “Awareness” concept that has swept the world since social media took over. You don’t volunteer, you don’t educate yourself or work in a field, you just read a story about it and repost the story and raise “awareness” of this thing that is happening. And more often than we would like to think, it is that “awareness” which makes the whole situation much MUCH worse.
There is a theory in sciences from physics to anthropology that the observation of the experiment itself alters the experiment. Things would behave differently, from Atoms to Marriage Rituals, if there was not the observer there. This is something we have all experienced in our own lives, I am sure. Albie Dog always misbehaves when there is a new visitor to the home, it isn’t the same as his behavior would be if there was no one knew observing. In media, it’s a big issue with calculating ratings. You can’t trust the “viewing diary” ratings systems, because people lie in their viewing diaries. Knowing that Nielsen Ratings or whoever is going to be reading the diary makes them more aware of their viewing habits, more likely to change them.
That’s what this film is about. It’s about the jungle and how humans being aware of the jungle changes the behavior, but also how the media and politicians being aware of the function of the Forest Department changes the function of the Forest Department. Let them grow and change and behave without observation or interference, then judge them.