Manorama Six Feet Under - Notepad
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.
Satyaveer Randhawa is a junior engineer in the Water department and also the writer (under a pen name) of a thriller novel called Manorama, which manages to sell only two hundred copies. This failure compels him to write for pulp magazines instead. Frustrated and dissatisfied with his existence and the burden of failure, he tries to redeem himself by taking up a mysterious assignment for the wife of a local politician, who wants him to spy on her husband. But then everything is not what it seems and things go haywire, as future events manifest.
- The pacing of the film is beautifully measured; it creates a mood where the film takes us into the mind and character of Satyaveer Randhawa and the world that he inhabits. The use of the voice over to air Satyaveer’s thoughts in a laconic dry monotone adds to it.
- The scene where he is assaulted by two goons on the work site is just marvelous. It is an inspired reworking of a similar scene from Chinatown where two goons, one played by director Roman Polanski himself, assault the detective played by Jack Nicholson and cut his nose. Here the same scene is modified to an assault on Satyaveer by two goons who look really threatening and end up breaking his little finger: the senior partner eats peanuts and is asthmatic, the younger one is a real road romeo who is squeamish when it comes to breaking bones. They reappear throughout the film in various scenes, including the one at the end. The director then shows us the original scene from Chinatown later in the movie, in a moment where Satyaveer enters his house, and the scene from Chinatown is shown playing on his television.
What did not
- The music is completely unnoticeable throughout, it really does not add to the mood of the film or enhance it.
- The script puts all the plot lines together in the end through the voice over of Satyaveer. This was done, I felt, only for the benefit of the audience who might have been confused. But this detracts from the fine pacing and the subtleties of the script that were on display earlier. The director should have left it to the audience to reflect on and decipher the various plot lines, instead of giving a modified “bhashan” (lecture) at the end. That really took away the feel of the film.