wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
It's dark and it's abstract and it'll make you think. What is it that will liberate you from the trappings of life? An outstanding performance by Rajat Kapoor and some thoughtful yet simple background music keep you company in this extremely slow-paced film.Read more
NOT A REVIEW - Just looking forward to a 'different' movie...
There isn't much buzz around this film on the web except for this little bit here. Isn't that a shame considering it won the 'Jury Grand Prize' at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, 2008 and Rajat Kapoor won the best actor award at the Osian's cinefan, 2008?
The film's premise as expressed by Rajat Kapoor is extremely intriguing -
The idea is of imprisonment, and how that relates to the human condition. It’s an abstract film.
The central concept of Siddharth - The Prisoner is freedom from the complexities of life and who better than the god of freedom, Che Guevara, to represent that spirit. Rajat's character is all about the journey to actual freedom
I'm certainly looking forward to this one. Enjoy the trailer meanwhile,
- meeta, a part of the audience
An abused flat, visually so filthy that you can sense the stink it must carry. But, it must also feel like abundant luxury for someone just out of prison. The word 'prison' brings dark images to the mind even without the heavy bluish-gray tinge given to it in Siddharth - The Prisoner. These first few, short and lingering sequences bring on the mood of melancholy that doesn't go away.
While soaking in these bits of Siddharth's (Rajat Kapoor's) newfound freedom you can't but help notice the background music. The keys of a typewriter tapping along to the notes of a piano. A string instrument joins later only waiting for the tinkering bell to make the rhythm complete. And the pause in the score while abrupt seems to be a part of the music itself. And soon the music becomes repetitive enough to blend with other elements and doesn't distract.
A lot of being able to notice these details has to do with the minimal dialogues. There are long spans of dialogue-free movement. And yet somehow, you are tempted to think that there's something wrong with Mohan's (Sachin Nayak) righteousness. You are not surprised with how Amin (Pradip Sagar) and Aseem (Pradeep Kabra) interact and react. You are very aware of Siddharth's dilemma. And Siddharth puts to rest all my doubts about Rajat Kapoor's versatility. I was completely blown away by the way his body conveyed his thoughts. The rest, though not outstanding, don't make you doubt their behavior.
Throughout the film, Hulla kept coming to mind. Maybe because the pace was similar and both had Rajat Kapoor. But somehow the brown hue and the desire to show the futility of our persistence and ambitions had the same taste and feel in both movies. Except in this one it worked for me. And yet there were phases in the movie where I could make a mental trip to the world outside that theater and come back. When that happens in a 90 minute film, it leaves a sense of incompleteness.
The only way to liberate yourself is to let go. Let go of your attachments and your worldly needs. Our desires and thus our existence are in vain. The perceived 'purpose of life' is only a big sham. There is no breaking free from this tone of failure and dejection that runs heavy through the movie. As there are no conclusions to such thoughts. Then why should the movie that deals with them offer closings? To me having no resolutions is better than having hurried ones, and contrived ones are worse.
If you're the kind of person who sees a person walking out of a prison and absolutely has to know why he was in, this one is not for you. If you like your movies nicely tied up in the end, skip it for your own sake. If you like it gift-wrapped and presented in your hands, Siddharth - The Prisoner will be a 'must skip' for you. Me? Well, I enjoy my abstractly beautiful and beautifully abstract films as much as the well-thought-out masala ones, so I'd have hated to miss it.
- meeta, a part of the audience
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Siddharth, a once-famous author is just out of jail. He wishes to reboot his life slowly, gradually. Only to find himself in possession of a huge sum of money in exchange for a story he has written presumably about his life in prison.