My hands were twitching to write about this film. It wins over Manthan(the other competitor) for various reasons; two main ones being:
1) Awaaz – I am a big fan of voice modulation. And this one offers more than Smita Patil and Naseer, it has Suresh Oberoi. If there is anything that guy can outdo others in, it is dialogues and then Raj Babbar…killer. If you hear them speak ever in any film you watch next, you will know what I mean. Not to forget Om Puri and Deepti Naval…all dubbing experts
2) Climax- While Manthan is predictable, Mirch Masala keeps you riveted.
Coming to the movie, a pre independence movie; Subedar ruled the villages. Not as evil as the British, they meant well partly….you can catch that in Naseer’s eyes ever so subtly in the scenes. His gramophone keeps him loved even with his tyrannical ways .He carries his moustache and Jodhpuri Safas and pants with style. The lust for Sonbai borders on love and that makes this role absolutely praiseworthy.
Om Puri as the old gatekeeper of a different religion brings in the right balance in this film. He loves the women as his own sisters and daughters and takes the bullet for them. The ONLY man in the village to stand against the system. An impactful performance considering the duration of his role.
Smita Patil can lend justice to all such roles so I am too small to write anything about this actress. She is the best and a success story for all those who keep crying hoarse about Bollywood’s fixation for skin color and for those heroines who were dusky till like yesterday and are almost white today!
My Trivia: I have been associated with a village till date. I have lived there too. Women will NEVER wear backless choli even in the confines of their bedroom. Some creative liberties should be overlooked!
Mirch Masala is one cool movie. It does not shout about feminism from roof tops or ‘expects’ things from society, it preaches taking things into your hands, standing united and finding a solution. Womenfolk let’s do that; be there for each other…it helps.