Wednesday, 17 September 2008
The Last Lear 
Bengali auteur Rituparno Ghosh’s latest outing has generated a lot of hype not only because this is his first English feature, but also because of his collaboration with Amitabh Bachchan. A number of people are of the opinion that this is the best performance of the iconic Bollywood actor. I will not go into that debate, but there’s no doubt about the fact that Last Lear is nowhere near Ghosh’s best works like Utsab and Dahan. At the heart of the movie, in a not so subtle but finely delineated manner, lies the age-old struggle between theatre and cinema, which was the principle theme of Ray’s masterpiece Nayak, too. Bachchan has delivered a powerful performance of Harry – a fiery, brooding, and fiercely independent Shakespearean actor, trapped in a time warp, and for whom “All the World’s a Stage”. The movie, told in elaborate flashbacks, essentially deals with how the veteran stage actor is coaxed into acting in a movie by an equally independent and obstinate director, and the disastrous aftermaths this leads to. The movie, though leisurely in pace, has an underplayed captivating quality, which maybe chiefly attributed to the arresting play between light and darkness. Though Indian actors starring in an English language movie might feel slightly disconcerting for some and the “explosive” climax doesn’t really create any palpable impact per se, but it would be worthwhile for Ghosh aficionados to have a go at it.
Director: Rituparno Ghosh
Genre: Drama/Showbiz Drama/Psychological Drama