Endearing Vikram, energetic Jiiva and the spirit of David, Bejoy Nambiar, david


The last few days for movie buffs and others in general have been monopolized by Vishwaroopam and its controversies. Amidst this, two films, Kadal and David hit the marquee and it was interesting to note the coincidences that while one film was helmed by the master Mani Ratnam and the other his protégée Bejoy Nambiar. Curiously, both the stories had a good load of connect with Biblical characters and dogma.

Director Bejoy Nambiar made his presence felt with Shaitan, an entertaining thriller in Hindi. According to the director, David was his first script but he needed some kind of an access card like Shaitan to do David.

Multi-narratives are not quite often visited by our makers, perhaps an Ayudha Ezhuthu here and a Vaanam there (in Tamil) although we can find quite a few such types in international circuits. While the Tamil David is about Jiiva and Vikram’s tales, Nambiar added a gangster hue to the Hindi version.

There is a particular unwritten syntax for Indian films that are being continuously broken these days by young film makers and David could very easily fall into this. And mind you, it is not just for the sake of breaking a code, that Nambiar treats his subject in an unconventional manner.

David always sacrifices while Peter always gets the riches. This is the basic arc of Nambiar’s David. We have had stories of losers on the celluloid but the sub-text would never subscribe to losing. However, Vikram in David is a loser, (a charming one at that), a perpetual drinker who uses a funnel straight into his mouth to mix his drinks; whose mate elopes but he still has his fun and enjoys life. There are absolutely no sermons here. That is his way of life, period!

‘Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.’ But Vikram simply can’t help falling in love with his best friend’s fiancée Roma (Isha Sherwani) and he just does not stop with that but pursues his mission diligently taking help from his mom and best friend Frenny (Tabu). Could there be anything more iconoclastic than this for a Tamil hero?

And his outrageous bride-punching and the placating efforts to his mom to speak to Roma’s dad are simply endearing to say minimally. It certainly gratifies at some levels. What about the lovely relationship he shares with Tabu? The scene at the jail takes a few moments to guess who was inside and who was outside. A delightful beauty! The nonchalance at which Tabu treats the jail officials and later enjoying a full course meal with her hand cuffs intact, feeding her child too clearly point that the man helming the affairs knows his craft well. The matter of fact manner in which Tabu showers advices to Vikram in a shower is another example of their friendship. In other films, this could have assumed a different color totally.

Tabu and Saurabh Shukla (Vikram’s late dad) take charge of the heart and head of Vikram under whose spells and influences his life moves on.  

Jiiva’s David is quite the contrast of Vikram’s David. While the latter takes on life languorously at his own pace, the former is energized and is chasing his dream to be a lead guitarist and tour the world. Although he makes fun of the idlis and his father, not necessarily in that order, he certainly rises to the occasion when dad Nasser is dishonored.    

While Jiiva sharing a cigarette with his sister is a casual beauty (completely amoral for our films!), silence says it all soundly on his atypical relationship with Laura Dutta.

David is a soulful affair that abounds in multiple layers where each layer gets poetically unveiled. The magical touches of Bejoy Nambiar soothe and caress the viewer with gentle strokes.  

Both Davids seek an answer and are fighting their inner conflicts. In a way destiny plays spoilsport with them and throws at them a different path that they never envisioned. In their journey of life, they do come across influences which are lasting and ephemeral. And finally, it is also the acceptance of realities that binds the two Davids.

To put it tersely David is a fine example of style meeting substance and a pithy one at that. And Bejoy Nambiar, we are eagerly awaiting your next offering!

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