The world was just resting after cashing in on the financial boom created by the Y2K bug and fearing of getting into a recession, India had just seen a Kargil and new millennium was supposed to carry the dreaded date of 21 December 2012 when Mayan prophecy was expected to come true – year 2000 had arrived. World of cricket had seen the most disastrous controversy in match fixing and it all looked gloomy.
It was a time of uncertainties – something we human find quite difficult to handle.
We all needed something soothing to calm the nerves and make us believe that good that always prevails over evil, hope is an unsinkable entity which knows nothing but floating and there are always better things to look forward in life.
We needed a charisma, a miracle, a charm to blow us all over to the world of dreams. We all needed something special and special is what we got.
Dharmesh Darshan, India’s very own Woody Allen, came up with his cinematic brilliance in form of Mela – the epic love saga. Dharmesh Darshan, the visionary he is, had made his directorial debut with plural of recently released much-hyped Bollywood Lootera – a wrestle between a man and Sonakshi, when he made Lootere, the movie known in which Juhi Chawla shed some cloths to do an image makeover and Pooja Bedi wore some to avoid the movie getting stuck at censor’s scissors.
Dharmesh Darshan’s next film Raja Hindustani became a super hit and is better known for showing supposedly longest kiss in an India movie, Karishma Kapoor’s wig and the story which said – for the song Uff kya raat aayi hai¸ Aamir drank alcohol for the first time in the movie. Though I had believed in this story at that point of time, his Mangal Pandey the rising broke that belief of mine. Only a drunk man can be part of such a cinematic catastrophe.
Mela is a wonderfully narrated never told before story of an innocent girl running away for her life from the villain, falling in love with the hero and killing the villain with the help of hero.
Mela is also about brotherhood – the brotherly love which kept relationship of Aamir Khan and Faisal Khan together for almost seven years after the movie was released.
Mela is about courage – how Twinkle Khanna dances in the song Kamariya Lachake Re with all of her 34 inch Kamariya.
Mela is a classic in every sense.
The movie pretty much starts with welcoming the arrival of year 2000 in the song Dekho 2000 Jamaana aa gaya and predicts how the future might look like when it says “hongi nayi baate socho kya hongi rate”. I remember a series of power cuts in year 2000 at my place, especially during nights.
The movie also include one the longest songs ever – “Mela dilon ka aata hai”. The song so beautifully promotes “why this fuss” attitude when it says
mela dilon ka aata hai ik baar aake chala jaata hai (Carnival of heart comes once and goes after coming”
aate hain musaafir jaate hain musaafir (travelers come, travelers go)
jaana hi hai unako kyon aate hain musaafir (if travelers have to go, why the hell they come at all? Why this fuss?)
The song is so long that one can travel from Pune to Mumbai and yet not finish it off. The song is so melodious that one may not want to change the song at all although it is a different matter that the one I am referring to here, may not exist. Nevertheless, the song is worth giving a try.
The story revolves around Roopa, beautifully played by Twinkle Khanna, who is a shy village girl often roaming around the village in cloths so tight that she always looks constipated. Her brother, played by Ayub Khan (who? Let us just say he is someone), comes back to the village and starts singing the song Mela Dilon Ka Aata hai with the villagers. A dacoit, Gujjar, in the neighboring state gets disturbed by the noise and decides to visit the village with few friends. While he is talking to the villagers to put an end to the song, Roopa comes to fore and informs Gujjar that song will last a few hours more.
Roopa. The shy village girl who is kind enough to let the men have full view of cleavage and naval. Roopa. The shy village girl whose waist swings like a pendulum when she walks. A gigantic pendulum, mind you.
Roopa. The shy village girl whose bodily beauty is accentuated by the tightness of her cloths.
Roopa. The shy village girl with beautiful eyes, thunderous thighs and a voice that can penetrate an iron wall, forget hearts.
Gujjar has never seen a girl like Roopa. In fact, always surrounded with rowdy, ugly and unshaven men, Gujjar has not seen a girl in ages.
A hardened heart meets with the beauty of softness and melts. Gujjar falls in love with Roopa – the love at first sight.
Gujjar gets down on his knees and proposes to Roopa. Roopa refuses saying, “I will marry someone who will who is currently dating that Bollywood starlet, Shilpa Shetty”. Gujjar persists but his persistence is met with rudeness of villagers. Hardness of Gujjar’s heart manages to beat past the softness of his love for Roopa and he kills a few villagers – including Roopa’s brother.
The incident shatters Roopa and she runs away from the village. Gujjar waits for her for sometimes and leaves the village. When a friend of Gujjar asks him the reason for waiting in the village, Gujjar tells him “I hope we don’t end up singing DDLJ’s song – dekha na tune mud ke bhi peeche, kuch der to main ruka tha”
Roopa begins a hunt for Gujjar. She happens to meet two brother like friends, Kishan and Shankar. Kishan falls in love with Roopa and decides to help her. Roopa decides to use Kishan for her purpose and pretends to love him back. After initial resistance, Shankar also agrees and they start hunting for Gujjar.
After a long struggle, they happen to meet Gujjar who has become a drunkard after Roopa shattered his heart. While Gujjar is apologetic for whatever he did in Roopa’s village, Roopa does not forgive him. She still wants her revenge. Shankar, Kishan and Roopa, mainly Roopa, kill everyone on Gujjar’s gang. Just before Roopa is about to kill Gujjar, Shankar pleads to Roopa to let Gujjar go.
Roopa asks Shankar, “Why should I forget this monster who killed my beloved brother?”
Shankar replies, “Because I love him. You may pretend to love Kishan but my love for Gujjar is no pretence”
Both Kishan and Roopa gets a shock. They ask Shankar, “But why?”
Shankar’s reply wins them over,” See Kishan, you are like brother to me so I do not have any scope with you. Roopa’s biceps are bigger than mine are so I would want to wish you luck. That leaves me with just once choice. Isn’t Gujjar cute?”
“But” both wonder.
“But what? This bloody director hasn’t given me a heroine in the movie”
“You will get Aishwarya Rai in the final scene,” says Dharmesh Darshan.
“Oh her? For one scene? Tell me what kind of a loser she would be if she marries Abhishek Bacchan. I am happier with Gujjar” says Shankar and kisses Gujjar.
Movie ends with the saying – and they lived happily ever after.
The movie review cannot be completed without mentioning the acting. While both Khan Brothers acted at their cacophonous best, Twinkle was a revelation in the movie. The way she depicted her confusion between the good and evil in her, good represented by red light shown on the right half of her face and evil by blue light on left half of her face, was extraordinary. To add to that, the way she responds to the good Roopa and the evil Roopa by shouting to herself – “Roopa…Roopa”. The equality and similarity of expressions in both the cases, in fact in every scene of the movie, was something never achieved before. Twinkle Khanna rocked in the movie. Seeing the popularity of her character, a Kolkata based garment manufacturer launched a new brand for men’s undergarments named Roopa. The owners said, “After this movie, the manhood will be known by the name of Roopa. Such a strength her character has shown in the movie. We just want to cash in on that”
All in all, Mela is a must watch.PS: Just in case this review does not turn out to be a spoiler, I have kept the story I explained a little different from the original story. The real story is much more interesting.