Posted: 29 November 2004 at 9:16am | IP Logged
Dance Like A Man
Cast: Shobhana, Arif Zakaria
Direction: Pamela Rooks
Glum. He's a rum bum, downing Anaconda-sized pegs to get over the blues. Occasionally, his wife downs a stiffy, too, in a jiffy. Trained Bharata Natyam dancers both, there was a time when they aspired to superstardom, only to hit skid row.
Pamela Rooks' Dance Like a Man, adapted from the stage-play by Mahesh Dattani, may be bleak and pessimistic. Redeemingly, it's also perceptive and poignant. It has a lifelike story to tell, a potent comment to make on gender prejudices, besides firing salvos at the charlatans presiding over various culture-vulture committees.
The ageing losers (Shobhana-Arif Zakaria), forgotten by the Bangalore elite, live in a decaying ancestral mansion, travel in an antique Benz, bicker and flicker like candles in the wind.
Right now, they're trying to locate a mridangam player for the arangetram of their daughter (Anoushka Shanker). The Karnataka Chief Minister is expected to show up. Maybe.
The romantic blarney between the daughter and her yuppie fiance (Sameer Soni) does grate on your nerves. On the other hand, whenever Sunny Joseph's camera rests on the older couple, this English-language chamber piece pulls you by the collar into a real world that's recreated evocatively.
A brocade shawl, chintzy bric-a-brac and a thin scrapbook of newspaper cuttings are the only reminders of the glory that could have been.
The wrap-up, exposing a deep and dark family secret, even if it's somewhat on the lines of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, does move you deeply. And that is Rooks' prime strength. Despite the preponderance of confusing flashbacks, she still cajoles you into caring for her characters teetering on the verge of tragedy.
Plus, the classical dance interludes are presented aesthetically.
Doubtlessly, Shobhana is excellent, conveying the various nuances – from self-pity to self-pride – with amazing accuracy. Arif Zakaria, as her loser husband, is terrific. The other performances are, well, nothing to waltz about.
This dance-a-thon is a class act, recommended strongly for the discriminating viewer.
'Dance like A Man is not a usual film'
By: Meghana Kurup
October 9, 2004
Cast Arif Jakaria, Shobhana, Anoushka Shankar
Director Pamela Rooks
Story Dance Like A Man is based on a play written by Mahesh Dattani. It is about a couple who wants to keep classical dance alive through their daughter. Ratna (Shobhana) and Jairaj (Arif Zakaria) train their daughter Lata (Anoushka Shankar) in classical dancing.
Vishal (Samir Soni) plays Lata's fianc who unintentionally instigates the couple and causes a rift between them. While Jairaj struggles to retain his identity, all that Ratna is concerned about is her standing in the dancing community. She even gets jealous when her daughter wins acclaim for a concert.
The film oscillates between the past and the present and how Jairaj struggles to juggle his roles as a father, husband and dancer.
Resident of Tambe Nagar
"I did not like the movie at all. However, I loved Shobhana's performance. She is so graceful. And her acting is just brilliant. I'm sure she will win n award for her performance in this film."
Resident of Nahur
"I came to watch this movie because it involves dance. I love to see such movies and Shobhana is just brilliant. Even Arif Zakaria has portrayed his character well. Anoushka's performance is just average. She seems a little uncomfortable in her role."
Resident of Sarvodaya Nagar
"I liked the movie because it is different. I have seen the play as well, and I think that the movie is a good adaptation of the play. Shobhana is excellent. Anoushka Shankar is just okay; Sameer Soni has a small role but he has performed really well. On the whole it is a film worth watching at least once."