'White Noise', a move up for Indian cinema

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

white noiseMumbai, March 3 (IANS) Is the Indian audience maturing? Going by the box office success of Madhur Bhandarkar's "Page 3" and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Black", 2005 seems to be the year of soaring aspirations in filmdom.

This week's release is Vinta Nanda's "White Noise" too is targeted primarily at an urban audience.

2004 saw progressive cinema, as represented by Sudhir Mishra's "Chameli", Govind Nihalani's "Dev", Farhan Akhtar's "Lakshya" and Ashutosh Gowariker's "Swades", in deep trouble at the box-office, but 2005 has started well for path-breaking ambitions.

The first two hits of the year have been path-breakers. Vinod Pande's "Sins" released last week, too, has got an encouraging response from the audience.

Disproving the popular belief that films in a non-Hindi language would fail due to delimiting the audience profile, "Sins" was made completely in English and "Black" too had a sizeable portion of English dialogues.

"It's always the characters and emotions that dictate the language," says Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

A debutante director, but with vast experience on television, Vinta Nanda knows exactly what she aims to achieve. "My film is the story of a self-destructive, slightly neurotic lonely career woman. It's set in the TV world where people make serials about 'saas-bahu' and other homespun topics, but converse in English," Nanda says.

"White Noise" is Nanda's own autobiographical story of a TV writer whose relationship with a married software producer nearly destroys her until her life's pieces are picked up by a new man. "Yes, it is inspired by incidents in my life and, yes, it is a film I've targeted at an urban audience. The mores, lifestyle, bitching and backbiting in the TV world are things I know first-hand. Yes, the pain too is first-hand."

Least bothered about the restricted appeal, Nanda notes: "'White Noise' couldn't work in any language except English. We've to stop trying to please every member of the audience. It cannot be done. It shouldn't be attempted."

After a small series of urban films, "White Noise" featuring the ever-dependable Rahul Bose and Koel Purie indicates a further move up for Indian cinema from the status quo. One thing is for sure. 2005 is not the year of the expected.