I like Halla Bol. Most importantly, because it finally activates the little grey cells and forces one to think beyond Ishaan.
The newspapers say it is about the awakening of the conscience of a film star. They are wrong. It is about the awakening of the conscience. Period. It is incidental that the subject in question is a film star. Anyone in his place would go through all this and more.
How do i know? Because I know someone who has gone through all this. Halla Bol is real, no exaggeration. Except, perhaps, one thing, no politician has sensitivity enough to pull down a house for sheer sentiment. They have too much greed to allow room for sentiment.
Do i recommend it over Taare Zameen Par? YES, because we are not likely to meet a dyslexic child as often as we are likely to meet eve teasers and other bullies on the road. What do we do when we witness a case of eve teasing, molestation even, or road rage, is important.
Which is also the reason why it is difficult to watch this film, and the reason why collections are going down. Because when you watch that film, and the scathingly impotent crowd that does nothing against what it knows is injustice, does nothing as it is swayed by politiicians, in that crowd, you see a reflection of your own impotent self. It is difficult to face the fact that as a part of the crowd, you will do nothing that will make you worhty of being alive. When people were burnt to death for their faith, we did nothing. We just voted the murderers back to power. When a woman is raped or outraged every single day, or burnt for dowry, or beaten up by an educated husband, we look the other way. Halla Bol is the unkind mirror that shows u how unworthy of life one really is, and how much oxygen one wastes just by being alive and spineless. Go see that mirror, it feels nice.
After the film, i asked myself whether i will stop and interfere if someone was physically assaulting another person in my presence. To my utter shame, the honest answer is that i will stop if the victim is a woman, but not if the victim is male, because i do not know the entire circumstance of the case.
What would you do, if faced with an episode like that on the road? The answer is not important for me. Its important for you.