For a nation where the content of Bullet inside a Bandook could trigger the revolution and initiate the process of freedom struggle, the BANDOOK has indeed been a metaphor for change, protest, channel vehicle for reform against the inertia in the system. It indeed is an apparent irony of our country that Bandook continues to make its appearance every decade in one way or the other as a protest against the system, and fittingly enough whenever that protest gains momentum, cinema picks up the theme and tries to give it a cinematic representation. The latest offering BANDOOK is one more such effort in this direction.
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Aditya Om has used the ravines of the Indo-Gangetic belt as the backdrop for his film, where the changing course of the river and the counterclaims arising out of the land tenancy becomes a volatile issue every year as the backdrop for his latest offering BANDOOK. A Shekhar Kapoor would not have attained the cult status, where it not for a story revolving around the Bandook of THE BANDIT QUEEN. One of the most poignant scenes of THE BANDIT QUEEN has been the handing over of the Bandook to The Bandit Queen that triggers the saga of revenge.
It is also one of the contours of cinema that the films which use Bandook as the medium of protest against the system gain cult status internationally as well. One just has to rewind to MOTHER INDIA where the Mother picks up the Bandook to kill his son when he does not heed to her advices. It also is one of the important facts of Indian cinema that all the icons of Hindi cinema have acquired cult status in their acting life by enacting roles where BANDOOK has been the necessary accompaniment. So we had a Dilip Kumar in dacoity saga GANGA JAMUNA, then we had a Vinod Khanna in MERA GAON MERA DESH, an Amitabh Bachchan in GANGA KI SAUGANDH who all picked up the Bandook to revolt against the system.
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Bandook has indeed been the channel vehicle for protest and while we may keep on saying that our country is a land of peace, the peace is brokered in nearly all the cases when one picks up BANDOOK to revolt against the system and this is the theme of Aditya Om’s latest offering as well.
What has changed in the films where Bandook is the dominant motif is the profuse use of sexual elements, it starting from THE BANDIT QUEEN in a big way. It had been a fact of life that when one picked up Bandook the undertones of unsatiated physical urges would find a violent manifestation and it is just that in earlier times cinema was not doing it, but now with the new breed of directors, it also has become a dominant motif. BANDOOK of Aditya Om is no exception to this norm.
The landscapes of Indo-Gangetic plain would surely get a much needed relook through BANDOOK, as it is a beautiful landscape and it needed a film like BANDOOK to underline the beauty of the landscape as well.