Rebecca at, both visually and through dialogue, that

Rebecca McKenney

History and Film

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Doctor Desai

29 January 2018

Nagesh
Kukunoor’s Dor

Upon
discovering that her husband has been sentenced to death for murder, Zeenat
seeks out the victim’s wife, Meera to ask her to sign a mercy petition. But
once she finds her, Zeenat begins to lose her courage as she befriends Meera.
Will Zeenat be able to convince Meera to sign the petition without losing their
friendship or her husband? Find out in Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dor.

Director
Nagesh Kukunoor chooses to a series of interesting techniques to express
symbolism in Dor. For example, Meera
expresses feelings of emptiness and pressure to only have mournful feelings
after the death of her husband. Her emotional state is like a dessert which
makes the dessert a suitable choice for her to live in. Zeenat on the other
hand is full of life, like a forested mountain. When Meera chooses to run away
from her dessert-like past life, the forested mountain that Zeenat lives on is
appealing path for Meera is start her new life.

The
decision to have Zeenat read the apology letter to Meera at various angles and
distances is also interesting, but a little confusing. During various parts of
the letter, we see Zeenat move around the landscape at a lower angle and out of
focus with the expectation of when Meera first starts to read. This could be
symbolic in that Zeenat is attempting to humbly explain to Meera why she did
what she did. It could be symbolic on Meera’s part since she is beginning to
realize that she wanted to change her mind.

 Meera and Zeenat are two very different
characters. For example, it is hinted at, both visually and through dialogue,
that the two women come from different backgrounds. Meera appears to have
married into a well-off family as most of the characters within her family wear
bright colorful clothing and lives in a large mansion. Though the rest of the
family, with the exception of the Grandmother, continue to wear bright clothing
throughout the film, Meera has a simple blue costume change after the death of
her husband. When the costume change happens, we see that Meera is a
soft-spoken person who is almost willing to submit to her current situation even
though she is mistreated by her in-laws. Zeenat, in contrast, married into an
average family and wears earth-tone clothing. She comes off as being out-spoken
and not afraid to speak what is on her mind. She also is ready to do anything
to change the fate of her husband at almost no cost.

The
decision to have Zeenat read the apology letter to Meera at various angles and
distances is also interesting, but a little confusing. During various parts of
the letter, we see Zeenat move around the landscape at a lower angle and out of
focus with the expectation of when Meera first starts to read. This could be
symbolic in that Zeenat is attempting to humbly explain to Meera why she did
what she did. It could be symbolic on Meera’s part since she is beginning to
realize that she wants to change her mind.

The
score of Dor, for the majority of the
film, has a relaxing melancholic feeling that has an emphasis on percussion,
woodwind, and string instruments. Perhaps the choice to use this style of music
is to help audiences understand the loss of that Meera has and the blind hope
of Zeenat who could also lose her husband if things do not go well with Meera.

Overall,
Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dor is an
interesting film to watch. Considering that foreign films have a reputation of
being melancholic, it was a pleasant surprise that there was humor throughout
the film through the Behrupiya character. 
Something was a little bit of a culture shock was the treatment of Meera
after her husband’s death. It is discussed through dialogue that apparently if
an Indian husband were die before the wife, the wife took the blame for the
death. Even if she had nothing to do with the circumstances. But it the
situation were reverse, it would be business as usual. 

Source

Kukunoor, Nagesh, and Elahe Hiptoola. Dor. Sahara
One Motion Pictures, 2006.

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