By Dipen Guha(24 Jul 2009)
In a completely different vein Govind Nihalni made the film "Party". The film is rather an analysis of Mumbai's intelligentsia--told in the space of one evening - a party hosted by a patroness of the arts in honour of a poet who has just won a literary award . The cast includes lumanaries of the Marathi theatre ( Like the hostess of the evening, played by the theatre director and actress Vijay Mehta) as well as established actors like Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Deepa Sahi. The unities of space and time are maintained, first to show a group of people whose main objective is to live well and enjoy themselves as they wait for the poet laureate, Amrit to arrive.
As the evening passes, the masks of the various guests and hosts gradually drop in to reveal a mediocre playwright, his ageing mistress, a journalist who lives on scandal, the daufgter of the hostess who secretly detests her mother's lifestyle and has conceived a child with a man she despises, and the hostess herself, a parasite whose very existence depends on the fame of the people she recieves in her salon. As their frustrations and pettiness get revealed, as well as the profound emotional insecurities of their world , the climax is cruel as well--we learn that the poet Amrit, who had chosen to work with tribals in some in some inaccessible region, will not be coming. He has been killed by some unknown people. The guests leave the party. With the dispersal of the party there comes about a note of pathos. The real purpose for which the party was thrown seems to fall flat. The film provides a portrait gallery of the top-brasses of the society who appear to be suffering froma syndrome of solitude, and such a party is just a pretext to tide over their plights of solitudes.