NH10 : Gurgaon as Urban Cinematic Narrative

Gurgaon is a classic case study in unplanned urbanization from the the shady, character laden  Chakkarpur’s of the World to the  global DLF Cyber City’s which inhabit a parallel universe. Take an auto out of DLF Cyber City and the realities of the crime rid city confront you in the face. Law and Order depends on your good fortune rather than the local cop. Last year, Aurangzeb was a film to watch out for dealing in the murky real estate mafia of Gurgaon, where ‘Katta’ or the country made pistol and Koffee co-exist at ease. The film starts off with a punchline line : ” Mere Baap ka Gaon, Gurgaon” or my fathers village is Gurgaon. This year, it is Anushka Sharma’s NH10 taking the cinematic discourse forward with the dualities of life in Gurgaon. 

NH10‬ is a gritty film with nuanced contrasts between the medieval and the modern of my former work town the corporate DLF Cybercity, Gurgaon and its Jat hinterland with Khap Panchayats with gotra linked gruesome honor killings. Realistic lingo of a modern corporate couple is refreshing with panoramic shots of MG Road Shopping Malls with my work DLF building number 5 shown in one flickering sequence with the infamous Sahara Mall. These shots made me nostalgic. The on screen couple Meera (Anushka Sharma) and her Tamilian Husband chatting on their laptops while sitting on the same bed, is something that a Gen Y Couple can only understand. Love and attraction in the office space is discussed at ease and sex is portrayed for pleasure rather than procreation. This is where the director tries to establish the polar opposites right away, early on in the film. This a powerful contribution to the conversation on relationships in Urban India.

Raw violence has been utilized effectively as a cinematic device. The punch lines of Gurgaon being a youngster throwing tantrums and that the constitution ends at the shopping malls of Gurgaon being very symbolic of the urban mess with a rustic soul called Gurgaon wa! Certainly Anushka’s breakthrough act with a realistic ensemble cast, with a razor sharp edit, a must watch film of the year!

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