Accident, directed by the legendary filmmaker-actor Shankarnag, starring himself and his brother Anant Nag will be celebrating its 35th year anniversary this October. We list out 10 reasons why we think it was a film way ahead of its time.
The Political Nature of the film
Taking into account of the political atmosphere, Accident was a bold film. It was not a typical David versus Goliath where the antagonist is a rogue who cannot be defeated. The film was true its setting and presented realistic political oppression against the judiciary, the society, and the media.
Anant Nag as Politician Dharmadhikari
Anant Nag was probably 34 years old when he played the role of Dharmadhikari who was around 60 years old. It was a peak time in his career. Generally, the male leads tend to preserve their youth for films which tend to give them popularity and more work. Anant Nag was brave enough to do this. Maybe he saw through the vision of Shankarnag. We are glad he did it.
The nature of the role was in the grey. You didn’t completely hate him. There were moments where the human side of his character came across. We, unfortunately, rarely see this kind of characterization in the Kannada Film Industry now.
Shankar Nag as Journalist Ravi
Shankar Nag played the young rebellious journalist Ravi who is on the run to expose the truth. In the commercial lingo, he was the hero of the film. If you look closely, apart from his moral conscience, he doesn’t possess the characteristics of a typical hero. He is introduced very late in the film and in the end, he isn’t responsible for delivering justice.
The nexus between Media and Politics
We have all been taught that media is the fourth pillar of democracy and is always questioning power. Of course, we live in an idealistic world. Accident perfectly portrayed the unsaid understanding between the politicians and the media.
The Bangalore Night Life Portrayal
As far as I can remember, it was one of the first films and the only film to portray the nightlife of Bengaluru so accurately. A significant amount of time is dedicated to establishing the rich extravagant nightlife. Nothing much has changed in the night scene of Bengaluru but the portrayal in cinema has been far from reality now.
The Non-Existence of a love story
We Indians are obsessed with love stories and perception had been created that the love story-centric films will do well at the box office and the ones without it will have a tough run. The ‘Accident’ proved this wrong. The movie doesn’t break away from its initial setting which is such a breath of fresh air!
Breaking away from the “Family Film”
Though it was certified U/A by the CBFC, it wasn’t a film a parent would take his 10-year-old kid. There is a lot of hysteria with “Family films” in Indian Cinema. A family film, a critic explained, is a film which was comedy, drama, emotions, romance and even action. This has truly lowered our standards in Cinema.
Accident was a Political Thriller and was a genre film. It has become quite rare now to see genre-based films in Kannada Film Industry.
A Perfect Example of the Bridge Cinema
Film critics and analysts have divided the films into art cinema, commercial cinema and bridge cinema. Accident was a perfect blend of both art and commercial cinema making it a lesson in making a bridge cinema.
Music and the Sound Design
Accident has no songs whatsoever. To now realize that the background music was composed by Ilaya Raja seems unbelievable. The music almost seemed non-existing and yet supported the narrative.
The Sound design of the film was another achievement. The film is filled with the sounds of the typewriter keys, clicking cameras, screeching cars, the noise of television, bullets sliding inside a pistol, a dog barking, feet running, and the creaking of metal in no specific order. The Accident scene has haunting silence which makes it more effective.
The film’s ending was a revolutionary one in Kannada Cinema. It left with more questions than answering a lot of them. The film made the audience think about the things happening in society. When most of the films then and even now spoon fed the audience, the film left the audience with a sense of responsibility and introspection.
Accident is available on YouTube for free. Watch it if you haven’t yet.