Cast: Nana Patekar, Rekha, Deepti Naval, Nakul Vaid; Director: Goutam Ghosh; Producer: Bipin Kumar Vohra; Music: Khayyam; Rating: **
Yatra, by art-house auteur Gautam Ghose is the literal and metaphorical journey of a hindi novelist who journeys to Delhi to pick up an award.
On the train, he encounters a struggling film director who is his fan.
Prompted by the fan’s questions, the novelist embarks on a nostalgic journey, recalling an earlier novel and how his own life experiences with a courtesan translated into fiction.
The novelist remarks, “Kalpana kabhi real hoti hai, kabhi unreal, kabhi surreal.” So is this film.
Ghose wants to make a big statement about art, illusion, and the devaluation of aesthetics in a consumerist marketplace.
At one point, the novelist, played by Nana Patekar is even commenting on call centers and cell phone sex.
Yatra is ambitious but too uneven to engage.
In 1984, Ghose made the groundbreaking Paar but two decades later the deliberately obtuse, plodding language of Indian art house directors is no longer cutting edge.
With Rekha in her trademark courtesan role and music by Khyaam, Ghose tries to recreate the magic of Umrao Jaan but this Yatra descends into pure tedium.