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Meenaxi - Tale of 3 Cities

Source: Sify

Critic's Rating: 20/5

Saturday 7 February 2004

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Movie Title

Meenaxi - Tale of 3 Cities

Director

M.F.Husain

Star Cast

Tabu, Raghvir Yadav

After showcasing the charm of Madhuri Dixit in Gajagamini (2000), prolific artist M.F.Husain explores the raw beauty of Tabu in Meenaxi - Tale of 3 Cities.

Set in the three cities of Hyderabad, Jaisalmer and Prague the film artistically reveals 3 different personae of its protagonist as Meenaxi, Meenakshi and Maria.

The film, a collaboration between India's pre-eminent artist M.F.Hussain and his painter son Owais Husain, while constructing a fictional story, leaves itself open to interpretations and readings by every viewer.

Nawab (Raghvir Yadav), a popular novelist of Hyderabad, is suffering from the classic case of a writer's block. Five years have elapsed. Stories of substance seem to have dried up.

Almost providentially, Nawab comes across Meenaxi (Tabu) at a traditional qawwali ceremony. The young woman is enigmatic and individualistic. She's not quite willing to perform the part of a passive muse.

Meenaxi assumes different personae. She can be the mysterious perfume trader of Hyderabad, the exotic desert bloom of Jaisalmer and the orphaned Maria of Prague.

Inexorably, she consolidates her command over the novelist. She dismisses his renewed attempts at writing as insubstantial and hackneyed, plunging him into a state of deeper despair. She is scathingly critical about his story and is amused by one of the characters he creates, the lovelorn and awkward Kaameshwar.

Nawab strives to start on a new page all over again. Meenaxi comments that perhaps the book is in vain. In any case, it is much too late. The writer must survive and live, if he can, without her support, inspiration and criticism.

Delving into the limitless world of creative endeavor and the vicissitudes in the way of such endeavors, Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities approaches myriad aspects, the relationship between art, the real and the imagined being just one of them.

Others in the cast of the film include Nadira Babbar, Kunnal Kapoor, Sharat Saxena and Bharat Kapoor. The crew of the film boasts of renowned talents which includes musician A.R.Rehman, cinematographer Santosh Sivan (Asoka, Fiza, Terrorist), editor Sreekar Prasad (Dil Chahta Hai), art director Sharmishta Roy (K3G, Kal Ho Naa Ho) and lyricist Rahat Indori. The story-dialogue and screenplay are co-written by Owais Husain while film critic Khalid Mohammed has penned the English sub-titles.

The film is produced under the banner of Husain's home production 'Culture of the Streets Films'.

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