Based on Marathi playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar’s play, ‘Party’ is both a political and social argument on role and commitment of an artist and contemplation about the shallow and snobbish world of elite creative talents. Govind Nihalani’s films reflect political tones in most of his films and even this film is not an exception. Perhaps his voice is impersonified and emphasized by the character of Om Puri, Nihalani's personal favorite. Towards the climactic tragic news the growing debate of the elite party people shifts its stand towards late entry of Avinash, a concerning journalist seeking the truth from reality. He supports Amrit, a poet turned social activist helping tribal to protect their land against state. Throughout the party he was most wanted and most stimulant fellow in all sorts of debate but never appear on screen till the end as nightmarish shock to all creative pipe dreamers. Perhaps the voice of Amrit is intensified by Avinash who believe that Creative art in any form is a tool or rather a weapon to fight injustice and it is political & social commitment of any artist in general. The debate touches many pertinent questions about the motive and tone of art ranging from pulp vs. literary, romanticist vs. realist, committed writer vs. aestheticism of artist, individual choice Vs politically charged.
This film could be made better if Nihalani avoided few clichés and repetition of scenes enhancing the shadows of multiple characters. He used abundance of mirror shots here where most of characters at least once face his/her reflections in mirror. Too much! What irritate me in the film is unnecessary self indulgent, certain irreverent scenes and theatrical drama enacted by few characters. Yes, the directorial idea lies in showing us the shallow and pretended reality of all those escapist social elites and creative men of various fields living illusory existence of their own emptiness. But it becomes too drag and discursive. The most overacted or rather over-reacted act of the entire film belongs to Rohini Hattangadi. Is this the performance for which she won National award! Hers is the most itching part to see in Nihalani film, which seems clearly lifted one from typified Mahesh Bhatt character. It would be better if instead of her, we would have seen more of other talented actors like Shafi Inamdar & Benjamin Gilani. Thanks Manohar Singh who just like always performed his act with utter conviction.
Party is indeed well effort, the only regret is it could be made better and more provocative one.