By Amrik Chakraborty
“Saeed Akhtar Mirza is one of those filmmakers I highly admire. I am going to talk about his 1980 classic and one of my favorite films Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hain. What I am most attracted about Mirza is the way he constructs a satirical plot with such authenticity.
Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hain, captures the anger of a worker, in Mumbai exemplified by a young Christian car mechanic, Albert Pinto (played flawlessly by Naseer Saab) who believes that if he works hard and develops the ideology of the rich and works with them, one day he can also be successful. His father is a factory worker currently on a strike with his fellow laborers. This bothers Albert very much.
He looks at strikes as something nugatory and purposeless until the day his father comes home wounded and bruised as he’s beaten by the goons sent by the owners of the factory to stop the strike. He witnesses the ugly face of capitalism. How devastating it can get for not only the workers but also their families.
One scene from this movie is etched on my memory. Albert questions himself, “Are strikes really useless?” So he visits one of his regular customers’ house, who happens to be very rich. When Albert is about to leave, that man says, “Apne baap ko manao ke yeh strike-wike ke chakkar mein na pare, yeh toh badmash aur gunde logo ka kaam hain!” and that is the time when Albert realizes that this person, who has all the luxury in the world and doesn’t have even a bit of idea about the consequences of his actions on the ‘majdoors’ and what they have to face every bloody day. How hard is it for him to say that strikes are useless?
Usually, when I watch a film, I try not to get carried away by emotions and I try to understand the craft. But Saeed Akhtar Mirza does such magic that I can’t help but surrender myself to the film. After watching Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hain, every time I see any laborer working or carrying loads on his/her shoulder, I know that the weight on their shoulders is not just of what they are carrying but also of capitalism, poverty and years of exploitation and misery.”
By Amrik Chakraborty