Monday, November 22, 2004

Diwali at Bollywood

I am finally done with seeing all the Diwali Hindi releases...Now brace urself for the surprise....None of them impressed.. Not that I am hard to please but simply put, all the 3 biggies were high on hype and low on content.

If being 'different' ensured success, then Ramu would have undoubtedly been the most successful film-maker of the last decade. If there is one common thread between Satya, Rangeela, Daud, Mast, Kaun, Company, Bhoot and Naach then it would have to be Ramu's ability in presenting a very commonplace subject in a refreshingly hatke manner.. But then sometimes it has clicked as with Rangeela, Satya and Bhoot and more often than not failed as with Daud, Mast and Kaun.

In a lot of ways, Naach is Ramu's follow up and tribute to Rangeela..The comparisons are unavoidable and there are more than a few similarities at a script level. I shall not get into the details of the story line for you will find that in most of the reviews on the net..But to give you an idea of what to expect, Naach is different from Rangeela in the sense that its not escapist fare - no fun and frolic, no light humor - the treatment is mature and intense.

Secondly, in a story woven around song and dance, the music in Naach is a big let down. Rangeela was a rage thanks to AR Rahman's zingy score but the music of Naach falls flat. Another problem with Naach is the choice of Antara Mali to play the female lead. Performance wise she is strictly average and she tries too much to do an Urmila.. After all an original is still an original.

What rocks
* the character sketch of Ritesh Deshmukh
* stylistically shot frames capturing Mumbai

What jars
* the pace - imagine the speed of the winner of a slow cycling competition for snails
* the voyeuristic visuals in the songs

Coming from the stables of India's homegrown thriller kings, Aitraaz flatters to deceive. With a track record that boasts of hits like Humraaz, Ajnabee, Baazigar and Baadshah (which i still reckon is one of SRKs more tolerable performances), this is the second turkey within a few months from the talented duo of Abbas-Mustan after that disatrous Tarzan.

As usual, Aitraaz is also inspired by a Hollywood hit (this time its that Demi Moore movie DISCLOSURE). The starcast with the handsome hunk Akshay Kumar romancing the sultry siren Priyanka Chopra and the ethereal Kareena Kapoor (droooooooooool) sounds enticing but believe me, it isn't. The characters are half-baked, the twists in the plot can be seen a mile away and the songs are great excuses to visit the Johnny or have a smoke. The direction appears tired and the dialogues, though aimed at winning over the masses, are plainly ludicrous. (Check out Priyanka's imaginative vocabulary when she explains to the court how Akshay has a 'go' at her...So funny) I shan't waste more words on this movie coz i kinda get the feeling you guys will get the drift.

What rocks
* Some nice skin show :-)
* Hmmm... Hmmm... Thinking...

What jars
* Everything other than what was mentioned above

Okie, I hate SRK and I hate Yash Chopra. And worse still, I reallly really hate them together. Haven't still forgotten DTPH and Maya ... Shivers....

Anyone and everyone who'd seen Veer Zaara before me had had nothing nice to say about it.. and when the reactions are as extreme as this, I usually leave my critical hat back home and jes relax hoping to take away some positives atleast...But sadly, Veer Zaara had very few of them. The biggest flaw IMHO was the absolute lack of soul in the whole story.. Be it the tender romantic moments or the sentimental rona dhona scenes, everything seemed so superficial - my lachrymal glands had absolutely no exercise for 3.5 hours and doesn't that say a lot ? Leaving aside the designer streaked jeans that SRK wears when the story is set in 1982 (thanks to his 'buddy' Karan Johar's costume sense) and New Zealand which we are supposed to believe as Punjab, there are so many other goofups that they inadvertently contribute to some of the funniest cinematic moments in this 3.5 hour epic (??)

What rocks
* All the songs esp Aisa Des Hai Mera (without any doubt the best song for me in the movie)...When Gurdas Mann came in for that small cameo, I so dearly wanted to get up and dance with that plump Sardar kid sitting two rows below me..
* Amitabh Bachchan - YES, YOU ARE SEEING IT RIGHT.. AB actually rocks in this film...
* Excellent camerawork
* The Punju dialogues and i got 'em all thanks to a sweet pal who'd come with me for the movie (LUL ...but for that kick you gave me when I whistled for Manoj Bajpai)

What jars
* Everything else especially SRK - all the jail sequences are examples worthy of emulation for students of the ACTING IS HAMMING school.

In hindsight, maybe I should have just watched Mughal-e-Azam in color.. Sigh....


Anonymous said...

So are you game for Mughal-e-Azam this weekend?

Yeah, i'm asking you out.

Jupe said...

Oh Gawd...Now who on earth is this..Why can't ppl sign off with their names...or atleast initials baba...Grrrrr...Am not replying till then...

Anonymous said...

Maybe tis me. Maybe tis that soni Punjabi kudi who saw VZ with you. Maybe Aunty has finally found out your blog. Maybe tis Perizaad Zorabian ;)

In case you find out who, can I know ? Bother not, Kuriousity wont Kill this Kat :)

Jupe said...

Twasn't a 'sony Punjabi kudi' but a Delhi Gult who knew the language..Neway she doesnt even know of my blog... Hmmm....

Howz Chennai ? Packin' sub khatam ?

Anonymous said...

Maybe its ME!

Anonymous said...

wat use is it if u r 6'2" and have an IQ of wotever, if u cant GUESS?

Anonymous said...

Is it a YES, a NO or a MAYBE?

Jupe said...

"Eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Guessed who it was loooong time bak :-p

1. I am sorry its a NO coz I have a wedding I need to definitely be present at this weekend :-)))))))))))))))))))))))

2. Btw, its 6'1" and I'm bloody eager to hear u place a value to WOTEVER :-P

Anonymous said...

And how do I know if you guessed right?