October 31, 2008

The Changing Face of Movies

Even though I am suffering from a severe cash flow issue and might have to be bailed out soon, I just can not seem to let go off the habit of watching every movie that gets released. At the cost of getting disowned by most people, I have to admit that I have watched Heroes, Roadside Romeo and Body of Lies at a stretch over the last few days. The point however is not to discuss how the movies were. It’s for you to decide. You have the choice to go and watch the movie and like or dislike it. And also say it out or not.

Long back, someone said to me, there are good movies and bad movies, just like there are books. I somehow do not agree. Every movie and book has something you might want to carry back with you. And if it doesn’t make sense to you, it might make to someone else. For example, I never found what was so extraordinary about Catcher in the Rye.

Anyway, the point of the post was how things have changed and how some things have not. We have travelled far from the enemy bashing jingoistic patriotism of Gadar and LOC. Heroes poses an important question, “Why should someone join the Indian Army?” It has been a question I have been asking myself for a long time. None of my friends are in the Army. From a total batch strength of around 200 in school, around 800 in BITS and around 230 odd in IIMB, not a single young man or woman moved into the armed forces.

Heroes could have become a second Lakshya if it did not try to placate all the friends the director and producer had made on their way. I would not want to see Sunny Deol fight 20 goons with his bare hands. I have seen Prahaar and after its realities I did not want to see a super human Sunny Deol.

There was an extremely telling moment in the movie lost in the histrionics of Sohail Khan. When a kid was asked if he went to the army who would take care of his mom, the kid answered, “Mom takes care of everyone. She can take care of herself. I shall take care of the nation.”

I think that’s what the movie was all about. Pride

Roadside Romeo is the first step of Indian animation towards adulthood and I do not care two hoots if Disney lent us a hand. If I can go and spend money on Meet the Robinsons, I can very well spend my money on Roadside Romeo. Javed Jaffrey steals the show with his overdone accent that reminds you of the stereotypes of the South that Bollywood so lovingly treasures. But seriously, someone should go and tell YashRaj Films that one can not live off DDLJ for ever. But frankly, after all the 2-D animations that hit the Indian screens recently, this was a step change.

I was watching True Lies on Star the other night, having come back from a morning show of Body of Lies. And I suddenly realized how the entire ball game had changed. Hollywood has no more any place for a Rambo or an Arnold. Of course till Bruce Willis can ride a wheelchair, he’ll continue to make Die Hard. But even then, Hollywood has agreed that terror is smarter and deadlier than it ever was imagined. It’s no longer about the Chinese stealing nuclear secrets or some mad hatter Russian scientist out to rule the world. It’s about terror that lives amongst us. Terror that’s full of lies, deceit, pawns and kings and a game of chess.

2 comments:

Joy said...

Banjo,

Heroes - An honest attempt must say... and to answer why not everyone does not want to go to army... may be we need to relook at the way our society brings us up... somewhere I can see that when a child expresses a wish to join the army.. parents scoff as if it were a taboo.... and for that matter, when it comes to choice of career, stereotypical parents in India choose and pick it from a set of

Job = f(Doctor, Engineer, MBA)...

Over last few years, i have seen things change... but itz still time for India to realize that they cannot just survive on Engineers, Doctors or MBAs alone.. there are other things also to do....

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Joy - I disagree. Though the majority falls for the subset of careers that you have mentioned, there are a lot more people doing other things with their lives. You just need to look at the professions like advertisements, event management, media.