December 09, 2010

Legends and Oaths

The Gangetic plains were known since ancient times as the land of legends. And long long time ago there lived a noble prince. One day, he took two terrible oaths, unheard of in all Aryavat. History calls him Bhishma. His stories inspired his clan and the whole of India became oath takers. And all went well till one day Dharam Paji said, “kutte kamine main tera khun pi jaoonga” but did not go ahead and drink the blood at all. We lost our moral high ground.

But a few years after that, a boy was born. His parents named him like a nice Bengali boy should be named, but Fate had decided otherwise. He was soon called Banjo. This is his story, rather the story of his oath.

Banjo loved watching movies. He also felt a close connection to Bollywood and more so to Johnny Lever, the first to travel to the path of light from the soap lines. But then the world in his times worshipped the Khans. Dejected, he decided to watch all movies and write “chote chote, chote chote” reviews about them. In all his innocence one day he wanted to watch a movie about snakes and brain tumour and a woman and a foolish police officer. And people told him, “Banjo, you want to watch porn? What’s wrong with you?” Some even advised, “there are some websites, you know. You might want….”

That’s when the soul of Pitahmaha Bhisma spoke in his ears and Banjo promised, “I shall not write a review till I write the review of Hissss and a few more ssss” and it took him a trip outside Mumbai to finally watch it. And he kept his promise.

First of all, we have been unkind to the movie. It’s an amateurish movie but definitely I have watched worse ones. Let’s say it’s an Anaconda meets Species trying to emulate Nagin. Now that’s the biggest challenge. Nagin has always been Sridevi and probably a little bit of Reena Roy and a collection of not so great supporting cast did not help the cause of the movie. Irfaan Khan was wasted, at times the snake resembled a dinosaur. Ms. Sherawat did not have a dialogue through the movie and that really helped her. If only the screenplay made a little more sense and had intelligent dialogues, it would at least have been perfectly watchable.

Jootha Hi Sahi was an honest effort gone haywire. The story had an interesting plot but once you try to make a story all too predictable, it loses its charms. Also it does not make sense if you let go of the well timed comedy that made Jaane Tu so endearing. You understand why John needs to start his love story with a lie but then the events and the situations seem very strained and set up. He lies, plays a dual role for the girl he loves, Madhavan comes and rants and raves for no apparent reason, there is a Japanese guy who keeps on proclaiming his love for a Pakistani girl, there is the customary gay story but none of them make any sense.

Golmaal 3 on the other hand delivers only what it promises. There is a complete lack of sense, everyone is an orphan, Mithun comes and does a cameo and I once again sigh at the brilliant actor who won 2 national awards.

Break Ke Baad is a movie that you can watch once but never twice. In fact, what happens after Break Ke Baad is completely confusing. The concept makes sense. After 10 years, you just might feel the itch and decide to see how things might work out if you take a break. And the story is convincing. It also shows the usual problems if a relationship becomes one sided or if distance and time zones come between two people, all very realistically. But why they came back to each other after Break ke Baad, is something which many intelligent friends of mine failed to understand. Leave me alone, as I said, I watch every movie and find them convincing.

Khelen Hum Jee Jaan Se was the biggest disappointment so far, maybe because I expected so much out of it. Ashutosh Gowarikar must take a leaf out of RGV. If a movie is becoming too long just make it in two parts :) It was an honest attempt to showcase a forgotten chapter of Indian Freedom Struggle. Abhishek with his restrained acting negated some of his horrifying hollers in Raavaan. Deepika and Vishakha Singh were a delight to watch. But the movie was slow and it missed the chance of being one more Valkyrie. Also it did not help that I was watching the movie with two of my oldest friends. Here are some of the gems I heard during the movie,

“Arre, this part about love story was not in our text book”

“He should have made a movie about Khudiram. Would have been short.”

“I am sure he did not make so many blunders in real life like Abhishek Bachhan is doing.”

“Arre, the kids are being sent to Andamans. What have they seen in life? He at least married once”

“Don’t cry yet. I am sure someone else will die soon.”

But the point is that a tighter script perhaps would have made a better movie, instead of giving us the sense of watching a very well made documentary. But I highly recommend it just for seeing how a bunch of young actors bloomed under the direction of a great director. As slowly the realization of the futility of their endeavour began to sink in, the young revolutionaries’ faces spoke of their dejection.

Aakrosh was one of the most powerful movies of recent times. Brilliant casting of Akshaye Khanna and Ajay Devgan ensured that Priyadarshan’s foray out of family comedies was successful. It might not have been a box office rage but it definitely was a story well told. I guess when you make movies on topics that media has already made a movie out of, it loses its sheen. Honour killings came in the mind space of the nation for a few months and then vanished again. As they say in the movie, “Let India win one match and the public forgets.”

But the movie to definitely not miss was the first instalment of Hari Puttar. The muggles who went to watch the movie thought it was boring and slow and that there was little or no magic. But for those Pottermaniacs amongst us this was a treat. True to the book, Deathly Hallows Part I was a perfect set up for the brilliant Part II we all are eagerly waiting for. But this Harry Potter is not for your little niece. Like you, Harry too has grown up. And that’s what makes it more real. We all grew up with him and we like to see the boy wizard finally fulfil his destiny.

The oath is fulfilled and Banjo is back. Bhishma rests once again in peace.


Shrutz said...

Welcome back, WNB, welcome back :)

Nitin Bhadauria said...

Honestly, I did get a lump in my throat when I saw KHJJS - to see teenagers driven by a cause so dear to their mind and soul that they are ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of it. On the other hand, my friend was yawning through the whole action. But, Ashutosh Gowariker has never been an exercise in restraint and in the end, the action really begins in the second half. And I think the find of the movie would rather be the guy who played Anant Singh!!