Thursday, October 16, 2008
This blog was pending for some time now since I watched Rituparno Ghosh's latest experiment in story-telling 'The Last Lear'. This blog was meant mainly for the movie but with the recent advances leading Amitabh to the hospital and mourning his death today for a few minutes (of course a rumour), has led me to dedicate the blog to Amitabh Bachchan, whose acting incidentally happens to be the only thing in the movie to write about.
The Movie is based on a drama 'Ajker Shahjahan' by Utpal Dutt. It is about a stage artist, Harry, who lives Shakespere in every moment of his life. Due to some personal reasons he has already given up the stage and also has a great distaste for cinema. One day he meets Siddharth, a movie director much like the same in characteristics as himself. Siddharth manages to persuade him to do the lead role in his upcoming film. It was an unusual experience for Harry to watch a film being made and when asked by a journalist about the climax scene being done by a body double, he decides, against all odds, to do the life-threatening scene himself. He suffers the dread of trauma and ends up with a coma. The film is scheduled to be released on Diwali night besides the lead actor sleeping in coma. This is somewhat indigestible to Harry's partner Vandana. Moreover, Siddharth, the director, never even visited Harry's home after the accident to see him.
This is almost the whole about the story of the film which I think fails to connect with the masses and there are too many reasons for that. There is too much of Shakespere in the film and I don't really understand why. I have not read Shakespere's tragedy of King Lear but the wikipedia article on that led me to conclude that there was nothing in the film which could be connected to that story except for the fact that Harry wanted to enact King Lear once on stage but he couldn't do that. Maybe, Rituparno wanted to show the role of Harry as the circus clown in Siddharth's film as like King Lear but even that role didn't look like one; only the element of tragedy was similar. The personal rift of Preity Zinta (Harry's co-star in the film) with her husband and that between Divya Dutta (Harry's nurse) with her boyfriend has simply nothing to do with the story and it seems that it was done only to add some feminism to the movie, not understandable why.
Rituparno's projection as a director of different-looking films doesn't suffer much here. His style of film making truely comes out in this film with the ponderous speed and too much of the unnecessary melodrama in the film. Making a different film is not equivalent to making a good film and this is what Rituparno should understand sooner or later. The whole film is made in English and too much of shooting us done indoors (typical of Rituparno).
Amitabh as Harry (Harish Mishra) is adorably great and has done a job according to his capabilities after much time. Shefali as Vandana is good, Divya Dutta as Harry's nurse is wasted and useless. Arjun Rampal, as Siddhrth shocks me with his acting. I think its his best job till now in bollywood. Other actors are also good in their roles.
At last, Amitabh job is the only thing for which the film can be seen otherwise its better to skip it.
Monday, October 13, 2008
A Wednesday is a recent film written and directed by Neeraj Pandey. The promo of the film showed yet again a bomb-threatened Mumbai leading you to establish an idea about the film as yet another movie based upon terrorism and terrorists. With the recent upsurge of terrorism in our part of world i.e. south-east Asia, we have in past few years seen so many of these terrorist movies that now I am getting confused about which film was that one or the other one. Watching this film was again not a different feeling till 77 minutes (out of total 94 minutes of movie) where from the movie takes a strange turn and the whole context of the story changes. Though I have (not in many movies) seen common man being dragged into some evil job or him taking on the evil men of the society especially after one of his kin suffers the terrorism, this movie here is something different.
It is about a “stupid common man”, as the character introduces himself, who wants to “clean his house”. The house is his country and what he wants to clean off is terrorism. He is not some superman or some he-man who will shave off every evil from the society but only tries to show a path to awaken the sleeping common people. He only gives you a start on which a splendid end can be phrased. This is in short what the director wants to tell which I don’t agree with and I would come on that later in this blog.
The story starts with the voice of Anupam Kher playing Prakash Rathore, commissioner of police, Mumbai who before his retirement (scheduled to be on the next day) is recalling one of the cases he handled. The case occurred on a Wednesday when a man (Naseeruddin Shah) calls him and says that he has planted several bombs all over the city and wants four of dreadly terrorists out of imprisonment. For the purpose of authenticity he also plants a bomb in a police station just in front of the police headquarters. He has a completely worked out plan of action for this and is unreachable. Finally he gets the terrorists out of the prison and with a full proof-plan, gets them to a runway of an air-base. There he gets those terrorists killed and this is the twist in the tale. After this he reveals himself and then follows an emphatic speech about the common man and his sufferings; the same age old speech of bollywood on this topic is repeated.
The screenplay is really fantastic and keeps you bound all throughout. The director manages to keep the suspense of the film till the very end and really gives you a real shock with the twist; it is superbly great, truly uncommon in bollywood movies are such a fabulous twist. The performances are of the highest order. Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah are both, as usual, brilliant. Anupam portrays the commissioner with all its essence and who can be better than Naseer in showcasing a common man; really commendable performances. Jimmy Shergil and others are good in their little cameos.
Now coming back to the topic which I left earlier, it is a good idea to show in a film about common man doing all this. But is it possible practically? I heard somebody telling that this film should be shown to as many Indians as possible, even if only 1 lakh of them manage to wake up, it will bring an end to 4 lakhs terrorists. Really a nice idea!!! But is it authentic outside the filmy world? I don’t think so. Yes, I agree to the point that what is the need to keep such terrorists alive when you know they have taken hundreds of innocent lives, yes I agree to this. But I don’t agree to the point that common people should take law in their hands to do such a thing. Police is there to do that and let it do its own job and let us support them. When an encounter occurs many of us stand against it saying it brutal and inhumane. There I think, we should be supporting our police and yes I firmly believe our police to be given more of the power to deal with all this.
Final word for the film, really “pathbreaking” rather “pathfinding”!!!
Thursday, October 09, 2008
It's been a long time since I have been out of blogging. Was only busy doing the routine studies compensating for my time that I gave to blogging and internet in the past few months. Anyways, as usual, with studies there are some movies that I saw recently and there are some which I saw earlier and could not write about but with these recent movies they inadvertently came to my mind and I think this will be the right time to write about these.
In this blog I want to focus mainly on ‘Kidnap’ and ‘Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na’ rather I should say on Imraan Khan. Kidnap is the most recent movie I saw and Imraan’s second appearance on the screen after Jaane Tu…….. Both these films have nothing in common except the name of Imraan Khan; even for him, its only the name that is common, the role is completely different, not even a single shade is common.
Kidnap a Sanjay Gadhvi film starring Imraan, Minisha Lamba and Sanjay Dutt is a suspense thriller that presents Imraan in a grey shade just opposite to the chocolaty Imraan in Jaane tu…. It is a story about revenge that Imraan takes from Sanjay Dutt for his injail-ruined childhood. To save his friend’s life the adolescent Imraan steals Sanjay’s car with his daughter only to return it after his friend is saved. He only manages to have a head-on accident with the car ramming into a tree with Sanjay’s daughter severely injured. Sanjay, with his approach, manages to have a seven year imprisonment for the boy for attempting to steal his car and abducting his daughter. After 15 years Imraan comes back and abducts Sanjay’s daughter (Minisha) in reality and wants Sanjay to feel sorry for what he did years ago. This is the storyline of the film in short. The credits of the film were presented in the very beginning with the whole story of child Imraan going to jail and feeling the pity of it with the help of cartoon sketches. Film started with introduction of Minisha with a song and soon after her abduction when she goes to swimming alone at a manless beach just after a spat with her mother. Imraan makes Sanjay follow his instructions on phone and provides him with clues to catch him after every instruction is correctly followed. Finally, Sanjay is able to crack the clues and then the whole story of 15 years run in flashback in a quite short time. While watching the film many a times I felt it to be similar with the story of ‘Zinda’ another of Sanjay starrer thriller. The story and the script has nothing much new to present, direction is disappointing, music avoidable, casting pathetic, and the performances more so.
Vidya Malvade (the Chak De goalkeeper) plays Minisha’s mother. Can anybody tell me from which angle does she look like Minisha’s mother? There were scenes were minisha looked like her mother or at best she looked like her elder sister. Anyway, moving on with the cast, Imraan, I think suits well in chocolaty roles. He is too cute for doing this role; nonetheless his performance is quite powerful and this only is his looks that he misfits in this role for. Sanjay Dutt, I feel, is doing the right job, at 50+ now, by doing roles of father of the heroine and in the meantime, doing the role of hero as well. I think the 45+ Khans of the industry should really think over this.
Now the performances, I am really impressed by Sanjay’s energy (and this energy is the only thing I am impressed with in Sanjay's acting in this film) that he has put in this film at an age of well over 50. Vidya is pathetic (I am sorry for my instant vocabulary, I couldn’t get a better rather worse word to describe her here). Imraan is good and Minisha does nothing. All in all, Kidnap is a film to watch only when you think you have too much of money to waste.
Few words for ‘Jaane TU… Ya Jaane Na’, a Aamir Khan produced film introducing his nephew Imraan. I had a lot of expectations from the film with Aamir (my favourite actor) producing the film. I thought it to be another of the perfect work from the Mr. Perfectionist. Disappointingly, the film was only OK maybe due to the high expectations that were from the film with Aamir’s name connected to it. Nevertheless, it had many positives also. Abbas Tyrewala as the director is good and better as the lyricist. His dialogues in Munnabhai M.B.B.S are loved by one and all and here he manages to bring the same magic with the hunky-funky lyrics on the even more hunkier-funkier music by A.R. Rahman. The songs are really nice and a bit new in flavor although many of them are meaningless. Anyway, Imraan impressed ne and all with his performance and another newcomer from south Jelenia Desouza also looked quite fresh. Naseruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak-Shah are surprisingly disappointing in their short cameos probably because they were not needed in the film. So where Sohail and Arbaaz Khan, who always were able to bring headaches on. The story was very simple, the same old ‘Ek larka aur ek larki sirf achhche dost nahi ho sakte’. Nevertheless, the film was OK at least once watchable.