Thursday, June 21, 2007

To jhoom or not to jhoom...

I was not interested in watching Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. I am not a big fan of either of the starcast and was certainly not impressed by Bunty aur Babli. To top that, my friends who watched the film came back and said- “Koi free mein bhi ticket de to mat dekhna”. Taran Adarsh said, “The film is all gloss, no substance. Body beautiful, minus soul”. Ever cynical Raja Sen wrote, “The first half is merely, mindnumbingly boring, while the second gets exasperating. And it's all so inanely wasteful. There's nothing wrong with making a madcap comedy. Next time, though, a plot would be nice”.
So yesterday I decided to see the film for mere sadistic pleasure. I thought I will laugh at YR films, Abhishek and company, and Shaad and say, “what a waste man!”
But by interval, the only thing that had irritated me was the presence of cheese popcorn in my bag of plain salted popcorn.
When the film ended, I turned to my friend and said, “Itni buri bhi nahi thi yaar!”
Okay, so let me tell you what worked for me and what did not. Believe me friends; it’s personal, not business.
I liked the basic plot and the story. I sincerely felt that such story should have had the Basu Chatterji/ Hrishikesh Mukherji kind of treatment. The over-indulgence killed the story.
The screenplay should have been tighter. Preity walking against the escalator and Abhishek getting a tattoo were the two scenes that fell flat on their faces.
Abhishek has done a nice job. Lara was awesome and Bobby for once was very entertaining. Preity needed to put more energy in her role, she was the weakest of the lot.
Lara and Bobby actually have more interesting roles, never mind the length. Lara with her French accent in first half and abusive tone in the later half stole the show from right under everyone’s nose. Bobby was the surprise packet. When I look back, I wonder if anyone else could have fit in this role. It was the perfect casting.
The film suffers because of overdose of Punjabi. The filmmakers take it for granted that the whole of India understands Punjabi!! The songs and major comedy scenes were in thet Punjabi. I could understand so I was the only one laughing in the hall which had all of 15 people as the audience.
Gimmicks like playing “main jat yamla” or “Ye dosti hum nahi chhodenge” did not work at all. Mr. Director, please refrain from such acts in the future.
Vaibhavi Merchant needs special mention for her choreography, especially the pre-climax dance competition.
Amitabh Bachchan could have been utilized as a Sutradhaar but he was only breaking into a song (though at right moments) and not carrying story any further. And what was the need of telling the audience how they started creating stories and all. Once we come to know that they were creating stories, we know very well where they originated from.
All in all, it is worth a watch. See it just for Abhishek, Lara and Bobby. Go with zero expectations and to avoid any regrets later, chuck the popcorn.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Basu Da

Last night, when I saw Basu Da being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at IIFA, images of all his films that have deeply influenced me, played before my eyes.
Started with an off-beat film like Sara Akash, he was one of the pioneers of the parallel cinema movement. But he decided not to indulge into making movies that cannot be understood without a brochure and gave us middle of the path films. You'll realise what I mean if you look at his filmography -

He adapted literary works so well, whether its Rajnigandha from Mannu Bhandari's "Yehi Sach Hai" or Swami from Saratchandra's novel by the same name. Bernard Shaw's Pygmallion has been adapted to screen so many times but Basu Da's Manpasand holds its position.

His ear for good music can never be neglected. Just to mention a few:
Ye jeewan hai - Piya Ka Ghar
Rajnigandha phool tumhare - Rajnigandha
Na jane kyon - Chhoti Si Baat
Gori Tera Gaon - Chitchor
Ka Karoon Sajni - Swami
Koi Roko Na - Priyatama
Thoda Hai Thode Ki - Khatta Meetha
Kabhi kabhi sapna lagta hai - Ratnadeep
Suniye Kahiye - Baaton baaton mein
Rimjhim gire saawan - Manzil
Main Akela - Manpasand
Shyam rang ranga re - Apne Paraye
Jab bhi koi kangana bole - Shaukeen

Basuda, we need you to make a film again. Come out of your Banwaas.