Friday, January 25, 2008

No big deal about the missing Sunday!

I’d like to title this film – How to kill an interesting plot!
To write anything about suspense thriller means giving away the suspense. But then, believe me, when you’ll come to know of the suspense, you’ll be disappointed anyways.
The film is based on a runaway telugu low budget hit film that was shot in 90 days and went on to win many awards for best screenplay and best actress. The film was “Anukokunda Oka Roju” and was appreciated a lot. Go to mouthshut dot com and you’ll understand what I am saying.
I don’t know what they have changed in the hindi version but the hindi version seemed like a bland cocktail where the ingredients are right but may be the quantity is not.
Sahar (Ayesha Takia), a dubbing artiste, goes to attend a wild party on a Saturday and wakes up Monday morning. Almost two-three days later, she comes to know that she has missed a Sunday. That means almost till Wednesday, she was thinking that everything is fine. Her best friend Ritu (Anjana Sukhani) also doesn’t ask her any question like – why did you leave the club without telling me? Or what did you do on Sunday? She doesn’t receive any missed calls or messages that Sunday that’d tell her that she has indeed missed a day. It takes many goons and an accidentally recorded conversation to make her realize that.
Then there’s a corrupt cop Rajvir (Ajay Devgan), a cabbie (Arshad Warsi), a struggling actor (Irfan Khan) and many others who are suppose to provide one missing clue, one missing link. And then suddenly, almost like magic, the case is solved. A case about missing twenty eight hours had to be much more interesting and eventful.
Few scenes evoke laughter but those are the scenes you’ve already seen in the trailers running on all channels. Action sequences do not engage you either. Characters are ill-baked and their presence uncalled for. I felt the problem lies in the screenplay which doesn’t try to tie any loose ends. The bigger problem lies with the direction which was all stylization and no substance.

Ayesha looks pretty and does what the role demands. Ajay Devgan is okay. Anjana Sukhani is just there. Arshad and Irfan are really good and only saving grace. But alas, even they fail to save.
Irfan and Arshad provide you with few gags but that can’t be a good reason to watch this film in the theatre. There is show on filmy called “Meri bhains ko anda kyon mara” which shows comedy scenes from films. You’ll soon see the Arshad-Irfan scenes from Sunday in this program. So wait till then and spend your weekend money on some other film.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Name is XYZ

Reviews had already started pouring in and the comments were not at all positive. But the idea of watching a film in a recliner chair for seventy bucks, ten in the morning, is that however bad the film might turn out, you’ll still like it.
So, there I was ready to watch E-Niwas’s My Name is Anthony Gonsalves. The film was predictable and full of clichés right from the word GO. Now, I have seen GO too, but I am still trying to erase that terrible experience from my memory. Coming back to MNIAG, what really bothered me was the lethargic pace. I have generally liked E-Niwas’s work – I’ve seen Shool, Love ke liye kuchh bhi karega and Bardaasht. But MNIAG was not what I expected from him.
It starts off as story about a bartender who wants to become an actor. Then you come to know that he is mentored by a gangster. Then you come to know that he was brought up by a padre. Then he sees a girl in the cemetry and falls in love with her. Then he finds her as an assistant director in a production house. Then he sees his mentor trying to dump a body. Then he fights with his consciousness about sticking to truth or being loyal to his mentor. In between he overhears his mentor’s sidekicks plotting against the mentor and then draws comparision with the story of Julius Caesar for which he is auditioning. Just when you thought, the plot cannnot get any thicker, the film resolves by itself and ends on a happy note. So well, that’s all I can tell you about the storyline.

Several taps were opened like the Julius Caesar comparison, Saurabh Shukla angle, and several characters that come and act as if they are so important to the main story-line. But most of these taps are not closed and the film ends.
Nikihil Dwivedi is certainly not what you’d call “new kid on the block”. He has been presented as the next star but doesn’t work. In the bar song, when everyone cheers for Anthony to perform, you expect him to break into an amazing dance jig; but instead, you see him rapping in few successive wide shots. And then at the end of the song, you have people appreciating his “dance”. Whom are we trying to fool?
Amrita Rao, a pretty face with nothing to do. Lillete Dubey in a role that any junior artiste could have done.

It feels sad to see actors like Anupam Kher and Pawan Malhotra in good but badly executed roles. The storyline was good and am sure the film could have been much much better. I guess, Mithun’s judo in the climax was the only “paisa-wasool” thing. A scriptwriter friend of mine felt that “Apun Mumbai to kya, bandra chhod ke bhi nahi jayega” was also a paisa-wasool line.
All said and done, the film was neither in the category of meaningful cinema nor an entertainer. It was something that made me realize that a 2-hour film can also seem like a really really long film.