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.