Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hope Floats

I’ve been thinking about the point of this blog and blogging in general for some time now. I’m no wiser. I feel like writing something today so I will.

I just came back from a show of Jab We Met. The movie has received good reviews and being an incorrigible sucker for anything from Bollywood that seems remotely promising I not only watched it myself in a movie hall I persuaded a group of friends to watch it too. The movie made me want to tear my hair out in frustration at the Bollywood clichés, at its DDLJ redoing, at some lame comedy. I spent most of the film marveling at the illogic or making fun of the impracticality displayed by the characters or second-guessing the Director. The music seemed the only redeeming feature of an effort with often amateurish direction, poor editing and average acting. Moreover, one of the opening sequences that has a taxi plying at night through the streets of Ram Ganj or something similar has production values harking back to the era of cardboard boats and smoky caverns of Alif Laila and its ilk. But the interesting bit is this: I left the theatre full of good cheer. The “recency effect” worked full on in leaving me with a great aftertaste even though most of the movie was rubbish by ending the film with possibly its best scene followed by a nice, peppy number and above all, making the nice guy get the girl in the end.

The last Hindi movie I watched before this was Johnny Gaddaar. This movie got great press too but probably for different reasons. I was very impressed by its director’s earlier effort – Ek Hasina Thi. Johnny Gaddaar was extensively advertised as being derived from and containing references to a number of Hollywood, foreign language and old Hindi films. I watched the movie and thought it was total rubbish and was very surprised to see all the great reviews it seemed to get. I’m probably being too simplistic but I believe a large proportion of reviewers were just impressed by the long list of exotic films from all over the world that seemed to have collectively inspired the movie. I thought the actors were uniformly bad, barring some character actors who were either wrongly cast or poorly directed. Neil Mukesh, the hero, was consistently wooden and looked appropriately dumb for the kind of plan he hatched. Rimi Sen looked confused and worried as always. A word about the minor actors: just because they are ‘character’ actors, they aren’t automatically good actors. The direction was alright but the real fault lay with the script. For the kind of movie Johnny Gaddaar is, I’m justified in comparing it to Lock, Stock… and Snatch. These movies have stories that are driven by coincidences but they have so many coincidences that the viewer accepts them within the movie’s universe. This film had twists that were too few and too late and just jarred.

I’ll still go for Om Shanti Om.

Personal Blogs by Indian Bloggers