Category Archives: movie review

The Ghost Writer : Polanski’s Political Thriller

I have always wondered how a blogger or a lyricist or a screenwriter feels, when their work is out in the public, but they get no credit for it. No, I am not talking about their work being plagiarised. I was referring tho the fact that, there are many anonymous artists who sell their work to better known artists; those works get publicised and win accoldaes. But the original artist only gets his renumeration, maybe paid by the hour, and manages to keep the kitchen fire burning. How does it feel to be a ghost-painter or a ghost-lyricist or a ghost writer, in this case!

The movie, of course, is not about that. Far from it, the movie is a fantastic political thriller. The protagonist, Ewan McGregor, agrees to ghost-write an autobiography of the ex-PM of UK. Adam Lang, the ex-PM played by Pierce Brosnan, is in the process of getting his autobiography published. But his manuscript needs some work to be done, to make it presentable and interesting.

Adam Lang did have a ghost-writer, Mike McAra, but he was found dead, one fine morning. Lang has led an interesting life and his political career has been marked by some very unusual decisions taken during office. And that’s what needs to be captured before people lose interest in him; and so the novel has to be out within 4 weeks. Its more of a financial gain that we are talking about. What gives McGreggor an edge is the fact that he is not politically active, so he can unravel a few facts about Lang whoch could interest the readers. Step-in, McGreggor, who agrees to ghost-write it in 4 weeks for an amount of 10 million dollars, not knowing that his predecessor was actually killed.

McGreggor reaches the secluded whereabouts of Langs residence, somewhere on east coast on USA, and is shown around by his beautiful secretary Amelia with whom Lang shares a special camaraderie of over 8 years. So, Ewan begins the homework by interviewing Lang and asking him about his passion and how he landed into politics. It was a well known fact that Lang was a Cambridge student and much intersted in dramatics. Then, how did politics happen to him!

These questions are too uncomfortable for Lang, as he does not want to discuss that. All he wants his ghost-writer to capture is Lang – the politician, and not Lang – the dramatist. Anyways, McGreggor’s curiosity gets the better of him. He starts snooping around the house and even tries to take the manuscript out of the tightly secured room so he can write in leisure.

But his efforts all go in vain. And as McGreggor finishes reading the manuscript, he realises that there is way too much work to be done in 4 weeks. And Lang’s mood swings and his strained relationship with his wife was not helping McGreggor. He was not sure why Lang and his wife, Ruth, could not get along with each other, but he was too scared to ask Lang.

He slowly gets to know Mrs.Lang, who makes him feel really comfortable. She is more of a reluctant speaker and less of an outgoing person. But what strikes McGreggor about her, is the insecurities that she faces. It almost seems like they are a normal couple where the wife complains about the hubby’s beautiful secretary always being by his side. And she isn’t getting much attention or the love and affection that she deserves.

Things start moving quickly as McGreggor moves into the room where his predecessor was put-up. And here he finds some very incriminating photographs and artifacts that paint a totally different picture of Lang. It becomes more important than ever, to disclose Lang’s past even as he is accused of siding with America on the handover of suspected terrorists to USA; while he was in office. The pressure from the human rights activists mount over Lang as they want him to be tried in the court for war crimes. Lang decides to fly across the Pacific to douse the fire.

This gives McGreggor the right opportunity to do some investigation/research. But he is caught in a spot of bother as he goes about his detection work and the timelines press on. Its a movie that keeps you on the edge of the seat as he takes the SUV to interview some of the people mentioned in Lang’s manuscript. He endangers his own life knowing very well that if and when the book is out, he would get no credit for it. Maybe a small footnote or a mention somewhere, but not the credit of co-writing it.

Any movie on politics is fraught with danger of getting too boring or too involved in people rather than events. But this movie is evenly balanced as it discusses people and events together. It takes us through Lang’s life without getting stuck on details or over-emphasizing on minor issues. The writers have done a wonderful job to keep the screenplay tight and the dialogues crisp. The movie does slow down a bit, in the middle portion, but soon picks up pace again.

The director of the movie, Roman Polanski, has handled the movie with very firm grip. He does not let it slip even for a moment. The emotional moments and the sobbing is not overdone, and the suspense is maintained throughout. We are always with the ghost-writer and never lose track of the purpose of the movie. Its to the director’s credit that he has extracted excellent performances from everyone.

Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGreggor are mature actors, nevertheless, they need to be told what is to be done. And that, they do very well. Brosnan’s outrage as well his romanticsim is very natural. Lang’s affection for his secretary and ignorance of his wife, comes across a fine character sketch of the man that Brosnan portrays. So, is Ewan’s fear of the unknown and his sense of urgency. We feel it for every moment, how his life is in danger.

The book does get published finally, but at what cost is to be seen. And wait to see how McGreggor is rewarded for his work. He leads an existence of no consequence, and the movie shows what happens when people try to unveil what’s behind the curtains. A ghost writer lives in anonymity, forever.

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 9, 2012 in hollywood, movie review, movies


Tags: , , , ,

It’s Love In Bihar

There have been many occasions when I have walked past playgrounds on my way to home. And quite a few times I have been fascinated by the children playing a game of cricket or football. Maybe it reminds me of the good old days or maybe I just need to relax a bit, whatever it is, I just stand and watch the game. For no reason, no entertainment, no gains as such; just killing time. I would not have anything to do at home either, so why not just stand and watch. The game gives me no joy, no fulfillment, serves no purpose and yet I while away my time. Say 15-20 mins or half an hour, not much. That amount of time goes unaccounted for!

Watching this movie, and many other movies in the past, have been of such experience. The movie just goes on and on, like the games that I watch. It fails to entertain, its not meant to leave an impact, its not subject based; its just like passing the ball from one foot to another without scoring a goal.

The players are good, Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor and the promising Anand Tiwari whom I last saw in Aisha. We have a newcomer Sita Spada and quite a few character actors who have played their part ok, but not good enough. The entire team seems uninspired and the slow story telling does not help at all.

The movie is set in Bihar, but it could have been set anywhere. We have a firang, Sita Spada, who wishes to visit Madhubani in Darbhanga, Bihar. The reason for the visit is to study the paintings from that region, as that is a subject of her research. But that’s such a lame excuse for a tourist visit because Sapna, the firang, does not even seem to know about Kali vanquishing a demon under her feet and she hasn’t seen the painting of Lord Shiva before. These things are supposed to be elementary, especially if you want us to believe that someone comes such a long way to do research!

Keshu, played by Anand Tiwari, is son of a truck driver. Some background info on Keshu now. He is rusticated from college because he helped his friends in an exam. The question paper was tough, but he did not help them copy answers. He did the next best thing, he just eased the tension by spreading laughing gas. Second worst use of NO2 in a movie, first worst being Housefull.

The moment Keshu sees Sapna, you know what’s going to happen; the flow of hormones triples in the body. The movie just drags along like a slow push cart, as you know where the cart is heading for. And that’s when two twists occur within a span of 10 minutes. I will tell you about the twist, as I believe that, the twist may push you  into wathcing the movie; else there is no reason. The push cart now wishes to fly like a jet, but not on wooden wheels please!

Firstly, just when Keshu thinks of proposing to Sapna, her boyfriend arrives. Keshu is heart-broken as he watches them smooch. But even before she gets to spend fun time with her boyfriend and even before Keshu starts sulking, Sapna gets kidnapped. The small scale industry in UP-Bihar kicks in, to grab their space on-screen !

What happens next is anybody’s guess, but how it happens, keeps you engaged. The last half of the movie is much better than the first half. With Vinay and Rajat in the starcast, I was hoping for some good comedy and maybe a revival of the ‘Bheja Fry’ times. But no! Vinay Pathak as a drunk hawaldaar who has not had a single permosion in his job, takes up the kidnapping case to redeem himself. And Rajat Kapoor as the ‘unfortunate’ DSP of the district isn’t very good either.

The dialogues are very pedestrian and the movie is predictable in most parts. The only credible bit was the dialect and the lingo; it was consistent and everyone spoke it well. But the biggest problem is with the story telling. The direction is a slack job! The movie could have been better, if they had avoided the cliches and if the writing had been a little better. But, I guess, jo dooba, so dooba.

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 12, 2011 in bollywood, movie review, movies


Tags: , , , , ,

Tell Me O Khuda

Its so true that if you don’t learn from past mistakes, you will end up repeating them. Easier said than done, because every time we make an effort in the hope that the result would be different and positive, it only drags us back into muddy waters of the past.

About two decades ago, I was standing in a queue for movie tickets of a Shahrukh Khan and Divya Bharti starrer. It was their 2nd movie, after the blockbuster Deewana. And I was at Orient theatre in Calcutta, hoping that the tickets don’t sell-out before I get to the window. The movie was Dil Aashna Hai, first directorial venture of Hema Malini. But that did not matter at all, as I was there to see Divya and SRK.

The movie was a multi-starrer with Dimple Kapadia, Amrita Singh, Jeetendra, Mithun and Kabir Bedi. It was supposed to be a suspense drama wherein Divya Bharti, an adopted child who becomes a bar dancer, is out to find her real parents and the reason for abandoning her. SRK loves Divya, inspite of her profession, and wants to help her in this noble cause. This new purpose of life takes her to three doorsteps of rich wealthy couples who have a good standing in society. But will any of the high society couples disclose their past, and not just that, but also accept her as their daughter? That’s where the story meanders and becomes episodic in nature. Needless to say, the movie bombed at the BO. I felt cheated but I still remember the day.

So, after two decades, neither has Hema Malini learnt her lesson nor I. She is still walking around with the same story and to re-tell it once more, in the hope of finding a new audience who might be willing to appreciate it or even watch it. And I still end up becoming an audience for her movie.

As we get into the movie, TMOK, we quickly realize that the movie is a CLV for Esha Deol. You maye have heard of GSLV(Geosynchronous Satellite Launch vehicle) and PSLV (Polar SLV). So, this is a Career Launch Vehicle for her. Most star kids have just a single shot at the launch vehicle, but quite a few privileged ones have multiple shots at it. So, its kind of re-launch, but that would sound demeaning; so lets settle for “launch”.

The point is, she is in every frame of the movie; even when its not required. And she is doing everything, and that too in a good way and not goofing it up! So, she is a successful writer [a la Chetan Bhagat but in female disguise], a good camel racer (she wins the camel race in Rajasthan and dedicates it to the Girl Child), she is mind healer who also doubles up as a psychiatrist because the producer was running out of money since she spent too much on getting Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna on board, and Esha also makes a don from Goa cry like a baby. Yes, she finally made Dharam paji cry on her failure to launch all by herself that she needed the entire family support.

I think they unnecessarily squeezed in Johnny Lever to play a comic side-kick who works in a municipality ward of a hospital that burnt down during the great fire of 1986. Unnecessary because the movie had a lot of unintentional laughs, but I guess no one had a good sense of humour to see that. Arjan Bajwa, a supposedly nice friend who helps Esha in the cause of finding her parents, has to bear with her and cross-dress and live in guest houses and carry a ring around, while Esha prances from one household to another. And if this was not enough, he had another side-kick; so a side-kick to a side-kick. That makes it double the kick for the audience!

Anyways, finally after 2.25 hours of pain and agony and suffering and small bursts of unintentional laughs, the audience is finally relieved when the end credit rolls. Not sure if people waited that long, so let me do a small social service and declare that Salman Khan was there in an item song when credit rolled. But tragically, that screen space was eaten up by Esha too. I warned you earlier, she was in every frame!

On hindsight, I think Hema Malini’s first attempt with DAH was much better than TMOK. I am not mocking now, duh! This has been an expensive mistake and not the best way to learn a small lesson. Hopefully, both of us, Hema and I, will not repeat this; ever again. Hopefully!

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 8, 2011 in bollywood, movie review, movies


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Soundtrack : Chand Raahein, Ek Manzil

A pitcher plant is a strange shrub, its carnivorous. Who could imagine that an inocuous looking plant could eat up an insect. Thanks to its pitfall traps and the complex solution within, it engulfs an insect and bathes it in the mucilage and sucks the nutrients. Thereby, totally dissolving it and gaining nourishment out of it.

In the movie, Raunak Kaul is the insect which falls prey to the glamourous life of a successful DJ. Music is his calling as he joins Tango-Charlie nightclub and showcases his talent with remix of a sufi song Fakira which is his own creation. The success is followed by mucilage of drinks and babes and drugs; and he drowns in the pitfall as success goes to his head. And like a pithcer plant, the bad habits pull him in and refuses to release him.

As he goes down the path of drug abuse and trance music, his hearing power keeps reducing and it comes to a point that he turns deaf. The ENT specialist advises him to remain in an isolated environment and no deafening sound should reach the thin walls of his ears. Raunak has something which other insects don’t, that’s will power and self belief. Raunak’s will-power pushes him to lock himself in a room and insulate it with cushion. But the damage is already done.

Anyhow, he pulls himself together and his self belief sets him on a new journey. This phase of his life is about ablution, washing away the sins of his past. As he begins treading on this new path, to interact with the world again, he realises how badly he abused his sense organ. This is almost like the rebirth of the insect who is now aware of the viciousness of the pitcher plant.

The director, Neerav Ghosh, has a big vision of dealing with a different subject, although inspired. There are lots of references to Beethoven, the genius who composed music even after doing deaf. So, you can easily guess where the movie is going and what could be the conclusion. But the screenplay has been cleverly written; it keeps you engaged. It also gives you the feel of watching a documentary or a biography, as DJ Aqeel and Anurag  Kashyap speak about Raunak as being the next best thing to have happened to the music scene. But the movie is let down by some mediocre dialogues; the writing could have been better. Neerav has previously written ‘Mithya’ which wasn’t a bad first-attempt.

For a movie based on sounds and music, it was important that the soundtrack be good.  And Medieval Punditz deliver on this front. From the first scene where Raunak walks into the city, he is accompanied by varied background noises which is actually music to ears. There is sound all around us, and that’s emphasized very well. But the consistency was missing as the DJ act started breaking down soon after Fakira song.

‘What the eff is going on’ song is just a catchy phrase, not backed by a strong vocal or music arrangement. I was reminded of LSD, where the song ‘I can’t hold it any longer’  worked very well because of the attitude in the voice of Sneha Khanwilkar and the energy that she put in the song. The background score was ok, but the last song redeems the movie with ‘Chand  Rahein Ek Manzil’ Ho song.

The movie has a nice cameo by Soha Ali Khan, who is a nice refreshing change. And Mohan Kapoor has done a good job as well. But its Rajeev all the way. The last song, mentioned above, could well be the story of the main lead Rajeev Khandelwal who plays Raunak. He has been very choosy about his movies. He started his career with Aamir and followed it up with Shaitan; and now this. He is trying different things, and I wish him all the luck as I wait for Peter Gaya Kaam Se.

Do watch the movie if you get a chance.

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez


Posted by on October 30, 2011 in bollywood, movie review, movies


Tags: , , , , ,

Dosti Vs Fraaandship

About 9 years ago, in 2002, Yashraj released an out-dated romantic movie garbed as a youthful watch and titled it ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge’! Of course, no one befriended the movie. Quite the opposite, the audience ran away from the theatres.

The movie had high production value, great starcast, not-so-bad story idea. But damn! gobi ke parathe had more prominence than Hrithik Roshan. The movie was just for TRP (Tina, Raj & Pooja) and their silly banters. I shall spare you the details because I would rather hope that you watch and suffer as I did.

Anyways, the idea of a identity mismatch, especially due to human design and not technical glitch, is an old one. So, Pooja interacts with Raj, using Tina’s email id while Raj presumes its Tina who is showering him with love, care and concern. Raj falls in love with Tina, without knowing that it’s Pooja who should be receiving his attention. It takes about 2.5 hrs and a Uday Chopra to get the entire confusion sorted out. So, that was Dosti  in 2002 when orkut was not in yet or may have been in nascent stages.

In 2011, Dosti mysteriously becomes Fraaandship! And believe me, there is no Punjabi character in the movie except for rockstar Rahul Sareen. Preity is besotted with Rahul and loves the idea of falling in love with him, after the rock concert that she attends.

On the other side of the fence is Vishal who loved Malvika’s peppy nature and the way she flambouyantly stepped on the stage with Rahul and shook a leg. Since Malvika would never fall for someone like him, Vishal uses Rahul’s FB account to send Malvika a friend request. Malvika, of course, thinks that Rahul is being a little too desperate and does not want to entertain that fraaandship request. But Preity accepts the request, behind her back.

Vishal and Preity get chatty and spend time online. This of course leads to a lot of confusion, especially when they ask each other out on behalf of their friends, makes for a fun watch. And the college cat fights are also entertaining. It shows us how youtube and FB has taken over the college lives and how fast and easy the communication has gotten. Vishal, in his monologue towards the end, says that people become friends at the speed of mbps and break-ups happen at the flash of a logout. So, movies based on college life show everything but attending classes. Students while away their time clinging on to their cellphones and hangout in the cafeteria. Its not a canteen anymore, and there are no teachers!

The only teaching staff that we ever see is Mita Vasisht, who puts the students on a project for preparation of 25th anniversary celebrations. That’s the only backbone to the entire story of the movie. The dialogue and screenplay keeps the movie together. And a running time of just over 90 minutes does help, especially in this ADD generation.

Vishal and Preity share a love-hate-love relationship, as they don’t seem too fond of each other in the college campus. But their assignment is quite interesting and brings them together. In the future, I am sure that quite a few colleges are going to copy this idea for their anniversary celebrations.

Now, how this Fraaandship compares to Dosti is very interesting. While in 2002, TRP behaved like they were in the 1960’s, in 2011 the kids behave like they are in 2011! That’s the biggest difference. The dialogues have been written very well and the direction is spot-on. Nupur has done what Kunal could not do; she has extracted a good performance from the actors. Rahul Sareen was no Hrithik, but he did look and act like a college boy who takes a girl out to a sports-bar! Preity was not trying to out-do Rani Mukherjee, but her vulnerability and frustration were played out well. Malvika was no Kareena, but she was beautiful in her own way. Tara D’souza was good even in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, will have to watch out for her. And Vishal was probably just being himself, funny and spiffy. I am sure all these actors will be seen in a movie soon, of course not in the same movie. But they all do have potential and will be cast by others too.

All in all, a nice watch; a very good timepass. I am impressed with Y-films and what Aditya Chopra is doing with it. His themes don’t change, the characters remain sane and predictable and yet the youthfulness shows through. I liked the way ‘Luv Ka The End’ was made; although it was a copy, it was done well. And now this. Y-Films is definitely able to feel the pulse of the audience and are giving them what they want. Sweet entertainers, youthful yet sensible, romantic yet not a tear-jerker, laughs and smiles yet not a no-brainer, old fashioned and yet in sync with times. Wish Fraaandship was spelt as Friendship, though!

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 25, 2011 in movie review, movies


Tags: , , , , ,

Not A Movie Review

Not a Love Story Poster

When Robin and Anu were carrying the pieces of Ashish’s body parts in that polythene bag, trying to dispose off the body; I yawned. I was not a bit interested in what was happening on screen. My mind went back almost 2 decades to recall Ajay Sharma carrying the body of Priya’s friend in a red suitcase. And he dragged that suitcase in full public view, cutting through the crowd and right across the lobby of a hotel. Ajay dropped the bag near the shores of Mumbai, and that was 20 years ago. The scene in NALS was not half as scintillating and shocking as the one in Baazigar. Not sure whether the difference was in the shot or the direction, but SRK and Abbas-Mastan made it look real.

And here, we had this new age couple with huge shopping bags, trying to dispose a body. The experience should have been more visceral, if the director wanted to shock the audience or even get a reaction. Except for brandishing the knife, nothing else was shown. At least through a ground-glass, some actions could have been captured!

Anyways, the scene which was supposed to be the crux of the movie; to show the inhumaness and the deep-seated animal within us, just fell flat. And from then on, the movie was a big bore.

The only other scene worth mentioning was in the lock-up where the inspector tells Robin ‘affair chal raha tha uska anu ke saath … tu ch**iya bann gaya’. The look on Robin’s face was brilliant, Deepak Dobriyal played him so well. The last movie I had seen of Deepak was Tanu Weds Manu, and that character of Puppy was so different from this one. I have always seen Deepak in intense roles, be it Gulaal or Delhi 6 or NALS. But TWM changed the perception of a lot of people, where he played the character with such ease and conviction. That’s the mark of a good actor, a person who can essay all kinds of roles. Robin was believable. His frustration when Anu kept hanging up on him or his moment of fury when he stepped into the apartment or his loving ways when he sent across the lovely red dress for Anu; all done so well.

Mahi was equally good. But her scenes were marred by some predictable screenplay about casting couch and the voyeuristic camera following her ankles and feet everywhere. Except for her screech and teary eyes, the director failed to capture Anu’s desperation to become an actress or her guilt that lead Robin to kill Ashish.

I was hoping that the camera would be the mouth-piece for all those body parts which would have eventually been chopped, but the director failed me here as well. All that camera work, filming various body parts, came a cropper. Anyhow, the movie was bland, lacking any kind of taste; neither artistic nor entertaining nor shocking. Nothing!

And the excessive usage of Rangeela sound track was another bad idea. It was mere indulgence, hoping that the magic of Rangeela would be recreated. But alas! Rangeela was a movie because of the writing and acting of Aamir and Jackie, and the music of Rahman; and last but not the least, Urmila.

This movie is just gimmickery, trying to make stuff that sells. But sadly, this is just like a half an hour news capsule or reconstructed news piece from the channels of Hindi heartland. Yet another way to make some quick bucks and cash in on a fresh case, a case of striking the iron while its still hot. And please don’t get me started on crimes of passion, which this is definitely not. Ramu has just entered the leagues of Bhandarkar.

This post was also published on Yahoo Network

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 5, 2011 in bollywood, movie review


Tags: , , , , ,

Movie Re-View : Hum Dono Rangeen

Mai zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya
Har fikr ko dhuen mei udaata chala gaya

The flamboyant actor Dev Anand has more or less lived a life in spirit of this song penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. His love for the medium and his enthusiasm for movies is unmatched. He may have ceased to be relevant and not in touch with the thought process of this generation, but he hasn’t ceased to make movies; good or bad. In fact, his movie making escapades are not decided by box-office success or failure, mostly failures.

In a bid to reach out to this generation Dev Anand decided to colorize his last black and white home production, Hum Dono. Reviewing this movie would be a redundant task since the film was a mega success of its times; the songs still ring true in our ears. Dev’s style and Sadhna’s beauty aside, Jaidev’s tunes and Sahir’s lyrics are timeless. I shall save myself the trouble of writing about the movie’s plot and story.

Interestingly, this is one of the few dual role movies where the personality exchange hasn’t been used for conning people or obtaining some hidden secrets etc. The army backdrop was just incidental to the movie, it could well have been two look-alikes in a train or air mishap where one gets rescued and the other finds his way into a lost-and-found list. Anyways, Anand replaces Verma as a favor; a promise that he had to keep. But what was supposed to be a brief support to Verma’s mother and wife turns into a moral dilemma for Anand. In the process of keeping Roma [Verma’s wife] happy and cheerful, he offends his true love Mita. And instead of being thankful for Anand’s honest attempts at consoling Roma, Verma accuses him of adultery.

Vijay Anand’s involvement in the writing department shows, the screenplay and dialogs were really good. The conflict between Anand and Verma and the interaction between Anand and Roma was written delicately but handled dramatically. Another new aspect for those times, 1960′s, was the conversation between Anand and his conscience. Usually, the voice of conscience was depicted by an echo effect; but here they brought the mand and his conscience face to face.

Of course the movie had some flaws too. The portrayal of army life was incorrect, the planning and strategizing during war sequences were not done well and Dev Anand was trying too hard to create distinct characters for the two roles which led to a lot of hamming as Mr.Verma. But lets not miss the woods for the trees. The wonderful songs and the theme of the movie more than make-up for the minor glitches.

And now I come to the big question: What’s the need to colorize the movie? Not just this movie, but any movie. I think the movie loses its charm, the heritage value and the tag of being a ‘classic’. No wonder that in 1980′s when talks were on, to colorize Citizen Kane and Casablanca, there was outrage among the movie makers. They felt that the studios were destroying an original piece of work, and future generation would be unaware of the fact that the movie was actually shot in black and white; thereby redefining the history of movie making.

At some level I concur with the people who are against colorization of movies. Lets not confuse between restoration and colorization. If an old classic has to be restored then its fine. If the restoration process requires pigmentation then I can understand and accept that too. But don’t harm an original piece by colorizing it, leave it untouched. With the help of new technology, distributors might think of adding background voices to silent movies! Please let a piece of history be as it is and let it speak for itself, we don’t really have to give a voice to it. The charm of Gone With The Wind or Shri 420 would be lost in color. In fact, some directors choose to make movies in black & white as in Schindler’s List or a pixellated grey as in Pi; because they want a certain feel to the movie.

Another important point, in Mughal-e-Azam the color version worked because certain parts of the movie were shot in color. Hence, there was a reference for the various pigments used. But in the case of Naya Daur and Hum Dono, there is no color reference element. Something that appears white in the movie could actually be off-white or yellow or peach, and that info cannot be captured. The result could be that in colorization, the white gets replaced by baby-pink. For that matter, what appears grey could be bottle-green or navy blue; but colorization may translate that grey into muddy-brown. Hence, we will only be resurrecting the body but losing the soul. The legacy of the movie and the special memories that such old classics have in our heart would be eroded. People who wish to watch the movie will go out and seek the original version, we don’t really have to make it available for new generation by all this gimmickry. The movies of yore exude a certain warmth which would definitely be lost in colorization.

Coming back to the movie, as soon as I reached home after watching the film, I logged into youtube and saw the songs Abhi Na Jao Chhodkar and Mai Zindagi Ka Saath in its original form, black and white. Soon after that I received this retweet : 20 years from now, I suppose Dev Anand will release Hum Dono in 3D.

This post was first published on PFC

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 9, 2011 in bollywood, movie review, movies


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,