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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

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

 

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devaa aa gaya … DevD has arrived

devaa aa gaya”… announced Dharamdas[Tiku Talsaniya] in 2002’s version of Devdas. But my Dev hadn’t arrived yet. What SLB did was excellent, poetry on celluloid; but what AK has done is more like a sonnet. I would not like to compare the two becasue SLB had his version while AK has his own subversion [pun intended].

SLB took great pains to re-create the past, an old era near Hooghly while AK has done a whole lot of research to portray Dev for the present and future. He has set a benchmark for other writer/directors becasue this is a movie that respects the sensibility of a mature audience. AK has gone a few notches up in the story-telling department. Black Friday looked like a docu-drama and No Smoking went into a fantasy and looked like AK had lost control due to his over-indulgence; but DevD is a perfect blend between visual imagery and story-telling … like Coke with Vodka.

I have followed DevD diaries and have been reading about it from inception to conception to gestation and finally reproduction. And it was worth the time that it took, becasue he has got everything right; well almost. I thought the second half dragged a bit, lost a bit of momentum; but it ended well.

AK has moved Devdas to Punjab, from Kolkata, and rechristened him as DevD. That in itself is a huge shift and makes us realise that Dev belongs to Gen-X. He has pleasure trips, guilt-free sex, enjoys a good smoke and lots of liquor, has sex-chat with Paro; in fact his dad quips in that Dev has acquired new taste .. “chicken chhodke fish, whisky chhodke vodka aur asli ladki chhodke sookhi baas ki bamboo ke peeche bhagna”. Thats Dev, always running away; sometimes from Paro, sometimes from Chanda and most of the times from himself.

He loves Paro immensely but his arrogance gets the better of him. He loves her so much that he breaks a bottle on the head of one of the villagers who brags that he has had a nice fuck with Paro and that she is great in bed; but his chauvinism does not permit him to make love
to her. So great is his arrogance that he belittles Paro, breaks her heart and pushes her away to marry somebody else. The realisation dawns on him only when her ‘doli’ is about to leave with the blaring ‘Emotional Atyachar’ in the background. Perfect song that describes the feeling and captures the emotions of Dev.

Then enters Chanda in his life. A precocious girl who was wronged by her boyfriend, he shot a video of her giving a BJ and circulated it. The shame that her parents go through when media guys hound their house waiting to make a scoop, finally makes her run away. She has been disowned by her mom as well as her friends who refuse her calls and she finally lands up in a dingy brothel, or should we call ‘pleasure house’ where rich brats visit. Dev is also brought here by a pimp called Chunni.

Some people don’t find love all their lives, but Dev fortunately or unfortunately finds love twice; this time in the form of Chanda. But both the times he fails to recognize it. When he was with Paro he did not realize it was love till she left him, and now that he is with Chanda the thought of Paro keeps haunting him. He wants to meet her once, make love to her. Meet he finally does, but Paro has moved on in life. She has been mature enough to compromise and she accuses Dev of not being in love with anybody but himself. And thats the last we see of Paro, totally out of Dev’s life. While Dev is still not able to accept this fact he drowns himself in alcohol and in his drunk stupor
he over-runs 7 people o the footpath in his BMW.

In the final reels, after his dad’s death he has a near miss accident when a car crashes against a wall beside him. And that brings in a new consciousness and he decides that he has to move on. I shall not reveal the ending but all I can say is that this Dev is a guy of the new generation; and hence the ending had to be new and believable too. A special mention should be made of the fantastic music-lyrics duo, Amit and Amitabh have done an excellent job. All the songs are apt and they have been weaved into the movie; they are almost like a smooth narrative. Mahi Gill as Paro was brilliant in the movie. She has everything it takes to make an actress, an amazing range of expressions – from grief to grin, from anger to anxiety, from love to loathing…everything. Kalki as Chanda was good but she could not express herself through her voice and face; she needed lines.

The editing was slick and 360 deg camera rotation was used to great effect. Cinematography was fantastic, capturing the beauty of Punjab, the loneliness of Delhi streets, the filthy room of Dev, dingy brothel areas; everything was shot well. And finally, Abhay and AK…from concpet to conundrum…they created it. Abhay has rasied the bar for himself, he is no longer competing with anyone but himself. I am waiting for his next and of course AK’s next titled Gulaal. Until then
… dhol yaara dhol.

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2009 in bollywood, movie review, movies

 

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Paan Singh Tomar – A Soldier, An Athlete, A Bandit

I had not heard of PST ever, until the day Tigmanshu Dhulia announced that he would be making a movie on him.

Initially I thought it was some fictitious character coz the name sounded quite strange. but i was in for a big surprise when i did a bit of reserach on PST and realised that Tigmanshu was getting ready to shoot a biopic on a real life character.

PST is quite an enigma, his story is definitely worth telling. a man who served the army in the ‘Rajputana Rifles’, took to the tracks and created national records in steeplechase, picked up arms and became a bandit and finally was shot dead by police in an encounter. What a fascinating tale to tell!

In 1958 National Games held in Cuttack, he timed 9mins & 12.4 sec in the steeplechase event and created a national record. Later, in 1964 Open Meet he broke his own record at the Karnail Singh stadium, Delhi with a timing of 9mins & 4 sec.

In between the two records, in 1962 during the India-Germany meet he won the gold medal.

So, what made hin take up the gun? 1960’s was a difficult phase for india. there was the impact of 2 wars and of course the widespread poverty and slow-rate of development. maybe such social issues and class barrier, impoverished demography, and a non-paying sports field and army-life may have pushed him into desperation. He became a bandit!

And he was finally put to rest in a police encounter. a sad end to a life which had seen more glories and deserved much more than he got.

It will be difficult for Tigmanshu to translate this complex story on screen because very less is known abt PST. There is not much info available, no photographs or videos of his athletic skills etc. I believe his coaches and close friends are still there to recount the tale.

What I have stated above as a disadvantage can turn into advantage because it gives Tigmanshu the freedom to mould the character any-which-way since little is known about him. And with Irfan Khan playing the lead, I am sure he will do justice to the character. All the best to the team of PST. Hope to see this character come alive on screen, pretty soon.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2009 in bollywood, general

 

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