Sunday, February 22, 2009

Delhi 6 - A case of twisted ankle at the touch line

Guys, this is my first attempt at movie reviews. Actually had written this for Thus you may find an uncharacteristic civility in the tone. But as the PFC guys did not print it, you all are to become my victims.

Imagine having a whale of a time with your family in a one of those fascinating fairs with lots of rides, bhel puris and 'Maut ka Kuwa'-motorcycle shows.
You are up on the merry-go-round and just as it is about to make that jaw shattering drop, the machine stops. Everything comes to a standstill and Arundhati Roy climbs all the way up a ladder to where you are sitting and gives you a tight slap. Before you comprehend whats happening, she slaps you again and starts an half an hour monologue on the problems faced by farmers due to the Narmada Dam and berates you for your audacity to have fun when people out there are suffering. Well thats pretty much how I felt while watching Delhi 6, so ridiculous was the sudden and completely unnecessary smattering of morality upon the poor unsuspecting viewers who were all having a gala time.

The story had begun awesomely well. The earnestness of the camera while shooting the lanes of Chandi Chowk along with all her nuances gives you a genuine feeling of warmth and belongingness. The characters are full of life and truth and the ensemble cast deliver crackling performances. Rishi Kapoor in yet another superbly measured performance as an old friend of Roshan's father, Deepak Dobriyal as the lovable Jalebi-wala Mamdu, Pavan Malhotra and Om Puri as two warring brothers and the exceedingly beautiful Bua, Aditi Rao Hyadri all turn in superlative performances to significantly raise the bar of the movie. I thought the pick of the wonderful cast was Vijay Raaz as the despicable local policeman who made me cringe with the profanity he brought into his character.

Sonam Kapoor has such a vivacious and infectious smile that you would just wonder at what the devil had possesed Sanjay Leela Bhansali to cast her in a movie as Sawariya. But of course this was probably one of his lesser offences compared to the grave cinematic injuries that the movie had inflicted upon us in the name of entertainment. Rarely had any 'entertainment' before Sawariya left the audience beaten so Black and Blue.
However in Delhi 6 Sonam just yaps and yaps her way into your hearts and surely we want to see more of this Jhakkas girl.
Abhishek Bachchan is certainly not one of my favourite actors but he too turns in quite a pleasant performance. The American accent was quite ridiculous but was compensated for with some genuinely authentic expressions through his journey of self realisation in the midst the bustle of Old Delhi.

The love story is beautifully underplayed and most of the scenes are quite clever. The lovely picturisation of the 'Dil Gira Daftaan' song where Abhishek amalgamates his Indianness with his western upbringing is truly a viewer's delight. Special mention of the remote control scene which was soaked with original humor.

So what in the story doesn't work ?
First and foremost, the repeated usage of the 'Kala Bandar' concept which I think the director used to metaphorise the black devil residing within each of us.I believe an art of filmmaking is to convey the meaning through subtleties. However if the director assumes you to be an idiot and gives individual attention to opening up your skull and hammerring in his ideas, the comprehension is often spoilt with the brazenness of the narration.

What was working in Delhi 6's favour was actually the seeming lack of direction in its story. The moment the makers of the film thought of giving it a direction, and much worse a commercially motivated direction, the whole foundation of the movie came crashing down. The idea was to pass a message somehow to the audience but it seems no one had a clue what that message should be and by the time the movie reached its grotesque climax, it was just plain desperation in display. Someone needed to tell Rakesh Omprakash Mehra that Basanti was just not the Rang required here.
Already enough has been said and written about the climax, so I will avoid going into the details but if an award is ever announced to honour scenes which butchered a complete movie, the heaven sequence will have few competitors.I guess the Jalebi in that scene too was a metaphor signifying our knotted brains being chewed by Abhishek and his Dad.

Indian audience is open to intelligent cinema now. The success of directors such as Vishal Bharadwaj, Rajat Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap is testimony to the fact that the audience is maturing.
Delhi 6, while promising much, ends up disappointing the audience and what is really sad is that only if the director had not had the preaching attack, this one would have been quite enjoyable.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hum honge Kaam-iyaab ek din

One more Valentine's Day came and went by and my status in all social networking sites still remains unchanged. Not that I am in any hurry to change it either but when you hear of awe-inspiring achievements of 13 year old whizkids such as this, one does tend to get a little retrospective.

While this chocolate-faced kid was excelling in his Fornication practicals, I probably at his age had not even realised the complete responsibilities of the male hand.
In those days, the Hindi film industry contributed no less to this lack of knowledge with their rampant misrepresentation of basic facts making us young minds think that if a man gets too near a woman, both would turn into head banging yellow Dahlias ! Whatever was the intelligent metaphor in this representation of sexual activity, I fail to understand even today.
However the movies have become more informative over the years and if there was an Oscar for best dialogue in a motion picture, this one which I randomly came across would have won hands down (not literally of course). It went like this:

"Jaise ek Ration ka dukan har hafte ek din band rehta hai, Ek aurat ka Pyar ka Dukaan bhi mahine me chaar din band rehta hai"

Whoa !! Now, 'Consortium of Loose Women', Please don't send me Pink Chaddis . I had nothing to do with this. Sparkling Red would more suit my personality.

(A tin of Ferrero Rocher to anyone who names the movie.....Hint: Antonym of a hit Bipasha Basu movie)

Often we hear of debates on whether sex education should be a made a part of the school curriculum but every time such a debate rages, I wonder how these guys actually plan to impart this 'education'? I mean imagine this....

Curious Kid: "Ma'am, where do babies come from"
Teacher(caught unawares) : "Ah babies...yeah right babies...where do they come from now..alright.. You know the storks......
Curious Kid : Oh cmon teacher, don't give me the stork story. My aunt had a baby yesterday and when I asked her this same question she said something about horny evenings in a car backseat with no protection"
Teacher ( oh damn this slut of an aunt). Well well..Thats not exactly how it works...A baby develops inside a female body after the successful fusion of the male sperm with the female egg "
Curious Kid : I see.
Teacher: So you understand right.
Curious Kid : Yes but what is a sperm ? What is fusion and can you females all lay eggs then ?
Teacher: Oh no no no...slow down ...Well sperms are like those tadpoles we saw the other day....only much smaller....
Curious Kid : Ah so now we have frogs too...Quite a zoo we had inside my aunt's stomach! No wonder it got so big ..So how did this sperm thinghy get inside my aunt?
Teacher: Well..right ..yes your uncle put it in there
Curious Kid : Really ? But why would he want to put the tadpoles in my aunt's stomach when they have that big aquarium in their house. He could have put it in there...isn't it.
Teacher: Tch..Tch.. No he had to put it inside your aunt for the baby to grow you see.
Curious Kid : Right. So did aunt have to eat this tadpole ?
Teacher: Oh no No .You don't eat these tadpoles ...Well ..Er..
Curious Kid : No ?? So how did it go in ?
Teacher: What ...what went in ??
Curious Kid : The tadpole ..what else ?
Teacher: Ah the tadpole ..yes .. Are you sure that you didn't see any storks near the hospital?

Or ones like this

Curious Kid : "Dad whats a condom?"
Dad : "Something which could have saved me from answering this question,son"

And we haven't even reached at the more complex questions.
But while it may be a tough task to satisfy the curiosity of the kids of this generation it is quite unacceptable to read of such news which shakes the very foundations of morality.
Ha Ha Ha Ha ....whom am I kidding...!!! Wait ...can I even use the word kidding anymore ???

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Kala Ghoda Festival -55 Word Stories

The theme for this year was Cheating.
These entries were an attempt to be unnecessarily intellectual. No wonder the judges kicked me out.
The winning entries can be found here

Below were my entries:


He promised her for the umpteenth time that he would catch the earliest possible flight tomorrow. The sudden realization that Ayala was already five brought a smile to Abraham’s face as he collected his coat and wished the gentlemen a pleasant evening. There was some commotion at the reception.

The autopsy would reveal five bullets.


I promise to bring electricity and drinking water to your village.
I promise to root out corruption.
I promise to generate more means of employment.
I promise to be secular and not fan regionalism.
I promise to provide you education.
I promise to uphold the principles of democracy.
I promise you Justice, Equality and Liberty.


Her luscious lips chained his wayward thoughts as their bodies dissolved in the frenzied heat. The mad rhythm of his hardened flesh rattling the softness of her womanhood and their wild cries of passion conjoined to create pulsating sonata of raw energy. Heavy breathing interludes.

“And……… Cut.” “Nice expressions Christina. Let’s all break for lunch.”


Sanjay was always a big hit with his nephews. He was more of one among them and his annual visits to India invariably translated to unlimited frolic and tonight was the big movie night. Yippee!
Steamed spicy sweetcorn, Samosas, tons of popcorn, gallons of Pepsi and the opening credits…………

RamGopal Varma presents ‘RGV Ki Aag’


The weed fogged the path of sanity. Trees had radiant blue fishes hung by their tails while headless demons danced around the pyre of his emotions. “Bitch”. The Priest was Breaking the Law. Snakes bit hard and ladders led to infinity. He gulped thirty white moons.

Consciousness gifted him a revengeful headache. Damn fake medicines!

More information on the contest can be found here.