Jaane Tu and an Altered Monologue

eik: This is asli entertainment man! Full2 paisa-wasool.

do: Hmmm.

eik: What? You didn’t like it?

do: I didn’t say that.

eik: So you liked it?

do: I didn’t say that either.

eik: Oh! Come on. do’t give me that shit. What’s your problem? Why can’t you enjoy a simple romantic comedy.

do: Well, it’s complicated.

eik: What’s bloody complicated about a simple movie? You either like it or you don’t. And either ways, it’s simple.

do: That’s the problem.

eik: Grrrr! Would you tell me what was your problem with the movie?

do: Let’s see. Where do I get started.

eik: Okay, you can act normal. You aren’t talking to a crowd. Start anywhere.

do: Let’s start at the end then. “please don’t go” … “I’m not going stupid”. I mean WTF! What happened to that film-making or whatever course in New York university or whatever?

eik: Dude! You’re splitting hairs.

do: No! No! That’s the whole point! All these twenty-somethings — all they’re interested in is parties, boy/girl-friends, and so on. This supposedly poor hero of ours is least worried about lack of job. No one wants to do anything other than “hanging out” with friends or girl/boy-friend.

eik: Dude, you’re getting old.

do: Wait! I’m getting there. You’d think only the young would be engrossed in such madness? But every parent in the movie seems worried about only one thing: will their dear child get “the one”. I mean surely at 21, you don’t see parents, pretty rich parents at that, worried about “too many proposals will come in, so why not get her engaged asap?” And surely, a single working mom would be worried more about her son getting a job, rather than what’s happening in his romantic life, no?

eik: Sigh! It’s a film. Could you stop reading it like a sociological treatise? What do you want them to show – these characters going for job interviews, their moms and dads worried about their future, and getting heat attacks? Would that please you?”

do: Shut up. And what’s this Rajput thing? Isn’t it enough that the guy is nice and all. Why does he have to hit somebody before he’s accepted as man? Isn’t this taking away his agency?”

eik: Oye, pseudo intellectual, I give up. There is no pleasing you. Why do I even bother!

do: Exactly.


Jab We Yawned

Finally I watched one of the biggest hits of the season, Jab We Met, despite my reservations (more than two hours of the ever irritating Ms. Kapoor!). And by the end I wondered what made it a hit? I had loved Imtiaz Ali’s earlier movie, Ahista Ahista, which stayed true to its name, and was paced really slow. Still, it had a lot to take away from. I could empathize with the characters, and their struggles. The lead character of Abhay Deol was not a buttered up, huge hearted hero, but just a normal guy with a selfish streak, and the chemistry was good. It almost reminded me of Rajanigandha. JWM, on the other hand left me dry. The only saving grace was Shahid Kapoor’s effective underplay.

If Mr. Ali had told Kareena to do an underplay, it would have perfectly worked: the left over over-acting then would have been just about enough. Unfortunately Ali seems to have forgotten the “level” at which Kareena acts, and the over-the-top character goes so over the top that the chappar goes off. Thankfully I had read a couple of reviews which told me that the overacting just lasts about 2 hours, so I had something to look forward to.

The storyline seems like a remake of Ahista Ahista, with reshuffle and a little morphing. Common threads? Middle class naive girl running away from home to get married to her flame, a noble knight to save her when she’s in distress, the girl’s boyfriend ditching her (by accident or design), the girl gravitating towards the knight, the boyfriend coming back … even love changing the knight: who shades of complacency/dejection. I guess the bitter pill that Ali had to swallow after Ahista Ahista must have made him tell the story in a different way. It seems to have worked for most, however I am lamenting demise of another sensitive director.

All in all, it’s a thumbs-down. The movie is neither entertaining, nor does it have depth, and it hangs like a trishanku in a no man’s land. The cinematography and the like are definitely better, couple of songs are haunting (actually just one), but in most departments that matter, the movie is disappointing.

Acting: (3/5: Minus Kareena of course)
Dialogs: 3/5
Scrips: 1/5
Direction: 2/5
Music: 2/5
Overall: 2/5

Na Ja, Bach Le

Look at this cast: Konkona Sen, Irfaan Khan, Raghuvir Yadav, Vinay Pathak. Now, try to remember the most uninspiring performances by each of them. Now try to imagine all these uninspiring performances in one film. Still, you’d be ill prepared to handle this “mummy returns” movie. That, in nutshell, is my review of Aja Nachle.

If you still haven’t watched the movie, stay away. If you still want to know more: the script is pretty lame, characters are pretty underdeveloped, music is uninspiring, the dialogs are worse. And to top it all up, dances are a big letdown: imagine, with Madhuri around! No I’ve never been a fan of her acting, but dance she can! Or could, if this latest effort is a sign of things to come.

The storyline is juvenile to say the least. A small town girl runs away with an American photographer after a breezy romance started by some mirchi-pakoras, and some desi-gobar. Her family leaves the town in disgrace. A few years later she’s back (properly divorced and with an annoying pre-teen daughter, and a brand new NRI outlook, complete with understanding of Indian culture and all) in search of her guru who’s died just in time, to save us all from a melodramatic reunion (about the only god’s grace in the whole movie – however we still have to bear with his parting shot, recorded on a film-reel and all), to find the dance and play theater facing a demolition order for building a shopping mall. Since in America, they don’t do such things, the lady is up in arms, with nothing but her arms and feet at her disposal. And what a battle it is. The local politician leader, a la bajrang dal character, is converted in a minute into a character in the play — a play that stands between the theater and the mall, thanks to a childish challenge taken up by the friendly neighborhood villain, the ever smiling, pizza-making son of the local ex-raja. Oh yes, then there is the old flame who’s re-charmed: err, to take part in the play (what did you think?). The good, as always triumphs over the evil, and they all live happily ever after, and so do you — after getting a peak at such an immense boredom, life seems a tad better.

Acting: 2/5 (or 1 or 3, I don’t really care to quantify)
Dialogs: -5/5
Scrips: What?
Direction: Come again?
Music: 1/5
Overall: 1.5/5