Monday, June 23, 2003

movie-o-rama (being a consolidation of activities over a wonderfully bright and sparkling weekend)

Friday, June 20, 2003

Joe Queenan's rants in the supercynical Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon added an alternative angle to our choice for Friday lunch: Red Lobster. No complaints about the food -- but then, it's just my first time. The porphyrous aquatic-themed shirts (part of the uniform there) are quite distracting, though.

The movie for the Friday night movie, madira and chicken fest was Andaaz, a premier example of filmmaking in the pits. And this movie is actually a hit back home ... why am I surprised? The only reason I can see for a lot of people (minus the NRI desh-premii parivaars) even hitting the theatres is to ogle at Madames Universe (make that uni-worse!) and World respectively Lara Dutta (read: Duh!) and Priyanka Chopra (last seen in The Hero). The former hogs the first half of the film and the latter infests the SSH (Sagging Second Half). The standard dhin-chak dumbass music comes from hit chartbusting composer duo Nadeem Shravan (composing via RPC these days, thanks to Nadeem's alleged[sic] involvement in the death of Gulshan Kumar). If the only performance you remember in a film is Johnny Lever's (playing a cook called G I Joe married to an unfaithful wife --- basically an extended spin of his irritating turn in Baazigar), then you know you are in trouble. Having the fast-forward facility helps with so many songs teeming in this marshy mess. Even before the grown-up versions of the threesome show up, the film already doffs its hat to movies as diverse as Forrest Gump (the child version of Akshay Kumar, goaded by the child version of Lara Dutta into roller skating to escape some bachchaa goons, loses his crutches -- shades of SAAJAN -- and makes a miracle-drenched first effort! -- run Forrest run, becomes bhaag Raj bhaag. Right! Don't even get me started on the story (or whatever post-apocalyptic soup they dished out) or the dialogues. Ugh! Even the character attribute that Raj likes model airplanes and wants to be a pilot, and grows up to eventually become one adds no value whatsoever to the proceedings.

Despite the promised ogle-fest, the complete lack of any shard of acting ability combined with some grimace-laden facial expression kits seemed to have the opposite effect on me {more on the nation's fetish for beauty}. For a n effulgently positive review, hit Yahoo!. Prerna Singh Bindra seems more realistic in Hot bods turn on Bollywood box-office fire for the Daily Pioneer: Two of the most beautiful women in the world, Miss Universe Lara Dutta and Miss World Priyanka Chopra, have, in their hot pants, delivered a full opening for Suneel Darshan's Andaaz. Says trade analyst and Box Office editor, Vinod Mirani, "The film opened to full houses in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and drew 80 per cent initials in Mumbai. I can't remember the last time a film did that." Such is the buzz in the market about the girls' bare-all dresses, that its thin story line, fumbling treatment and male lead Akshay Kumar are forgotten. Except in the critics' columns, one of whom called Andaaz "a strip to nowhere."

And then as if this was all not enough, there was Chalte Chalte playing back home. To say that the movie is a complete waste of time and resources might be being polite. This is Shah Rukh Khan's version of the Saathiya genre of films: post-marital strife. If you adore SRK or Rani Mukherjee (whose voice makes her the prime contender for 'Demi Moore of Hindi Cinema') you'll probably stomach the tripe and mush dished out in gallons. The songs go from pleasant to monotonous (a penchant of composer duo Jatin Lalit) and are mostly intrusions. SRK continues to hone his hamming skills, and despite having chewed everything including the scenery in Devdas, he still can't act drunk for nuts -- he still continues to ape Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan, adding his own flavour[sic] to his interpretations. There are glimmers of brand names throughout (Castrol, in a very explicit way, and Pepsi too, --- or was it Nescafé?). About the only scene of merit (imho) is a domestic squabble that stays as a serious argument instead of breaking down into semi-comical farce like the other scenes (what was SRK thinking ???). And most of the supporting characters are given thankless roles -- Johnny Lever can be edited out for the most part, Satish Shah moves into and out of the woodwork. The climactic predictable sequence at the airport is an assault on common sense and a mockery of airport security (things cannot be this lax!). And yes, the penchant for people in the movie to fly to Athens, Greece at the drop of a hat is rather irritating.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Another music acquisition: Jahan Tum Le Chalo. Nivdung and nostalgia.
Sunday, June 22, 2003

Apne Dam Par, Supari {catch Subhash K. Jha's effulgent review while I get my act together}, Aali Angaavar, Padosan, The Fast and the Furious.

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