Saturday, July 26, 2003

Qayamat: City under Threat from rocks, impossible missions, temples of doom, overdone matrices and honeychile rider

Qayamat has been marketed as India's first digitally enhanced film and lauded in several sections of the media as a great technical leap forward for Bollywood. Unfortunately, these guys still don't get it. What they need to improve is not their technical infrastructure (which allows them to make passable rip-offs/recreations from Hollywood movies that constantly push the envelope in using technology to enhance the popcorn movie experience) but their choice of actors and script writers.

Actors[sic] first: The only reason that morons like Sanjay Kapoor and Arbaaz Khan continue to survive in the film industry is because they come from filmmaking families. They are irksome to the core. B-grade ham Chunkey Pandey returns as the turncoat scientist and spends his time mouthing idiotic lines, paying a tribute to the irritating Rajendra Nath and walking about in beach garb. Isha Koppikar serves (as she did in Company) as eye candy. SK (as Abbas) and AK (as Ali) play two Pakistani
Neha Dhupia, yet another crossover from the modelling world to the world of Bollywood stars, cannot act. There is absolutely no chemistry between her and Devgan (yes, apanaa Bollywood scriptwriters added a love story along with the usual song-and-dance to augment the foreign source for desi front-benchers). Debutante Aashish Chowdhury (playing Nicholas Cage's role from The Rock) sucks. Listen to his dialogues and watch his action and delivery and you can spot enough ironies to set off streams of laughter. Riya Sen is a fine example of the finest granularity of dumbness. Give her just one word of dialogue, and she achieves new nadirs in delivery. If only they had bumped her off in the film, instead of some hapless more talented extras. Heavyweights Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anjan Srivastava (who gets the most hilarious dialogue snippet in the movie: This is the go ahead order for Operation Elphinstone.... {voice and face shaking and breaking with theatrical grief} go ahead) and Govind Namdeo are wasted -- both in space and in having to deliver dialogue that was probably conceived on the back of a soiled paper napkin from the nearest garbage can. Suniel (spelling change must be noted) Shetty continues to suck as an actor: he has no sense of movement, a terrible voice, and bad diction. He plays the token good-hearted Muslim who screams patriotic lines at the top of his lungs throughout the climax of the film. Waste, total waste.

Script: The film, which generously borrows from The Rock (primarily), Mission Impossible, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Dr. No (or maybe Die Another Day, which pays tribute to it) and The Matrix (look, we're tired of slow-mo camera by now!), also adds enough jingoistic anti-Pakistan dialogue (totally unnecessary, as in Kaante) to please front-bencher fans of Sunny Deol. Look closely at the opening credits (appearing against a promising opening choreographed with technical glee by cinematographer Sanjay F Gupta) -- what's with the last name first anyways?? -- and you'll see Karan Razdan credited as script consultant. This is the dude who gave us Rajni. So don't expect intelligent dialogue. There's also some technical jargon that only serves to add more ache to your belly as you recover from one howlarious line after another. There are also these freeze-frame moments where text in the bottom-left portion of the screen informs us of an approaching deadline. Trust me, it's hilarious. The scenes they decide to freeze have nothing to do with the text that follows. And the freeze-frame vanishes before you can read how close they (whoever they may be) are to the deadline.

Nadeem-Shravan's patent-pending predictable music completes the Dilwale déjà vu. There's one passable song (with Devgan and Dhupia against some lush greenery), and a dance-hall raunchfest involving Koppikar (as Laila) and the brothers Ali and Abbas who lust for her. Front benchers satisfied, I guess.

The editing and camera angles are confusing and distracting at the same time: an amazing accomplishment.

The only person who really scores (except some crap at the coda) is Ajay Devgan, who walks about silent for most of the film. His success with presence is reminiscent of the image the Big B cultivated in his films as the angry young man. That, with the green tint, and Sanjay F Gupta's cinematography add some value to another edition in the "we can do Hollywood too" series of recent hi-tech ripoffs.

More trivia

Subhash K Jha didn't seem to like it either: Ajay announces himself with a poker face. This is James Bond with songs, sleazy titillation and provocative dialogues all aimed at inflaming anti-Pakistan sentiments among Indian audiences..

an entertaining review on Mouthshut that somehow credits the presence of Raveena Tandon(!!) but otherwise gets most of it right.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.