Monday, August 04, 2003

coal and the pits of mainstream entertainment

Kaala Patthar (Note the typos in the synopsis: 'minors' instead of 'miners'): Friday night movie. Great background score by Salil Chowdhury. The dialogues are strong examples of the kind of stuff Salim-Javed were famous for. The trademark Rajesh Roshan orchestration is evident in most songs, except those meeting the mandatory requirements of a Chopra film (lots of Punjabi-flavoured aural assaults). The best song in the film, ek raasataa hai zi.ndagii (and you wondered where Nadeem Shravan dug to come up with tuu pyaar hai kisii aur kaa), is marred by an unnecessary Lata-fronted female chorus, which portends all those irritating female choruses in future Chopra house productions. The film hasn't aged well: despite having brought in technicians from abroad to handle the mining disaster sequences, they still look very tacky. The editing is sloppy, at best. The only appeal this film has is the nostalgia, aside from trademark performances from the Big B and Shatrughan Sinha (who gets to mouth phrases like merii bholii ba.njaaran and mere taash ke tirpanave patte). The good moments in the film are few. Everything is reminiscent of elements in previous movies written by Salim-Javed (especially Deewar and Trishul). Parikshit Sahni breaks new ground in raising levels of irritation in his turn as a truck driver (he even gets to mouth a Mahendra Kapoor song!). Avid trivia mongers will relish the brief and unrewarding cameos from Sanjeev Kumar and Suresh Oberoi.

Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon deserves all the trash and garbage ever hauled up in the world. It is shocking and shameful that a reputed production house (Rajshri Films) has descended below the nadir of sensibility by churning out such an extended sequence of drivel. Here is a bulleted list of what MPKDH has to offer as "entertainment"

*A script that was probably written during an extended fit of constipation and food poisoning, while watching Chitchor

*Music that sounds like a bunch of other Anu Malik songs

*Chitra singing for Kareena Kapoor

*The audacity to map Amol Palekar to Hrithik Roshan,

*Opening credits probably created using an old unsupported version of Microsoft Powerpoint

*A CGI parrot who talks in Hindi film titles (if you watch this film in the US with subtitles, you will enjoy the mapping to English movie titles) [NOTE: unnecessary element]

*A dog whose angry face gets a cheap 2D treatment à la Milo in The Mask[NOTE: unnecessary element]

*Kareena mooning her folks (perhaps paying homage to Madhuri's sassy dance for diidii teraa devar in Hum Aapke Hain Koun...

*Shooting sequences in foreign locations [NOTE: unnecessary element]

*Dialogue so dumb you'll either shoot yourself for being from the same country as all the <censored> morons credited on this film

*Hrithik Roshan is so bad he makes Abhishek Bachchan (with his continually inadequate screen presence) look like the God of acting

*Liberally tossing about the word 'sex' in a pseudo cool nouvelle vague fashion, and hoping that people will think of this movie as progressive (Yeah, right!)

*Acting so loud you'll need the finest quality earplugs to sit through this without blowing up your television set

*Pankaj Kapoor is the only hope of salvation, attempting to lend some sanity to the proceedings. Perhaps, anticipating this, his role is reduced to little intermittent slivers

*A climax so predictable that apart from the people in the movie, everyone can see it coming several miles away

*A bad, unpredictable, and marshy coda (featuring the grating screeching Ruby Bhatia) that has you going it's only a movie ....

*Shooting in Switzerland, and passing it off as Sundernagar, a 'burb of Bombay, is downright ridiculous and insulting

Appalling news: the film strikes gold in the US

External reviews: how MPKDH functions as a multi-genre film

Previous rants: Anu Malik quoted, a 3D parrot, a 2D dog, 2 brainless hunks, one ghastly woman, and a business-wise production family, the barjatya bird returns.

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