Monday, January 19, 2004

issues with MUDDA

Sonu Nigam's kuttaa kaaTe merits cultification with its mix of 50s beats, pedestrian lyrics, ripping off Jingle Bells for its a.ntaraas and general silliness (besides, it's a Sonu Nigam song).

On to the real mudda:) Saurabh Shukla makes his directorial début without losing out on his skills at generating sharp dialogue and strong moments. Frankly, I was surprised that Shukla chose Arya Babbar. After all, the dude can't really act. But by the time the film came to a close, I saw some merit in Shukla's choice. AB's ineptness at acting and general lack of training in that department seemed to add a little extra to the role he was playing. Rekha Vedvyasa with her pained facial contortions and general dimple-laden smiles makes her d´but. The love angle, despite adding interesting tones to the film, does slow the pace. The songs especially invite the FF button (despite the cult status of the SN song and the generally peaceful strains of Kvaabo.n kii). College politics with interesting (not surprising) twists and lots of dialect spouted by a gang of talent (including the dependable Aditya Shrivastava and Dolly Ahluwahlia). And there's Rajat Kapoor who does his best with what seems like a half-baked part. Prashant Narayanan does good again (see also: Chhal, WBHHP2). And Shukla and Vijay Raj (aka Raz, credited twice!) have cameo turns as well. What lets the film down are things like the background score, the editing, the use of repeated shots and slow motion and soft lighting. Upping the frame rate for the fights works most of the time. But a darker tone would have lent this tale a little more bite -- the way it plays now is like the episode of a television series on DD. Pity. But all isn't lost for Shukla. There is merit in the proceedings and hope for the future. But first, a better technical team.

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