Thursday, April 29, 2004

56 fragments, wild and outrageous

Thanks to a VHS from a source other than my usual Indian store haunt, I managed to catch the portions of Ab Tak Chhappan I had missed thanks to a copy off a skipping DVD. I have come to believe that such a review of fragments helps me slot a film better. The Kal Ho Naa Ho reassessment helped me file that flick as crap, in an overall sense. ATC stands strong as a strong sum of strong parts. The missing fragments included Revathi's murder at the wedding reception (and I thought the way things were filmed evoked a very powerful reaction), Sadhu Agashe's resignation, the murder of Welankar the corrupt corporator, and more threads to the Feroz angle. The film gets a resounding thumbs up.

Caught a formatted-for-your-TV-screen (thank you very much!!) VHS tape of John McNaughton's Wild Things. A more explicit version just came out on DVD this month, so I guess a repeat viewing is called for in the future. Given McNaughton's credentials, I concluded that the whole enterprise was meant to look like a tacky, made-for-TV (complete with for-commercial-break fades), porn noir twisty flick complete with smooth jazz and 80s riffs contributing to the cheesy porn ambience (along with double entendres, frontal nudity, sexuality, and general lack of morals). The twists are predictable enough, but what is not predictable is the steady stream of them (even seeping into the end credits as backstory fragments). Despite all these "demerits", I was entertained thoroughly. Bill Murray (and to some extent Kevin Bacon) seemed to be the only people on the cast, who seemed to display any awareness of the "true" intent of the film. I remember the furore in the Pune newspapers (thanks to the threesome featuring Neve Campbell, Matt Dillon and Denise Richards). Frankly, I don't think it was worth it. I wonder if using McNaughton's previous work to view this film in a more appreciative light was a bad idea. Being a bad movie afficionado is one thing, going tangential is another.

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