Monday, April 26, 2004


mind games: Finally, after fate thwarted two attempts of mine to catch Charlie Kaufman's new exercise in love, longing and the persistence of memory. Carrey and Winslet deliver sincere performances embellished by a soundtrack that boasts three Hindi film songs off an import compilation from Universal called Music of Bollywood. Which three songs you ask? tere pyaar, meraa man teraa pyaasa, and waadaa naa to.D. There were two more songs that made the penultimate shortlist, both of which were R D Burman tunes: jaan\-e\-jaa.N Dhuu.NDataa and hogaa tum se pyaaraa kaun. Apart from being a novelty, they seem to serve the situation rather well (especially lyrically). The proceedings have a foreign-art-film tone of starkness and bleakness (that's it's Winter doesn't help matters much), and the mind games are fun to watch. At some point in the film, I deduced that this was a great movie for a date (don't ask me how, or why). A quick glance at the seats around me in the sparsely populated Midtown Art Cinema hall (the flick has been running for a while, and it's not mindless entertainment, so the crowd ends up being limited) offered a shocking confirmation of my suspicions. That I was there alone with a lapful dose of movie publications and a small piece of paper with some notes scribbled on it probably helped augment the ironies in the film. Needless to say, I await Charlie Kaufman's next.
a law and order enterprise: Caught Company again on VHS. Still think it's a good flick. Still think this might be Vivek Oberoi's best performance yet. Wonder why the Urmila cameo dance number aajaa re tuu gale lag jaa (which puts words to Chowta's Law and Order Theme off the soundtrack) was omitted from the soundtrack release ...
a quest for identity: Caught Wajood on VHS. Just to catch Nana's performance. A performance he was proud of, and a film he was shocked to see fail. I agree with the first part (the strong ghaaT accent notwithstanding), but N Chandra's complete ineptness at being able to tell a good story well offers enough proof for failure. The Madhuri/Mukul romantic interludes (encounter, song-and-dance, conflict) deserved brevity. The songs were a rage on the satellite channels and countdowns, but don't hold up well except as annoyances. A lot of the proceedings seem stagey (thanks to some bad lighting and editing). What I found most interesting were the literary and mythological analogies drawn in the film (I have a feeling this was Nana's doing, because I can't seen Robin Bhatt and Akash Khurana coming up with something like this): Ashwatthaamaa, Othello and Desdemona. And the motifs: the typewriter, the lines of poetry. And the Firodiya angle (except the final performance, which clearly enjoyed a budget that exceeded the sum of the budgets of all the Firodiya performances I was part of!). The background score gladly rips Kitaro and doesn't credit him (obviously). All said and done, if you can stomach mainstream nonsense, be patient just to see something promising, handle some theatrical excursions, this is a good flick for you.
a famous cyclist: I would be the last one to say "I saw Lance Armstrong in person", but I just said it. Tagged along for a ride to the endpoint of the Tour de Georgia, and caught the tail end (literally!) of the race, and the presentation ceremony. Although cycling races are not my thing, I was happy to note that there wasn't too much of the nasty smell of beer in the air. There was still the usual trash thanks to people who had camped there all day to catch a glimpse, but this was a better experience than Music Midtown and the football games at Sanford Stadium.

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