Monday, July 04, 2005

the salacious vibes of a rag-picker [july 03, 2005]

Welcome to Revati, a film written and directed by Faroogh A. Siddiqui (what a nutcase! his credit appears smack near the middle of the film -- probably at the intermission) -- this dude even has a credit for "story, screenplay and lyrics". The bulk of online articles (few that may be) devoted to this film focus on the controversy arising from producer Vikas Kate's inclusion of "revealing" scenes featuring Kashmira Shah. She shouldn't have really bothered objecting. If she thought this was an acting vehicle, she was clearly suffering from a case of disillusioned dementia. There's nothing in this film worth remembering except a host of bad lines and dumb acting[sic]. But more about that in a little while.

This is the story of Revati (Shah), a naïve rag-picker living in Shanti Nagar ("the biggest slum in Bombay") and spouting filth and clichéd uneducated verbiage tinged with familiar Hyderbadi inflections. One rainy night, she is the recipient of the kindness of one Ravindra Nagpal (Kiran Kumar), and this innocuous act that reassures your faith in humanity has far-reaching consequences, including the eventual murder of Nagpal and a general shattering of Revati's faith in living like the "ba.De log".

All of you interested in cheap thrills like ogling at Kashmira Shah might be interested in some moments in the film. There is a richer treasure trove in store for all of us interested in bad dialogue and bad moments.

The most hilarious scenes appear during the sequence where a drenched Revati squats in the corner of Nagpal's room as he works on something in Microsoft Word. At one point he smells the rag heap that revatii has dragged in with her (as she sits in a corner to escape the rain outside); and he can't figure out where it's coming from; cut to the computer monitor and the last line typed out is flashing ... it's LOOK AROUND. Later, another piece of blinking text ('REMOVE IT') determines his response to her question about what to do with her wet clothes ...

[Pause while reader recovers from floor-hugging fit of laughter]

During the trial in the penultimate act of the film, there is a strange shot of the judge nodding and saying "O.. K.." after the defence attorney presents a counter-argument.

And now the dialogues.

Samples from the kaTTaa crowd that ends up teasing Revati: kaise kuttaa banaa diyaa thaa ##john## ko bipaashaa ne jism me.n; dum hilaa\-hilaa ke mar gayaa saalaa, apun bhii kisii ##hero## se kam hai kyaa? / kam nahii.n, ##bomb## hai ##bomb##, kyaa ##piece## hai? / ##piece## nahii.n ##cut-piece## hai

Samples from the hija.Daas: biichaawaalaa biich me.n nahii.n bolegaa to kyaa ##side## me.n bolegaa?, he uuparawaale; inako hamaarii tarah-ch banaa de; inakaa ##power supply## kaaT de; naa rahegaa ##plug## naa lagegaa ##jhaTakaa##
(and let's not forget the random phrases like ##beautiful## thoba.Daa, prem chopa.Daa, e! chho.D re meraa kapa.Daa that inundate the end of the hija.Daa song)

Revati: vahii ##fixed deposit## jo bhagawaan ne apun ko diyaa hai

Javed Khan (as Revati's father): dekh beTii, kacharaa phe.nkane kii thailiyaa.N badalatii hai.n; kacharaa kachare kii peTiyaa.N badalatii hai.n; kacharaa phe.nkane kii jagah badalatii hai.n; lekin kacharaa vo_ich rahataa; kacharaa kabhii nahii.n badalataa; is liye tuu bhii badalane kaa khayaal chho.D de

Hired goon: ham tilakadhaarii, sab pe bhaarii (the only memorable tilakadhaarii was Goga Kapoor in Shiva, incidentally)

Dialogue exchange sans meaning (or "with deep meaning", YMMV): daughter: kyaa fark hotaa hai beTaa aur beTii me.n?; mother: bahut fark hotaa hai; beTaa beTaa hotaa hai aur beTii beTii

Axiom: (Kiran Kumar) buzurgo.n ne Thiik hii kahaa hai: saaph sutharaa ghar aur sajii\-sa.Nwarii aurat dono.n achchhe lagate hai.n

Trivia: Ayub Khan is credited (end credits) as Ayub M. Khan; the background score (shriek-o-rama) was provided by music director duo Nikhil-Vinay (the songs were composed by Jatin-Lalit and Nazakat Shujat [nice name, bad songs]).

Check out the official website for more alternative spellings (a clear candidate for "how many different ways can you spell names in movie credits?")

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