Saturday, March 04, 2006

0618 10:46:5:12 10:46:54:00

The only reason John Matthew Matthan's second directorial plunge Shikhar (iTrans-friendly title; few points for that) qualifies for the same reaction as Zinda is that this guy was responsible for a film called Sarfarosh, which, despite its mainstream trappings, the irritating Sonali Bendre and Aamir Khan (who always gives me the impression that he's trying too hard to be believable), had some merit and could hardly portend this soporific dumpling. You wouldn't want to touch it with a yeevil. Be it the watered-down echoes of Wall Street (Gordon Gecko becomes Gaurav Gupta; right!); the John Abraham cameo and a whole reflexive dig on the John/Bipasha tandem and Abraham's food poisoning; the pleasure of hearing Sushant Singh spout chaste Hindi diluted by the fact that it's meant for laughs, the Tom Cruise-ean future of Shahid Kapur (the only stroke of acting smarts he manages to pull off comes with his expression as he discovers thanks to a bloody hand that he is wounded); the kaamawaalii baaii aesthetic of Bipasha Basu; the ineffectual doe-eyed expressions of Amrita Rao, the numerous songs spiking the film in typical 90s fashion; Ajay Devgan's aggravating brown hairdo; non-existent character development; Jawed Sheikh's wimpy maudlin do-gooder; the reassurance that Farah (credited with her full name -- the first time? -- Farah Naaz here) hasn't improved over the years; the listless expository specious dialogue; the clichéd cutting during the title song [Jagjit goes bahate huye jharano.n me.n tuu hai and we cut to a running stream; Jagit goes pa.nchhii kii u.Daano.n me.n tuu hai and we cut to a flying bird] and to introduce fragments that we can predict thanks to having watched numerous such assembly-line flicks; the useful note that two strokes of an axe by Shahid Kapoor are enough to split a water pipe; and, of course, the generous plug for Sintex tanks.

Madan Mohan composed several tunes for dil Dhuu.NDhataa hai two of which made it to the final soundtrack of Mausam and one got butchered years later in viiruu zardaa; Viju Shah gets to do two tunes for dhiire dhiire, but it's an experiment best relished (like the rest of the soundtrack) without the visuals. If this is what JMM's idea of a shikhar is, I think it's time he quit the shirshaasan and got down to making something worth talking about.

Incidentally, the title comes from the best subtitle in the film. I have no idea what it was doing there -- no one on screen was saying anything that matched these numbers. Perhaps it's the subtitler's version of the Duh Wincci Code. The runner-up was "Giza" for "Pisa."

update: [march 04, 2006] For a potent extended take packed with acerbic rib-ticklers and critical notes I am pleased to point you to Nakul's review.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.