Saturday, February 24, 2007

stark bathing Red

aka: aao snaan kare.n

He unlawfully entered our viewing lives with Fareb. He ran railway track races like a raging bull on the waterfront with Ghulam. He dulled the jagged edge with Kasoor. He exposed the Raaz of what lay beneath (something that even Sir Paul McCartney was supposed to have enjoyed). He produced the acronymicomical AMALL. He went the whole nine yards with Awara Paagal Deewana. He transplanted a Mahesh Bhatt rip-off in a state of grace with Footpath into a film set that should have been named PepsiTown. He implemented yet another Mahesh Bhatt design featuring the pet themes of multi-offspring yielding bigamy (known, in some really uncomplimentary circles, as RSS, the Ravi Shankar Syndrome) with Inteha. He fearlessly notched up another filmographic entry for the Big B operating in "I will work with anyone now" mode with Aetbaar. He shattered your senses and revealed himself to be a closet Puru Raj Kumar fan when he scripted Girish Dhamija's directorial début Yakeen. The man who gave us one of Pritam's best soundtrack efforts with Ankahee now returns an incarnadine cure for insomniac B-movie watchers called Red: The Dark Side (I wonder if the sequel's going to be called Blue: The Backside). Aftab Shivdasani, the pallbearer of Bhatt's cinematic alter ego, decided that an attempt at a tonsure was the best way to convey the passionate intensity of his character. Since Bhatt's films are marked with a sense of ennui strong enough for them to qualify as novocaine commercials, he's employed lassies with boulderados to entice audiences. That he's employed not one but two sets of flopdoodles here must be a warning about how much the script competes with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. One of them is Celina Jaitley, who, since her début in Khel, is known best for her Vanessa Mae impersonation in Janasheen and the lifeless #me kiss-fest Jawani Diwani. The other is Amrita Arora, who, despite having a good thing going by trying to combat the cold of Delhi in Zameen, ventured into a lesbian laugh-a-thon called Girlfriend.

While Bhatt insists (yet again) that the film comes from within him, the premise seems like a misguided revisionist take on elements in Clint Eastwood's Blood Work. There's also a TV movie called Donor Unknown that looks promising. Only time will tell.

The Capitulating Critic is markedly eloquent in his review of the cardinal catarrh for the film. The predictably catchy aafariin (whose video, he insists was picturised imaginatively in a volatile manner) features a downtempo ambient house rhythm and represents the strongest contribution to the album's 77.78% snot factor.

A motif ailing the film even before its release is one of colour. Consider the title itself. Red: The Dark Side, with its English-English scheme represents the new wave in Bollywood's experiments in titulation [1]. The last improvisation had moved on from the saprophytic allegiance to the Hindi-English scheme to a marginal improvement represented by a reversal of roles. The CD art (click on the second image here) indulges in a red and grey exercise confirming Amrita Arora's assertion about going grey for the film. The magnificent pontoons of love will be on display once again for those interested in the true merits of the film.

In a stunning sop for trivamongers, the filmmakers roped in former wimpy-weepy-faced Bollywood B-star Sumeet Saigal[2] to direct a promotional video for the film. The sensuous undertone of the song dil ne na jaanaa and the emotional element that The Nose had given it inspired Saigal to shoot a bathtub sequence featuring the three principals. One look at the video will confirm that it's all smoke and no fire; the usual family-friendly sniffing abounds; however, one must note that Aftab's efforts in the gym to tone his body have empowered him to offer some competition to Jaitley's jahoobies and Arora's amortisseurs. It would be facetious to say that a million petals were harmed during the making of this video. Lovers of Bollywood film physics will also relish the shots from the car/truck collision where the creative mind wins over trivial matter.

Any note on this erythraean would be incomplete without recognising the arid genius behind the movie's tagline:

somewhere a fear of love ...
somewhere a love of fear ...

Be afraid. Be very afraid. I love it. Give me red. I'm waiting.

[1] it must be noted that the word is merely a punny product of a film-viewing salacious mind

[2] perhaps best known for Bahaar Aane Tak, where he flirted with Rupa Ganguly in kaalii terii choTii hai, slipped her a mickey and made family-rated love to her in a car

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