Friday, August 22, 2008

God Tussi Great Ho- the review
(Another one bites the dust)

Bruce : Lord, feed the hungry, and bring peace to all of mankind. How's that?
God : Great... If you wanna be Miss America.

God : Bruce, you have a divine spark. You have a gift for bringing joy and laughter to the world. I know, I created you.
Bruce : Quit bragging.

Say you were Rumi Jaffrey for a half-year. No, let's say God gave you the kind of resources and laissez faire Mr. Jaffrey had while he tried to reproduce Bruce Almighty in amchi Mumbai. Now, the first thing you'd probably want to do is exclude the brand of humor in the original movie that you believe your Indian audience might not appreciate. For example, like in the lines above. Mark it, I said it's what you believe, not I. And definitely not your viewers, who, according to you, are from Ulhasnagar and Jhumri Talaiya and such like, and they are so crass that a brilliantly impossible story and kickass punchlines can't hold their attention for one hundred and sixty odd minutes unless your vertically challenged club bouncer of a hero struts in wearing his form hugging floral shirt and breaks into a vulgar jig every now and then to the tune of some asinine music. You'd also feel somehow that the God-meets-man-and-shows-some-tricks scenario can only appeal to the audience if presented with the right sort of special effects,e.g, melting skies, a road on the clouds, folks walking on air and vaporising at will, that sort of stuff. You'd moreover, doubtless require that between your bouncer and his girl, there should be a rival lover angle for comic relief. Hell, it worked in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, and it worked in MPKK, didn't it? It always works man, and you know how to do it. In fact, your first half should only comprise your brand of triangular fun, right? God? Oh He'll wait. You know your crowd too well. Hell, you can twist them around your middle finger, huh, Rumi?

(But guess what, Rumi Almighty? While you were busy touching up the special effects, somebody's gone and changed the rules. The audience now, most unfair of them, are hardly pining for an item number on Aksa beach. Even your mentor doesn't know what the viewer wants anymore. Yes, the formidable Dhawan grapples today with the balancing game between the republic of Barka kana and the plex crowds. And you thought you had it all made, didn't you?)

Nuff said. If you were Rumi you wouldn't make these mistakes, I'm sure. I know I wouldn't. The trick here was making it with minimal creative liberties. One had perhaps one of a dozen greatest original comedies of all times, and all one needed to do was add small desi touches here and there. One needn't let loose a creative diarrhea. One certainly needn't select a lead actor who plays all his roles like he is on stage doing a live show (my choice was Arshad Warsi, remember?) and a former beauty queen who looks like she hasn't slept in a week (Priyanka, go spend a month at some spa, please, and quit worrying how Katrina is moving ahead). Speaking of mistakes one shouldn't make, one should also never, never include that mad monkey Sohail Khan in any sort of cinematic enterprise.

In the original film, the homeless man never talks to Bruce Nolan. He does it with his puns on the placard. In the last scene, his board reads: Armageddon outta here. And his face morphs into God's (Morgan Freeman's) as he walks away. In Rumi's edition, he's made that man Salman's chummy and confidante. Towards the end, he is granted a long denied wish, and turns into a barking dog. They put him in a cage and take him away. An eye-opener on how far backwards Rumi had got it all.


narendra shenoy said...

That was a kickass review! How in the world you ended up seeing the movie is beyond me. I'm sure a gun was held to your temple. Enjoyed, brother!

Partho said...

On the contrary, it was I who insisted on watching it. This despite apprehensions from the promo. See, I had always wanted to make this movie in India myself, but what with having to save the world and all, never really got around to it. I was eager to see how somebody else would molest the story. Masochistic, that's me.