Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rab and aur sab

Do you see Rab, i.e, God, in Shah Rukh Khan's countenance? Do you, Punk? Because this young lady here, she does. And, of course I don't. But then I've had myopia since about the same time they discovered Ethiopia, which was way before this young lady was even up to the task of wetting her nappies. The lady has a condition, you say? Pity, no? Such a fetching young girl. Like a breeze of fresh air, a friend remarked. Like the girls in breeze soap commercials, I added. Anoushka, her name was. Proficient in every-thing. Dancing, emoting, raising hell on a hyabusa, you name it. Only thing she has a glitch with is her face recognition software. It seems she has difficulty in identifying people every time they change their clothes, don a pair of contacts, or put mousse in their hair. No problemo, I said. You only gotta buy yourself a lenovo, lady, and you're all set. (Wait ! Are those lenovo laptops designed to recognize chhote nawab's mug only? food for ponderance.)

Decades ago, one thirty-something filmmaker had told a story of a couple who got married by circumstances. How they lived the bliss of love blooming haule haule in the surroundings of mundane domesticity until tragedy struck, was the mainstay of his masterpiece, celebrated for decades around the world. Ever afterwards, dozens of films have been made in India with a similar starting point. The premise is a tad frayed at the edges. Umpteen directors good, bad and ugly have grabbed that ball and run with it. Until one day, the ball dropped. With apologies to John Donne, one needn't send to ask on whom the ball dropped, it dropped on Adi.

Several reviewers have trashed the movie and vent disappointment over Aditya Chopra's fall from grace. I wouldn't dwell on it. Let me list the positives. The sets are good. SRK as the bespectacled John Doe a.k.a Surindar Sahni gets a B- plus for effort. But only as Suri, mind you. In his other avatar he is insufferable. If you can skip the movie but sneak inside the hall at about 70 minutes into the proceedings, you could stay for 5 minutes and watch the Shyamak Davar choreographed Bollywood tribute dance, which I found kind of nice despite ghastly music. Especially Kajol briefly impersonating Nargis which was really something. And surely among positives, young Anoushka too, she's a darling. I can never forgive Adi Chopra for giving her a wrong launch. In spite of being YRF product with an Amritsari backdrop, the film has very little sarson-da-saag and makki-di-roti, like some apprehensive souls had feared.

What else is there? Oh, SRK will walk out of this debacle unscathed. Same for Yash Raj Films, who look like they can take 10 flops for every moderate hit they make. Not so much Aditya Chopra, whose credentials as the midas man should take a serious beating after this.

The year end is drawing nigh. It's been a pathetic year for the big budget vehicles for top league Mumbai stars and directors. The biggest success among which was perhaps Singh is Kingg, a fact that pretty much tells the whole story. I'm, however, going to put my money on the Christmas release. Maybe Amir has a finger on market pulse. Maybe Ghazini will deliver. One lives in hope.