Writing reviews hasn’t been easy. Not for me. For one, there have been movies that I adored only to find that my friends disproved completely. It is not only difficult, but almost impossible to tap into the collective consciousness of a million people and come up with a verdict that everyone seems to agree with. I secretly thought ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hain’ was a pathetically queer name for an equally pathetic movie, but nearly all my friends thought otherwise and forced me to revise my opinion. I still don’t like Veer Zaara. I think Preity Zinta should do only bubbly roles. She’ll not make a great mother-in-law twenty years from now unlike Reema Lagoo who seems more like Salman’s mother than Salman’s biological mother herself. I think Salman should stop coyrighting the name ‘Prem’, ditto for Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Raj’ and Hrithik Roshan’s ‘Rohit’.
I make no secret of my admiration of Amitabh Bachchan. When he was voted “Star of the Millennium”, I pooh poohed it. When my father confessed that he watched Sholay 20 times, I laughed. I regretted being so skeptic after I saw him in ‘Black’, in ‘Bunty Aur Bubbly’ in KBC, for ten minutes in ‘Paheli’, in Baghban and now in ‘Viruddh’. Amitabh Bachchan is now experimenting on a canvas that has no limits and he seems to enjoy his acting than ever before.
But, I digress. It has been a strenuous exercise to find out whether I share with everyone else a similar liking as far as my taste in movies is concerned. Fortunately providence has been kind. Its is now possible to watch a movie, and then hear what people who have seen it feel, read reviews in the newspapers/on the net, watch box office collections and umpteen movie based TV shows and thus form an opinion that is not quite er…original, but nevertheless quite accurate. However, I have my boundaries clearly defined. I refuse to admire obnoxiously made art films only because they portray poverty and misery. Swadesh was a great movie and I continue to stand by my words. I still don’t understand why it flopped while ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karoge’ was a hit. I think Shaahid Kapoor is soon going to be counted among the great actors and I am sure Salman cannot act. Vivek Oberoi makes a wrong choice of films while John Abraham has been able to hit the bull’s eye time after time. I think Rani Mukherjee is grossly overrated and Kareena Kapoor is more substance than just glamour. I believe ‘Dil Chahata Hain’ is one of the finest movies made in recent times and that there is an Akash/Sameer/Sid in each one of us. We took turns in college trying to guess which character we would like to identify ourselves with.
Opinions, views, decisions, judgments …...it is so easy to dole out in copious quantities. So easy to watch a three hour performance that embodies so many months of effort and give a verdict that could make or break the fate of everyone involved. The world of movies has always been a make believe world inviting us to escape from reality and enter a world of fantasy.