Monday, August 21, 2006

Good-bye and Goodnight

I stayed up till 4am this morning, to watch Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. Arrrgghh!! I am totally bleary eyed now and a bigger fool than I was last night, when friends warned me not to sacrifice a good night's sleep to see ShahRukh divorce Priety to marry Rani. KANK is 3.5 hours, boring, dull and lacks something that I really cannot pin point at (atleast not now, when I am so disgusted)

Shahrukh, please grow up. You are nearing the end of your career. I agree, that you are have had more box office success than nearly any actor in Bollywood history (is he really the most successful in terms of box office collections?) but we need a break. Ten years after DDLJ, you are still acting the same way. When I saw you in Swadesh, I thought you might have changed, but I suppose box office obligations drove you to revert back to the same school of acting.

Dev (played by ShahRukh) is the failed footballer who turns to coaching after an accident cripples him forever. Rhea (Priety Zinta) is his ambitious wife, who is a go getter and a winner. Maya ( Rani Mukherjee) is a simpleton at heart married to party organiser and (hence) party amimal Rishi ( Abhishekh Bachchan - don't I love that guy!). Now, put the four in a churning pot and watch the concoction brewing into a Bollywood masala mix.

Dev thinks his wife is too ambitious to have a happy family. Maya thinks her husband is too engrossed with himself to care about her and so, Dev and Maya fall in love with each other. Thereby hangs a tale. Now, the pathetic part of the plot is that, Rhea (Dev's wife) is ambitious, but makes real effort to look after her family and be with them whenever she can. Rhea's character is not painted in black, but had shades of grey. It really throws the same question that Abhimaan with the Big B and Jaya Bachchan posed before society nearly 30 years ago, with so much more subtlety. What's wrong if the wife is more successful than the husband???? Why is it that a husband can get away with long working hours under the guise that he is doing all this for his family while the same does not hold for the wife? In the story, Rhea works extra hard so that she can buy the best for her son and provide him with all the comforts in life. What's so wrong with that????

On the other end, we have Maya who thinks that she has not been able to connect to husband, Rishi. Agreed, that the fellow is a party animal, but it does not justify a failed marriage. Fellow shows his love for his wife all the time, and tries to keep her happy day in and day out. Infact, Rhea has the weakest character, but the most screen presence in the movie and it has puzzled me to no end. Why on Earth does she think she cannot connect to her husband. He is after all, not the indifferent phlegmatic man who does not have any interest in his wife!!! To the contrary, Rishi does his best to keep Rhea happy, but she is the one who seems to be indifferent.

Now, even as I am trying to figure out why Dev and Maya think that their respective marriages are failing, we come to the part of the movie where they spend time with each other and fall in love. Falling in love is the prerogative of Hindi cinema and therefore, I dare not question it, though Rishi's father Sam (Big B - more on that later) does offer by way of explanation that two people trapped under similar circumstances will bond closer. I agree with that. When R, M and I did not study for our DBMS paper and decided to 'co-operate' during the exam - we bonded very well during those three hours. The rest they say is not called Essential Repeat.

So, then I do accept that just because they have both had rocky marriages, they bond while discussing their problems and realise that they would be happy if they spent the rest of their lives with each other. After this it gets tough. You see Dev and Maya meeting secretly and doing what tantamounts to cheating on their respective spouses. You are supposed to empathise with that. At the same time, you have not exactly been taught to consider Rhea or Rishi as villains, so you are totally dazed, because you do not know what is right and what is wrong. There! got it. What's missing in KANK is a message. This movie was supposed to be some path breaking movie in Bollywood, but it does not leave any definite message. You come out of the movie wondering who was right and who wasn't. As for myself, when I sat through 3 hours of this mammoth movie and switched off my laptop when there were 30 minutes still remaining, I thought the only message worth remembering was that it was no use losing sleep over KANK. Yawn!

PS - Big B - wasted - as some kindof a compulsive sex maniac, who yet mourns the loss of his wife. I respect that guy too much to accept him in a role like this.


Akash said...

Hey, very nice review; so much that you ended up making it a bit of an interesting movie what you originally did not want to mean. Which reviewer wanted to analyze a sloppy movie as deeply as you did? The plot seems to deal with some complexities of relations which are very tricky and better handled with caution which perhaps, the director failed to do with. I can’t risk any comment as I did not watch it. Nevertheless, your review makes it all the more worth it, may be just for one time.

Just one peripheral comment.

I think AB is undoubtedly an actor of highest genre. The challenge for any ambitious and talented actor/actress is to fit into any role seamlessly. In my opinion, it’s no child’s play when thousands of flash bulbs are focused on your face and a zillion crew members are watching you and you are asked to enact a role to which, in reality, perhaps, you do not even remotely relate. I just can’t imagine how people manage to do that. For an actor this is the real challenge. I think a massive amount of concentration is required to make it look like real, to say the least. So there is no reason to feel less respect for someone when he plays the role of a sex-maniac as if he himself is such. On the contrary he deserves kudos for inducing such feelings in the audience through his performances. Doesn’t he? Remember, by doing that the actor is no way glorifying or even supporting the act of a sex-maniac which is deplorable regardless of time, space and ethos in a civilized society.

This is great to know that Abhishek is also living up to the standards set by his father. I recently watched him in Antarmahal, a Bengali movie by Rituporno Ghosh. Discussion of how the movie fared, is out of scope here, however, Abhishek was awesome and very well brought out the essence of the role entrusted with him.

Anwesha Chatterjee said...

@Akash: AntarMahal is a sick movie...but Abhishekh Bachchan is getting better and better with every movie. I loved his 'Lallan Singh' act in Yuva and since then have been keenly following his career. There is no doubt that he is poised to be the next superstar.

Also, I do not have a problem with senior Bachchan's role. My bone of contention is that it is out of context and does not fit into the movie.

Frankly, don't waste your time or money behind this movie. Its just not worth it!!!!

Akash said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Akash said...

At the moment, the names that come to my mind to exemplify the versatility of acting are Sean Penn and the three movies he acted in: The Thin Red Line, Dead Man Walking and I am Sam.
Ei tinte movie iii khub touching.

Kabhi Alvida na Kahna movie ta to dekhtei hobe … If I like it, all credit to me for taking risks despite your warnings. If I don’t like, the blame is on your review which makes the movie unimaginably intriguing. I cannot concentrate on my work until I bring the spouses back to their rightful places. I shall request them earnestly not to break away.

The Reprobate said...

going and watching a Karan johar movie..... serves u right :))

Been a while lady

Aparna.G said...


i agree with u..completely, wholeheartedly,undoubtedly!!

am in mumbai now, btw..!

Anwesha Chatterjee said...

@Aparna: in Mumbai now?? cool!!! Hows Mumbai treating you?