My take on Guzarish


Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies are like epic poems. “Khamoshi” was a poem, “Hum dil de chuke sanam” was a masterpiece, “Devdas” was an epic and “Black” was all of them. Then, he got tired of presenting poems. Now he presents only drafts – unfinished ones. Guzarish is one among them; it seems that he dint put too many thoughts into it to make it perfect. Started well though!

Quick question, does “major milestone” translate to “bada meel ka paththar” in Hindi? I dint keep myself updated with Hindi, then! Anyways, back to review.

Guzarish falls short of telling a convincing story, tries to give a wrong message in between, then turns weird and finally ends like a Karan Johar movie – making everyone in the hall cry. Fortunately there are several clues in the movie shows it had a great idea behind it before while it was written and Bhansali lost it later point.

Plot is very simple. Flashback is picked from (Oh, sorry… inspired by) a Hollywood flick – “The Prestige”. A jealous illusionist (in Bollywood a magician) gets the apparatuses bugged and boom! Mr. Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan) is crippled for rest of his life. Ethan takes this as a challenge and starts a radio show from his bedroom, and he becomes popular once again. After a decade of doing this, he decides give up his life and files a petition against Union of India for an approval on mercy killing, which gets rejected as it is unconstitutional.

This is how Goan maids look like., any questions ?

Guzarish

The movie ends with an indication that his maid (Aishwarya Rai) will assist him to do when court rejected. Now, this story went wrong for two major reasons

  • Movie does not attend the reason why Ethan wants a mercy killing. Nowhere in three hours Bhansali shows Ethan is suffering or it is getting worse. Finally it looks like Ethan is asking for mercy killing Euthanasia (Referred as Ethanasia) because he got bored!!
  • Court does not attend the argument “Why grant Euthanasia only to him?”. They start to discuss it, but later they forget! I really don’t think “Because he chooses for himself” is a justifiable reason. This shakes the foundation of the movie.

All other areas (direction, acting etc) were comparatively good; they are in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s standards. I acknowledge that he is one of very few directors who don’t believe in overacting to bring drama, nor Masala. While I am thankful for that, it is frustrating to see some of the details are missed out.

Hrithik was good; BTW, did I mention that I brought him out of my “No watch list” after Kites? This movie could look good in his resume. Sofia (Aishwarya Rai) simply exists in this movie which any actor could have filled in. If you read the plot again, you see Sofia the maid (Aishwarya) does not have anything significant to contribute to the story. In-fact, she is one of the week points of the movie. If I were Bhansali I would have filled someone not so famous, like he did for that doctor or lawyer.

Now, list of flaws:

  1. Why the movie gives old feeling? I initially thought the story itself is picturised in old age, at least 40 years. But no, they talk about SMS etc. Confusing! Is there a place in Goa where people live just like they did in colonial era?
  2. The maid seems to be a financially poor girl with drunken husband, but appearance makes her look like a princess – couple of centuries of old. She has an heir style of German village girl and wears veils like a secret cult. Total confusion.
  3. You can observe the difference between how Hollywood and Bollywood takes on exact same things differently. In Prestige he is an illusionist and here Ethan is Magician! In 90 minutes movie Hollywood does not forget to show a glimpse of magic apparatuses – they ensure whatever audience see is a result of smart equipment and quick movement. But Bollywood does not care – It just happens like any paranormal activity! They had 180 minute, just to remind you.
  4. Konkani was dubious. In Hum dil de chuke sanam, there was some Guajarati and in Devdas, Bengali. In Guzarish Bhansali forgot about Konkani. There were couple of words here and there; they sounded more like Marathi than Konkani.
  5. Songs weren’t great! There was one dance – A Goan would have been nice. Instead it was a Spanish..ish dance! Aishwarya treats it as metal rock! My point is Sofia does not look like a person who does mock rock in a pub, she is a serious character – If you observe she talks less than Man Mohan Singh.
  6. Ash wears longest skirts in the world (already in Guinness records!) and she rides bicycle back home! It’s long since I’ve been to Goa, but it is hard to believe skirts keep getting  longer there as days go. Nothing wrong with the concept, just that it is funny to imagine a 15th century European skirt driving early 20th century Hero bicycle.
  7. What’s about Karan Johar ending please? For 15 minutes Ethan says thank you note. “Last but not least” and “Thank you one and all”.

Looks like Bollywood is rearranging its resources. Best chocolate hero Vivek Oberoy (remember Sathiya?) does action super hero roles (Remember Prince?), Martial art specialist Akshay Kumar does henpecked roles and now Best dancer in Bollywood plays handicapped! Salman and Shah Rukh..err what are they good at again ?

Enthiran – the robot


Enthiran - the robot
image via moifightclub.wordpress.com

It wasn’t horrible. Not bad for an attempt from Indian cinema trying to match Hollywood standards. I enjoyed it, well done. At the same time I wish the movie could have been better if director did not worry about audience “understandability factor”. Some compromises were silly.

It looks like Indian cinema waited too long, with jealousy, to make a movie Hollywood always bragged about. Enthiran the robot try to attempt all of them in single shot. If you club all of the action scenes of this movie together and observe you can see Terminator, Mummy, Mask, Anaconda, iRobot etc etc. You can even name specific scenes which are picked, and where they are picked from. Good news is there is nothing taken from The Matrix, unlike all Bollywood action movies from last one decade did.

On the whole, while watching the movie, you could read through director’s mind. Let’s make biggest budget movie in India, then let’s add biggest star in India. Let him be present in almost all frames of the movie. To make it easy, let’s put him in double role, or hundred more. The aggregate of five minutes where he is not present on the screen, let’s put the most popular actress in India even if her presence does not matter. Hire some expensive graphic designer from west and ask them to repeat the designs. Find locations for songs, where no other Indian movies are shot, a great wonder may be! etc etc. Watch it yourself (yes, I recommend), if all these taken out of the movie – it’s an average average plot.

Few good things about the movie…

  1. Graphics: never been tried in Indian cinema in such a detail with so much clarity. Stills falls way below perfection. For example, there is a scene one day old Enthiran tosses an infant to play with him, looked like old jungle book cartoon.
  2. Technicality: Very good progress as compared to same industry which produced movies about hacking systems with “Windows media player”. Nothing much silly. Just fine except few.
  3. Rajanikanth: he was good. He looked natural and not much “style factor”. I have few things to criticise, but that would be Blasphemy. Overall, no complaints.
  4. Aishwarya Rai, she was good. No overacting and no under acting. Looks like she found some weight(see image below).

Few bad things:

  1. Music, Not even half of Rahman’s level. Songs are crappy, plain simple stupid. Kilimanjaro, for the record, is my third most irritating song. (The other two being “Kajrare” and “Aa ante amalapura”). These songs make itching sensation at back of my brain.
  2. They sing and dance Kilimanjaro on the top of Machu-pitchu Mountains! These two are half globe away from each other! Makes me wonder where is costume from – Papua New Guinea?
  3. Robot should be designed to take optimal path. But this one acts plain stupid path. I mean Anaconda – Really? Can a robot fly?  If yes, then why does it walk on rest of the scenes?
  4. Costume: Robot costume could have been improved a lot. In some scenes (a song) it looks like Flintstones costume(see image below ). Back to Kilimanjaro song, Rajani was wearing a doormat!
  5. Is cycling shorts in fashion again? Must be for conservative crowd! Miniskirts are beyond our cultural limits, but it is acceptable if it is accompanied by cycling shorts.
  6. “DOT”?!? Is a “dot” after a strong statement same as PERIOD? Probably because “period” already has some other meaning in Indian English.

image via a forum

As I said earlier, it’s worth watching movie. I would watch it again, but not same crowd please. The cinema I watched was filled with some absolute crazy dudes. They had no idea what’s going on in the movie. For example, maximum applause (and whistles) winning scene in the movie is Robot Rajani harassing Ash! I don’t think movie fails to deliver the message it was originally intended to… but for some whatever Rajani does is fun. DOT.

Movie review: Raavan


By this time you would have already read about the review on both versions of Raavan, mostly discouraging.  Yes, I am here backing them up. I am writing this review to those who still want to try this. Guys, there is still time, it’s never too late to cancel the ticket.  And for any reason if you cannot cancel your tickets, join the party after 90 mins. Tadaa!!, you still caught the whole movie!

Direction sucks! But I still forgive Mani Ratnam. People should be allowed to do mistakes not repeat it, that’s all. Abhishek overacts his way through the movie. His madness seems to be sinusoidal. In a way it is good, at least you can predict when he is going to bray next. Aishwarya and her makeup kit were always attached; wish somebody explained her that she is not supposed to, at least not in this plot. Vikram! I am not impressed. Now I think I can extrapolate the level of over acting in Ravanan.

Cinematography is fine. But can you tolerate beautiful clips with some “star”s trying their “act”ing in foreground? Would you rather not watch “national geographic” 🙂

This movie did not do well in almost all departments. But at the same time it is not stupid. It does not consider audience as stupid either. For this reason alone I would still rate it more than most of Akshay, Shah Rukh and Salman movies.

  • Graphics sucks! Technology back to 80’s.
  • What’s up with the rain? It rains almost every scene!
  • Monologues! Are we officially back to Shakespearean plays ?
  • Falling off the cliff. How many please? This is not a movie on mountaineering. Please limit it to less than five next time.
  • Please do not shake freaking camera! This is not “Fast and Furious”.
  • Aishwaryas’ eyes are beautiful, we get it! You don’t need zoom it in every other scene! Try ears or nose next time.
  • Song and dance! Are you kidding me? I am going to write this for the last time. Synchronised dance spontaneously is never possible in reality.Period.

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