November 23, 2011

The rockstar who dresses up like a watchman

This is my premature opinion on the movie. I've watched it twice but am still baffled. Is the story:
(a) flashback-turned-chronological narrative?
(b) told chronologically?
(c) simply a victim of bad editing?
Is it just me or do you too think that the movie is caught in a time warp? 

There's more confusion. Towards the end, we are told the heroine is in coma. We don't know whether she recovered, stayed in coma or died. The film ends just like that. Maybe the filmmakers chose this ending to leave scope for a sequel. In part 1, Ranbir doesn't get the girl, is thus distraught and takes to music. The sequel can start with the girl recovering from coma. In part 2, Ranbir gets the girl, marries her, is thus distraught and takes to music. Hahahaha... I should switch to script-writing from journalism.

Oh, the movie offended the journalist in me. Ranbir thrashes, screams at mediapersons every time they surround him. Journalists, too, have been portrayed as pests who just care for gossip-story, having no regards for anybody's privacy. And then an editor tells a reporter to shun her ego and be shameless, just get a story. GRRR!

Well, the movie is like New Zealand cricket team. There are sparks of brilliance but fails to impress as a whole. There are many scenes that make you giggle. However, there's no touching scene. When a... Wait! By "touching" I mean "moving", emotionally touching, not physical touching. Phew! Gotta be careful. Yeah, there was just one scene that I found touching. That's when the girl asks the hero: "Can you hug me?"

Ranbir is good, indeed. But why has Jordan, the rockstar, been dressed up like Bahadur, the watchman? The heroine, no doubt she's beautiful and I'll indeed follow her if I spot her on Brigade Road but I didn't feel that pull I get when I see Bipasha or Kareena. Supporting cast is good. I want to know more about the girl who played the heroine's younger sister. What's her phone number?

Bore music
The music is such a letdown. Yet again, AR Rehman failed to impress. Not even one hummable tune. Of all the songs in the movie, I liked the sound of just four words altogether. Barring those four words—Sadda haq, aitthe rakh—and the preceding guitar riff, everything else disappointed me. And roping in Mohit Chauhan to be the voice of a rockstar is like casting Rakhi Sawant as a beauty queen. I like Dooba Dooba but Chauhanji as rockstar? No no.

The first time I had gone to watch the movie, I was greatly disappointed. Moreover, the ticket (first day show) cost me Rs 320. Add Rs 90 as auto fare. Ideally, it should have taken no more than Rs 60-70 but the auto driver had tampered the meter. I didn't complain, just didn't want to miss the movie. And that is why I skipped lunch. So there I was, sitting in the AC-freezed cinema hall; hungry, cold, poorer by Rs 410, suffering ads such as "Vicco Turmeric, nahi cosmetic, yeh hai Vicco turmeric ayurvedic cream." And no beautiful girls sitting around me.

My experience was better the second time. A friend bought the ticket and by now, I had abandoned all expectations. So there was no scope for disappointment. Also, I realised that the pest-journalists are actually paparazzi. Real journalism is as different from paparazzi as bharatnatyam is from break dance.

So, how many stars should I give to Rockstar? Hmmm... I'll give one rock and one star. That's enough.

November 11, 2011

Ra.One is just an expensive Shaktimaan

As a child, I never watched Shaktimaan or Captain Vyom. I used to mock my friends for liking shows as puerile as these. But now, having watched Ra.On, I'm in the same category as them. Actually, I watched the movie twice. I liked it. I'm guilty as charged. Sorry, Shaktimaan.

No, I'm not super impressed by the movie. It certainly didn't live up to the hype. There was no edge-of-the-seat moment (barring when Kareena dominated the frames. Whoa! She's looking AMAZING). In fact, the movie starts on an uber-underwhelming note, giving an impression that it's a bachchon ki picture. And Shah Rukh's portrayal of a goofy south Indian is simply disappointing, even appalling. In fact, when the character died in the first half, I was like, "Thank God yeh mar gaya. Bahut bore kar raha tha." 
Although the real Shah Rukh in the movie is a big let down, the virtual Shah Rukh, the superhero, is entertaining. Somewhat.

What's in a name? A lot

Ah, but wait. We all know Ra.One is the villain and the name is a play on Raavan, the bad guy whom Lord Ram killed. I knew Shah Rukh's character in the movie is called G.One. Until I watched the movie, I was bemused: What kind of unpronounceable or meaningless name (G dot One?) is that. In fact, it first seemed like a roll number. Upon watching the movie, I was bewildered. He was named G.One because it's an abbreviation of "Good one" and sounds like jeevan, matlab life. C'mon! A hero called Jeevan? Is it 2011 or 1911?

Too much hype was given to Akon's song, Chhammak Challo. What's the use? I didn't understand even a sentence. The only thing about the song that kept me engaged was Kareena, who was looking smokin' hot in red. But disappointment reached a new low just after the end of the song as we learnt that the Kareena we were drooling upon was actually the evil Ra.One, who had transmogrified into the lady just before the song started. I felt like puking. I was salivating upon (yuck yuck yuck) an evil, video-game character who is male and not too long ago has gouged out somebody's eye! Ugh...

Dumb, annoying robot

And G.One (Jeevan, whatever) is a robot or machine something, supposed to obey orders. During the climax, he is being instructed not to attack Ra.One but just dodge him. "Ok," he says and then rushes towards the villain with a closed fist and gets thrashed. The bewildered child guiding him asks, "Kya kar rahe ho?", to which he answers, "Pit raha hoon."

Is this supposed to be funny? I call it plain dumb. I was like, what kind of jerk head is this robot, which agrees to a command, does exactly the opposite and then acts innocent. Another disenchanting aspect of the climax is the way Ra.One dies. 
Remember what were Gulshan Grover's last words in Mohra (Akshay Kumar-starrer that had the song "Tu cheez badi hai mast-mast" )? "Dirty mind." That's the way a villain dies. Ra.One—a supposed supervillain—died in most disgraceful manner, howling like a drunkard who's being slippered by his wife.  "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... Ooooooooooooo... Aaaaaaaaaaa..." Shame shame.

...I still like the movie

Wait wait wait... I had started writing this post with an intention to hail the movie, 'cuz I liked it. If whatever I've written thus far seems negative, see, that's not the case. I liked the movie, though not too much but liked it. Oh yes, I particularly liked the scene just after the opening sequence, featuring three sahelees of Bruce Lee—Iski Lee, Uski Lee, Sabki Lee. Hahahaha... 

It might not be a gripping movie but my respect for SRK has just increased. Yes, increased. He worked so hard to promote it. He believes in it so much. That unwavering, childlike faith. He's like, "Screw what people say, I'll do what I believe in." That's a rare trait. Well done, King Khan. I'm not being sarcastic. When criticism gets to you, remember that no one kicks a dead dog.

November 10, 2011

Who dreams of a bitch? I do :-/

I had a bizarre dream last night. As the title says, I was hugging a bitch in the dream. By bitch, I mean a real bitch, not a mean, female homo sapien. She had brown fur and was of Indian breed, the kind you'd find on a street in India's middle-class localities. The location was the street where I'm living in Bangalore. I was sitting next to the bitch, my arms around her neck (I know, it's weird).

Ummm... "the bitch", "the bitch" doesn't sound decent. Let's call her Julie (in memory of my late pet, Julie. If I assign any Indian name to the bitch, you may think I've some enmity towards a girl with that name. Anyway, the dream-wali Julie looked a bit like my real Julie. They both had four legs, snake-like tail, two eyes and a wet nose).

Yeah, so I had my arms around Julie's neck, we were sitting on a pavement, lost in conversation. I wasn't speaking in bow-wows, she was speaking in Hindi. I don't remember what exactly we were talking about, just that I was a bit down and sharing it with her, just as I share with friends. Julie impressed me with her wise words; she was analysing the situation—I don't remember what it was—and I was listening, absorbing, nodding. She was comforting me, and I was glad, grateful that she was there for me.

Let's analyse it

That's all. I don't remember anything else. Now, what is the point of this dream, if any?
1. Sigmund Freud says dreams are the royal road to subconscious. Our subconscious is where all our suppressed desires, feelings and impulses are stored. If Freud is right—many scientists say he isn't—then... I mean... What do I find on my royal road to subconscious? A bitch. What's my suppressed desire? To be heard and understood by a bitch. C'mon, a bitch? 
There are other possible interpretations:
2. In real life, I need not keep distance from a girl just because she seems to be a bitch. She may be sweet and understanding, after all. (Hmmm... I need to think about it.)
3. Beware of girls who sweet-talk you. She's a bitch! (Nah, this can't be. Of all my former female friends—all were so sweet until the snub-act—only one's been a bitch. I've no hard feelings for the rest.)
4. I'm willing to settle for a bitch. (Eww... No! the bitch in dream was not a bitchy bitch. Maybe she was the bitch incarnation of my dreamgirl? What am I saying!)    
5. I covet a bitch. Two-legged. (Well, which guy doesn't!)

Whoa! Take a break, Hemant Gairola. This is taking self-analysis to dangerous levels. I pity myself. With open eyes, I dream of a beauty. With eyes closed, I dream of a bitch! Tragic. And what is worse is that this is not my weirdest dream. I'm wallowing in self-pity after writing all this and thus will end here. With a sigh.

Dreaming permits each and everyone of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.
” —William Dement