Chashme Baddoor. Or Bad Odour

The new Chasme Baddoor is so bad, that it makes you wonder whether David Dhawan has really seen the original one. Or, did someone just give him the script of the older one?

The classic. The one that Sai Paranjpe made. The one that had Farookh Shaikh, Dipti Naval, Ravi Vasvani, Rakesh Bedi, and Saeed Jaffrey. The one that had only a few songs but even that tiny number included two classics – Kahan Se Aaye Badra, and Kaali Ghodi Dwaar Khadi. The one that was so natural that it seemed like it was happening in your neighborhood. The one that featured one of the most iconic non-existent brands ever – Chamko – jhaagwala, khushbudaar Chamko. The one where the smallest of acts, like the one of sharing a cigarette, or going on a bike together was given a magical touch of endearment. The one… Yeah. You get it.

The one.. was subtle. This one is loud and juvenile. The one … was understated. This one is an attack on the senses. This one has pathetic and randomly thrown music, compared to the adequate and beautiful music of The One.
The only thing where I do not want to blame this one is that at least two of the four central figures have tried to act. And the peripherals show up with decent preparation. Remember Saeed Jaffrey. Remember the short powerful sequences at the Paan Bidi shop. This one has Rishi Kapoor running a bar in Goa. And because David Dhawan did not trust him enough, a Lillette Dubey is added as his romantic interest. And two Anupam Khers. And Bharti Achrekar. Not that they are bad, but it just tells you that some calculation has gone wrong, when one powerful Saeed Jaffrey cannot be sufficiently replaced by five good actors. And I can never get over the fact Directors like David Dhawan always reduce such a fine actor as Anupam Kher to such caricaturish characters. The most disappointing presence of the lot, though, is – not the leading lady (even though “dam nahi hai boss!”) – Ali Zafar. Even Arjun Rampal would seem to have more variety to his expressions. In comparison. If you want to. That is. But why would you!!

Long after it got over, I asked myself if my hatred is so high because of the comparision with The One. Yes. Halo effect did happen. BUT. Even if I try to think about the positives, to be honest, I can only think of two – my first experience of watching Siddharth act as a buffoon and a crass lad, and Divyendu Barua, quasi repeating his Pyaar Ka Panchnama act. They do try hard to salvage.
Please do not watch it. I implore you. Let’s not encourage such travesties as David Dhawan’s Chashme Baddoor and RGV Ki Aag.

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Movie Review: Inkaar

Long long time ago, there was a screeching song – Inkaar nahi karna.. hadh se bhi jyada tum kisi se pyaar nahi karna.

The crew that went for the show loves Chitrangada, and there is a general belief that the ravishing babe knows how to select good scripts. The other factor in consideration was the Director, Mr. Sudhir Mishra, who has traditionally delivered interesting movies based on interesting pretexts – Hazaron Khwahieshin Aisi, Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi, Khoya Khoya Chaand, Chameli, Ye Saali Zindagi, etc.

The movie starts with a sexual harassment case brought upon by Maya (Chitrangada) on Rahul (Arjun Rampal), with Dipti Naval playing Mrs. Kamdar (social worker brought in to help resolve the conundrum). Except that it isn’t as black and white as you would imagine. Arjun ain’t ready to accept, and he is a glib talker. And Maya has too many skeletons in the relationship closet as well. The thin line between “favors are fine” and “you’re harassing me now” is what the movie keeps revolving around.

The goods – Plotline. So, to set the score right, the script is interesting. Yet again, Mishra does it right. Office culture, flirtatious relationships, office romance, sexual favors, harassment suits, etc. have been depicted once by a gentleman with a Bhandarkar surname. Yet, this one is closer to being, rather than the gloomy picture that he loves to showcase. And it is, unlike most trash that wants you to take side, this one is balanced.
The soundtrack is quite good as it gels with the movie, and there are a couple of very good songs. The couple of Kanwaljit scenes are actually brilliant and key to understanding the movie. The climax is good, but could have been better. The first half, where it ends, could have just added 15 more minutes to wrap up the movie. The way the relationship between Maya and Rohit is unveiled is interesting. And rather than show a Maya, Rahul and true version of everything, they’ve kept things reasonably ambiguous throughout.

The bads – First up, horrible editing. The movie should have been at least 40-45 minutes shorter, and it would have been an awesome crisp movie. But then, we haven’t known Mr. Mishra’s movies to be well edited. Read the list again. Then comes the dialogue. The movie has some hilariously bad dialogues that I don’t want to get into. Better dialogues could have saved the movie. Third, the waste of two glam ladies- Dipti Naval and Chitrangada. Dipti Naval almost isn’t herself. She is bad in this movie, which she has never really been anywhere else. Not in my memory. Chitrangada looks as gorgeous as she always does, but she is off color in the acting department this time. No one expects anything, so why waste e-ink on him. Though, to be fair, he is actually decent. Or, maybe its my lower expectations and some halo effect. Even Shivani Tanksale is wasted. The best guy is Vipin Sharma as Guptaji. And lastly, while the movie is setup quite well over a lot of rapidly moving scenes that alternate between versions of the story, the damn things goes on a tad too long before it gets anywhere. The suspense is interesting to start with, but you need newer conflicting angles for things to stay interesting. Not a cat fight. Unless you are into LOLCAT videos.

Endnote – 2 of the 4 enjoyed the movie. 1 is coming around, and saying it wasn’t that bad. And me – well, I wouldn’t have missed not watching it. But it ain’t the too bad. It’s a 2.5 on 5.

Movie Review: Om Shanti Om

It’s a weird feeling to be writing a blog post after so long. Not surprisingly though, to voice my opinion of the haute news in town – Om Shanti Om. But that does not mean that I haven’t been watching movies lately. Its just that I have been terribly busy lately. Busy is not new for me. Terribly busy happens all the time. But this has been the worst possible spell ever of busy-ness. Saluja would have been proud to see me putting so many night outs. Something even Inductis could not do with such frequency.
Back to OSO, a tribute to the yesteryears (that part is similar to how Main Hoon Na was done) and an open admiration of SRK, is definitely watchable. You smile almost throughout the movie, but at the end of the movie, you have this weird expression in your mind which is that of your squint eyes staring at you and saying, “Well…..”.
Deepika Padukone impresses in her debut. She does what she can do really well – she looks gorgeous. However, she does what I did not expect a lot of – manage her way in the acting department.
Shreyas Talpade, as usual, is subtle and good. Kiron Kher, as usual, is loud but good.
Most importantly, SRK is, as usual, LOUD, hamming, but quite unusually, fitting. It’s a role that let him be – an over-actor, with an ease that can only come when you’re not acting!
The movie is a mish-mash of Karz, Madhumati, with plenty of spoofs (like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge), quite a few gaping voids (people leaving the hot shot producers to lie on the floor just when a mishap has happened), some great editing (I loved the shots where DP is dancing with Sunil Dutt (not Sanjay Dutt) and old-time Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra, average to good music and a lot of masala. Comments on the industry cannot be missed – be it a Sooraj Barjatya searching for cliché dialogues, or the subtle reference to some star sons being superstars by virture of being star sons (read- Abhishek Bachchan), or the dominance of Khans and Kapoors in the industry. The best comment is when a director Partho Roy (reference to great Bengali directors) who has put in three cameras – one for Bimal Roy angle, one for Satyajit Ray angle and one for GuruDutt angle is suggested by Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal playing a producer – Prakash Mehra?) – ek Manmohan Desai angle daal do, wahi kaam aayega! This definitely comes across as Farah Khan’s way of deprecating the industry/her comrades to create some laughters – just as dada (Subhrajyoti Ghatak) would do.
Story – Beaten to death reincarnation story, cameras panning in from all angles to remind the protagonist of his forgotten past life, a white-haired mother leaving no chance for cracking melodramatic monologues, a friend who’s grayed with the age and believes in his friend, a spirit who manifests just at the right time to seek her revenge, even as things are being kept as human as possible. A villain who conveniently commits a murder and leaves the country to return 30 years later where his past is waiting for him. Oh-so-convenient. Its not the story where the effort is put. The story is conveniently taken off from Karz, Madhumati (yeah! she thought I wouldnt notice!), chala murari hero banNe and the likes. It’s the screenplay and editing where the effort has been put.
Screenplay and editing – Good. Better than above average. Good comments, spoofs and humor.
Music – Ajab Si and Main Agar kahoon are definitely above average. Rahat’s Jag Soona Soona Lage is standard Rahat Fateh Ali Khan fare – soulful, nice, but wont make it as big as Saiyaan (Ta Ra Rum Pum) or Mann Ki Lagan. updated (11-Nov) – won’t make it as big as his previous songs (like Mann ki Lagan (Paap) or Jiya Dhadak Dhadak Jaye (Kalyug).  (Khan – Thanks for pointing out. My mistake!!)

Overall – Definitely watcheable once. Don’t go by my cribs. I think it’s a director’s movie. She has played it by her creativity which is weird and funny. And she has done a tremendous job of editing. Actors are fitting. Everyone fits. Even the over acting kkkkkk.. Khan. .. shahrukh khan.

and on that note -I do want to watch Saawariya. Despite the complete snubbing it has got from many reviewers. 1. Its based on Doestoevsky’s White Night. 2. It wont disappoint me on a couple of counts – Great camerawork and sets, and some great imagination.

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