Movie Review: Khoya Khoya Chand

I watched Khoya Khoya Chand on Friday. Its a different matter that I am writing the review now.

 To me, its a brilliant movie that would fail to make its mark. Reasons – to be honest, I dont want to dissect the this and that of the movie and kill a dream in the process. I see KKC as Sudhir Mishra’s tribute to his time in the Hindi Film Industry (pardon me for not referring to it as Bollywood yet). And I can tell you what I liked about the movie. Its brilliant in its canvas, cinematography, characterization. The music is quite awesome.the thought behind the movie is quite profound. The imagination vivid. The use of cinema within cinema is a novel way of showing the reality that cinema is supposed to present. And for that, I would like to give full marks to Mishra.

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The place where the movie fails is its editing. Its too slow and too disjoint at times. Everything makes sense, everything fits, and yet, you are fidgety in your seat at times. At times you wonder, for how long has this thing being going on? And then, the twist happens. The twist in the personality, emotions bring you back to whats happening on the screen. Its a wait and bait game that the movie plays with you. If you fish for fun, waiting can be too boring. If its your bread and butter, you know that for a bigger catch, you may have to wait longer. The movie will not appeal to people who prefer spending 150 bucks on an Om Shanti Om, where every minute of the movie is supposed to be explicit, entertaining, and exciting. The movie will appeal to theatre enthusiasts who like the use of sets, dialogues, imagery, limited words, multiple interpretations, the play between characters, the way the story buildds for 10 minutes to give you an ephemeral kick. None of the characters is a “hero”. None of them is a villain either. They are all playing their part in the gray zone. The shot where Zafar (Shiney) is mad at Nikhat (Soha) for not having tried her best in getting his way with a producer is an exquisite display of the real side of people. We all lose it at times, say things that we dont mean in general, but we do mean them in the spur of the moment. The shot where Prem Kumar (Rajat Kapoor) asks Zafar and Shyamul (Vinay Pathak) “sirf main hi itna haraamzaada hoon? ya sab aise hote hain?” is again a reality check. In another shot, zafar asks Nikhat – “hum to yahin hain. aap kahan hain? aap kahan they?’  and in another zafar tells shyamul – ise chod ke jeena bhi to mumkin nahi hai! The movie is a gem. Its a gem that some people will appreaciate on DVDs. But its bound to bomb at the box office. It may get an award somewhere, but most likely, it wont get any financial rewards. I live with a hope to be proven wrong on this.

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Shiney, Soha, Rajat, Sonya,  Vinay, et al shine. And you can see the effort. At times, shiney does go slightly overboard, but only slightly. Soha is a find. There are shots where she looks exquisitely beautiful, and there are shots where she looks like an ordinary girl. Isnt that what cinema is? A make believe world.

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And thats why you should see it. Its abotu all the things that make Cinema what it is. Glamorous, yet painful! Inviting, yet indifferent!!

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Changing redundancies…

We live in a world where redundancies are far too many and far too quick.

Last night, I was at the Mumbai airport, ready to catch a flight to New York, and I was reminded of my first trip to US back in 2004. Back then, I had taken a flight from Delhi. I did not have an iPOD then, I did have a cellphone which I used fairly sparingly. I  had borrowed a Discman from Moron with a few MP3 CDs adding to the weight of my bag.

Back then, people used to reach the airport 3 hours before the flight departure and there used to be chaos reigning everywhere. Now, even 2 hours gives you a 30-45 minute wait at the airport.

Anyway, back then, I had no idea how to kill my time, because Dad had ensured that I don’t have to go through the usual immigration queues. I was on the other side in about 15 minutes flat, and I was left with about 2 hours to kill.

Back then, I spent 2 hours just looking at people around me. I tried reading a book. I was a voracious reader back then. But my idea of enjoying a book is not sitting in a large hall where every minute someone is making an announcement about some flight leaving, and some boarding happening, and someone having lost his mobile phone. Back then, there weren’t too many people listening to pods or talking to girlfriends. In fact, those who hogged that solitary free phone (for local calls) talking to their girlfriends or their entire clan (yeah, the time required for both might actually be the same) invited hateful glances from those waiting in the queue. Back then, there were a lot of people like me. Looking around at faces. Eager to strike a conversation. Back then, there were laptops, but wi-fi was not the in-thing. Back then, Air India had television screens dropping from the plane ceiling showing movies that Indians and foreigners took turns at not being able to understand. People with nice CD players were given envious looks. People carried 2-3 books. And a whole lot of people looked bored. Dead bored.

Last night, I just noticed that things were different. People had cellphone, IPods, PSPs, and laptops with wi-fi connections keeping them busy. But these are gadgets that kept them busy while they were at the airport. Once you are inside the flight, the interactive TV takes over. There are 20-odd movies and several TV serials and music videos to choose from. Suddenly, the pod becomes redundant. The laptop is not needed unless you have some work that needs attention. Discman is history. Every seat has its own console. You can play some games too. These days, there are less people looking bored. Even on flights that keep you meaninglessly engaged for 16 hours at a go.  There are television screens with beaming newsreaders, several coffee and snack joints. There is free internet from Airtel for wifi enabled laptops. There aer sophisticated blackberries that people use to check their emails. There are English speaking Indians at the airport, a greater queue at the duty free, and a different kind of chaos. 80% of the young travelers have some variant of an iPod.

However, everything has a short-lived utility. Even relationships.

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