'A film that critiques and disses nepotism in the industry, could only be made because there is nepotism in the industry', says Badshah (not his 'real' name. This is his daknaam) as we stream down the outer stairs of the multiplex.
True... Hrithik agrees to do a role that a usual minor character actor may have refused, Bollywood star power flexes its muscles via a steady stream of 'gush - gush thank you sooo much' title track kind of appearances.. All doing a 'real' favour to the Akhtars...
Yet, there is something piquant about the movie. While watching, it grows on you. Like Farhan has done in his career as well... a gentle progress from Director to Actor to singer (or a mix of all 3).
And when directed by a woman - Zoya Akhtar - the movie has a certain distinct sensibility. Of a clearer depiction of the female perspective. Even while it is defines the heroine (Konkona Sen Sharma) within usual feminine 'goody and nice' parameters, the story indicates that while these are virtues, it does not take her very far in life materially or in getting adulation.
And yes, the moral victory is hers (what would we Indians do if we did not have that, huh !?)
The 'hero' (Farhan Akhtar playing the wannabe film actor) does not exactly have feet of clay, he's shown to have feet caked with clay.... e.g. he's not above tweaking each situation to extract maximum mileage (gives deliberate wrong advice to a competitor to better his own chances; ditches his girl friend when it is inconvenient).
And the current multiplex audience laps it up... this is the India of today.
Heard some folks saying they wished the film was at least half an hour shorter. This is one more 'India of today' response.
Life is at sms speed. Short and quick. Soon we shall have fast paced one hour movies coming up.
Like the Kala Ghoda festival that has a 55 word short story contest going on.
More on Kala Ghoda another time. The nicely artsy bitsy Page Three street festival of South Mumbai. Like at one place, there is this loudspeaker with carefully constructed sounds of inside the CST. Batate wade Samose types, Train Horns, Platform talk... Kala Ghoda (the black horse I mean, that gives the street its name ) does not really exist out there in front of Jehangir Art Gallery any longer ( though it did once upon a time long before any of us were born, is now a forgotten and forlorn statue somewhere inside Byculla Zoo).
The real street folks do not quite really exist on this particular gated street... A large dollop of the visible audience, I wager, arrived in their Mercs, and lapping all this up, would not have ever seen the inside of the real CST. Recent terror strike tourism notwithstanding. Here's a simulated reality more real than the real thing.
Who said Jean Baudrillard is dead?
Monday, February 9, 2009
Posted by Piyul at 9:27 AM