Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wrong day, Basanti


Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
-- S. Johnson, "The Life of Samuel Johnson" by J. Boswell

In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last
resort of the scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but
inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
-- Ambrose Bierce



A party is interrupted by the moral police, led by a moral man*. The partygoers and the moral man later gang up, and go on a spree, while shooting a documentary about freedom fighters and participating in the general rediscovery of India.

Thus goes Aamir Khan's latest movie. He's come a long way, acting in movies that ostensibly deal with the history of India. Let me see, there were these:


  • Lawgun: This spoof of that other "patriotic" movie, Topgun, has the heroes playing cricket to reduce taxes, rather than flying tomcats to break the axis of evil. Long, and, if you like cricket, your sort of thing. Heavens help you if you don't.

  • Mongol Pandey: A lone soldier leads a nation. From being ground under the oppressor's heel, to being ground under the colonial heel, pausing along the way to mess up most of what the history books teach. And no, he wasn't fighting against the hordes of Genghiz.
    (Disclaimer: I've not seen this.)

  • Any more? All marketable stories get sequels and prequels, sooner or later.



How do you review a movie that has inspired rave reviews all the way from this pensioners hellhole to the capital? And not by calling it names: it's a hit. (In the plexes anyway, which are, after all, the only places that count.) The answer is, you can't: you merely come away with lessons learned from it. In no particular order:


  • Once you finish college, continue to live there.

  • If you aren't happy with elected officials, do something about them. Something permanent. Like not voting for their party, next time around?

  • When you've finished above, an angst-ridden explanation of your motives, your motivations and the various reasons should be broadcast to the public. After all, they have nothing better to do than to listen to you%, and get inspired.

  • There are many versions of the drinking game. Some are more edge-defying than others

  • Actors on the cheap may be found in colleges. But you knew that already. Budding filmmakers - go there, unless you're there already.



(Fair disclosure: this is not a balanced review. It may contain forward-looking irrelevant statements.)


* someone who refuses to get paid for his services to his country. Of all the characters, from the ratty female 'leads' to the delinquent minus-five-point-nobodies, the displaced sainik merits sympathy. Of a sort. He should have been in mumbai, where the moral police do have bettermore things to do.

% and so, a blog was born. This seems to be an option that the director/scriptor missed, which is a real shame. Just imagine the potentialities, the viral marketing.

1 comment:

vicky said...

>(Fair disclosure: this is not a balanced review

did u mean
Fair disclosure: this is not a balanced reviewer?

since when r v learning from movies? don't u consider movies as fiction stories to be seen, just for the heck of it?

remember: if u pay for to see a movie, try ur best to enjoy it. i can see that, u just wasted ur money on otherwise wonderful movie.