Thursday, July 23, 2009


Eerie, extremely eerie.

Two of my friends both get married in the same year.

And their life style pattern is as identical as that of Seeta and Geeta was not. Now they are in different countries but sometime back even that was common though the folks who invented golf might beg to differ. They both do the same activities over the weekend with their better/worse halves, both are regular gymmers, both are presently home makers, both will be joining a masters course soon in the same country (though thank god different specialisations) and both will be on a visit to the home country soon.

Well as one of our favourite characters Monsieur Morse (or was it Father Brown, damn it we are growing old) says "Life is full of co-incidences"

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Yolk

Review: New York

Once upon a time in history, there was this perfect, ellipsoidal-shaped egg. Paraphrasing the Great Reporter himself, it had bumps and dents where it was entitled to have bumps and dents. On seeing such perfection in form and goodness of purpose, the French presented the egg a statue of the lady with a lump lamp. Naturally, the next thing you know, the egg and the eggcup have an "immigrant problem", but that is neither here nor there, since we are not concerned with the egg, but rather with a movie made about the egg.

The movie starts off with NeNiMu, an aspiring Telecom company, who makes his first trip to the land of the egg to do his "further studies" in, apparently, taking on a first-generation unconfused Johnny Baba in various sports, in a failed attempt to win the beautiful Maya. As an aside, Sab maya hai seems an appropriate description for this part of the movie, which is a picturesque, one-sided depiction of that most trite and holy Bollywood cliche, the love triangle. Or in this case, a directed graph with one extra node.

One mugging and a stabbing later, the graph gets pruned, but before the stars could have done their bit in converting what is ostensibly a thriller of a movie into a drama, History with the capital H intervenes in the form of that invention of '01, the manned Jet-A1 missile.

Since I have no qualms whatsoever of spoiling this movie for the readers (both of whom have better things to do than to watch this movie), I will proceed with a straightforward commentary on the plot: in essence, the Baba is arrested on suspicion (or whatever it is called nowadays), tortured, jailed, and so on in scenes that are filmed in such an over-the-top, grand-mal inducing manner that one feels pity for the poor strobe light used for filming. Once this interlude is complete, the Baba goes on a bread-buying spree that finally gets him a slot as the entree in a four-course terrorist cell wherein, by some mysterious process of Bollywoodical natural selection, he becomes its leader, with contacts with the Raashan mafia who supply weapons and bangers(2) in exchange for getting shot.

Meanwhile, the misnamed telecom giant has, in typical inscrutable fashion, managed to become a taxi magnate (or magnet) of sorts, running his own fleet. When a failed smuggling attempt manages to get him the undivided attention of the FBI (about which, by the way, the viewer needs to exercise his sore and aching Suspension-of-Disbelief.) Naturally, what he is asked to do now is to reestablish contact with his old friends (who have, by this time, done their bit in adding to the population problem.) His case officer is Irrfan Khan, who does such a good job of acting that it is actually painful to watch the others on-screen -- even Miss Eyecandy is almost not sufficient incentive to actually watch the screen.

In an interesting aside, you will be pleased to know that Terrorists-R-Us, CEO'd in some mysterious process by J.Babu, is an equal-opportunity employer. All South Asian nations that owe significant bits of their history to terrorism are represented. If what happens to one of them (well, two, actually, with one at the end of the movie) is an unintended reflection of history, it serves in its own fashion to advance the plot.

Speaking of plot advancements, la Eyecandy, after completing an unmentioned course of study and doing her bit for the world's population, also is apparently working in an NGO for, you've guessed it, the rights of prisoners wrongfully taken in The War Against Terror. As a demonstration of "police brutality", it also serves as one of her patients (maybe she was a psychiatrist?) commits suicide, and in the process, la EC gets her chance to see an anticompetitive deal being made between Irrfan and the telecom giant. This naturally leads to the grand denouement, and the inevitable shootout wherein the telecom giant gets to take care of a budding young waste of space baseball star. The END.

For a movie that seems to have gotten a lot of praise about presenting multi-faceted viewpoints, most of the time is spent in attempting justifications for the acts of terrorism attempted in the movie, while only a cursory glance is spared for the alternate viewpoint, and these dialogues are actually the weakest part of Irrfan's repertoire. Perhaps given the current backlash against the less than humane acts depicted and the praise that the movie gives to the Economic Superhero, this is a good thing. Time will tell, even if the Box Office has returned a clear and unambiguous opinion of the movie. Oh, and Maya really ought to stick to ads. Or Item Numbers. Mmm.

(As an aside, an IMDB review calls "Mission: Kashmir" a Bollywood epic. Did I even see the same movie?)

[2] - No, that wasn't a footnote.
[e] - Johnny Baba makes one wonder about strange pecularities of uncivil engineers that is the sort of discussion best taken offline as providing great opportunities going forward.