Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Wednesday to remember

Saw A Wednesday last week. I know that people have had different reviews about the movie, but as far as I am concerned, I found the movie very well made and interesting.

To start off with, I think the last 10 years, we have seen a lot of off beat movies, breaking the standard formula of a hindi movie, and violating the basic rules associated with every commercial hindi film , if you wanted it to be a hit. Basic rules , like that every Hindi film should have a hero and heroine, at least 5 songs ( including one around the trees), an emotional mother, an evil villian, and all that masala without which a film would be considered not-so-good for the commercial front.

Be it Black, Traffic Signal, Shwaas, Mr and Mrs Iyer, all these movies and plus their success speaks a lot about the change in attitude of movie makers and movie watchers, and I think is a very positive step.

Be warned, that reading further reveals the plot details of Wednesday, and it might not be very good to watch the movie if you already know the plot

The film looks like a typical ransom drama, with Naseruddin Shah chalking out a systematic plot of planting bombs in the city, monitoring police movements, and asking them to release prisoners, in exchange for the information about the bombs, looks similar like the plot to release Maulana Masood Azhar in exchange for IC-814 hijacking.

And, like you would expect, the police releases the terrorists, but in the most unexpected of twists, Naseeruddin shah blows up the terrorists, and it's revealed that he's just a common man, who wants to do his bit to reduce terrorism.

A simple yet powerful story. Bold and precise. No bakwaas, no masala. A film that makes you think. A film which reflects the thoughts of the common middle class educated Indian. About, what impacts his life, and the emotions that he goes through. And the difference that one man wants to make to society. Without a name, without a trace, he does his bit. A man who decided to do something other than the usual . A person who decided to risk his life and go one step forward. Would you be able to do the same?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mumbai Meri Jaan - the review

Saw Mumbai Meri Jaan last weekend with some friends. The movie is well made and has a good and fast paced story, but I guess why I liked the movie really was due to the fact it was about this city I have always loved, whose spirit I have always appreciated, and the events that are shown are some which are very close to my heart.

For those who don't know, the film covers the life of a few individuals from radically different walks of life, and how their life is suddenly affected by this fearsome and sudden event.Some good points about this movie, which I was noting on my phone as I was watching the movie

1. Powerful actors ( as opposed to mainstream film actors ) like Irfan Khan, Madhavan, Paresh rawal,Soha Ali Khan and Kay Kay. The film is so much about their individual performance as opposed to people dancing around trees and singing. In fact , this film looks like one in which the art of acting takes a front seat, and all the masala is left out. Quite a refreshing change, I must say

2. A take on the Indian media. Be it this post , or so many others, we know that the media will want to make a big story, sometimes not thinking that the people whom they are interviewing and showing are individuals who have lost their near and dear ones, and of course dramatizing everything beyond limits. The 'Rupali Bani Rudaali' episode in the film is more than a perfect example for what's going on.

3. A take on NRIs . One film that is honest but still manages to send this message out, that people living in America will complain about small things in India. And like many other films and articles, this does not over do it. Just about right.

4. A strong sense of Satire ( or Vyangya ) which is there in a lot of dialogues/acts. This gives the movie a feel of a drama as opposed to a mainstream movie. If you have been a fan of dramatics, you'll possibly appreciate this point in the movie

5. Paresh Rawal in yet another amazing performance. His act is of the normal Bombay policeman, good at heart, willing to walk with the system, and try to do the best for himself, and somewhere in the corner of his heart, he wants to see this city in peace. Also, with simple yet powerful comments ( about Hindu Muslim unity), he sends across the message in a much more effective fashion to the common man. He acts similar to the Sutradhar of this otherwise disconnected kind of storyline. And his performance, as always, was the icing on the cake.

6. Madhavan in yet another strong performance, both in terms of his role, and his acting. His love-hate relationship with the country, his dilemma whether to go to San Francisco or not ( :) ), and his beliefs and disbelief's are expressed very strongly.

7. The exceedingly popular mall culture in Bombay, and the change the city has undergone in the last decade or so.

But the best moments of the movie were towards the end, especially when the spirit of the city shows up, and the moist eyes of Madhavan, when he participates in the one minute silence in memory of the victims of the blasts, or when the song 'Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan' plays in the background, when Paresh Rawal explains his simple philosophy to Kay Kay, and his change of thinking, just makes you feel so close to the city I have always loved.

It's an amazing movie, you should watch it.

As an end note, I must say that about 2 years back, someone put a comment on my blog, incidentally to a post which was titled Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan

"Mumbaikars are somewhat pathetic. They can't even get the civic administration to fix their storm water drains. Every monsoon season it's the same story and the monsoons are far more predictable than terrorist attacks.

If Mumbaikars are hoping there would be no more terrorism they are soundly mistaken. Like a battered wife who'd rather commit suicide than stand up for her rights, they are the perfect victim."

A thought to think about. Maybe more about that coming in my next blog.