Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Thought that lingers

"I travelled a lot once, but you can go on doing that and not get anywhere. Wherever you go or whatever you do, most of your life will have to happen in your mind. And there's no escape from that little room!"
-Ruskin Bond's "Our Trees Still Grow In Dehra"

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Sarkar Raj - Review

Sarkar-1, I felt, had the raw, fiery intensity of a stalking road Romeo. In Sarkar Raj, disappointingly, the picture turns as rosy as a young bride’s honeymoon.
In Sarkar’s Gundaraj, there’s no room for grey – it's Orbit white. So we have the Bachchan father and son, as Sarkar and Shankar, thinking only of the good of Maharashtra (so much so, that I felt the sole purpose of their endless conversations on-screen was to show their middle finger to Raj Thackerey).
Aishwarya, who was invited to perform the role of Anita (either because RGV availed the discount package of take-two-get-one-free, or he was fed up of having Ash accompany Abhishek everyday to the sets and gave her some staring/ squinting/ pouting role to do to help her kill time), pretends to be an ambitious, go getting CEO of a company wanting to set up a power plant in Maharashtra. We know this because she says, 1. “I have a business plan”, 2. “Aap project report toh dekhiye" and 3. “Yeh power plant mera dream project hain.”
In the rest of the film, she coolly forgets she’s on camera and goes back to playing the bahu of the Bachchan khandaan. “Aap wahan ja rahe hain? Mein bhi aaun?” she asks Abhishek, not once but twice in the movie. “Dad kal aa rahe hain,” she tells Abhishek, as soon as he finishes mourning the death of his pregnant wife. And two shots later: “Aaj dad aaye hain. Hum ek get together rakhe hain, aap sab ko aana hain.” She makes unsolicited, unannounced appearances into almost every second frame in a rather ghostly ghastly fashion. She thinks it is her business to be there when Abhishek fires one of his trusted lieutenants. She interrupts the emotional scene between father and son after a family tragedy. She turned out to be quite a distraction for Abhishek, who looked like he was swallowing a giggle, or a yawn, each time he was with her.
But I’m digressing. Back to the movie. RGV snipped the movie from its 2 hours 48 minutes to 2 hours 2 minutes – and it shows! The characters were not adequately fleshed out; the sequence of events also seemed random and vague. Rajesh Shringarpure took his activist role as seriously as Friends’ Joey took the role of Dr Ramoray, and turned out to be (unintentionally) hilarious. Dilip Prabhawalkar carried forward his role from Lage Raho Munnabhai and spewed Gandhigyan. The villains were consistently irritating and I was grateful that I didn’t have to wait for long to see them die.
It was the last half hour that brought my interest back to the movie. I liked the spin – as Ekta Kapoor-ish it may have been – and no one could have executed it better than Amitabh himself.
I think this movie deserves a watch only for Amitabh’s sake.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Pre-nuptial test

My dad, a true blue Aquarian, is the most unpredictable, unreadable person I know. So when Conscience Keeper came home last evening to discuss our marriage, he was mentally ready for scowls, glares and even the possibility of being turned away at the door. But little was he prepared for a written test!
Conscience Keeper had to tackle objective and essay type questions even as his mom made vain attempts to peep and help him out.
Some questions were fairly simple: Name, Date of Birth, Time of Birth, Place of Birth, Height, Family Background, Academic Qualifications, Salary etc. (The one on Weight was the only question where Conscience Keeper needed some external prompting. Subsisting only on his four roti, daal and salad ration a day since April 1, Conscience Keeper, who checks his weight every three hours, couldn’t decide between 71, 70.8 and 70.4 kgs – his weight list for yesterday. He was almost tempted to put 70.4 kgs but my dad firmly said he wanted the average and closed the matter.)
The essay-type questions, it was learnt, included: Objective of Marriage, and Expectations from the Bride.
Both men refused to share details. My dad filed the answer sheet with the rest of his documents and kept it in the locker. He later insisted on making dosas for all of us, which we would like to think is a go-ahead sign.