Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ranbir Kapoor Urban Employment Generation Scheme

The star-power of the Gandhi family. An unending supply of funds courtesy the national exchequer. The glamour of economists like Jean Dreze & Amartya Sen. A proven intellectual like Dr.Manmohan Singh.
All of these contributed to create the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
Now, replace . . .
1. Gandhi family with Kapoor family
2. National Exchequer with Sajid Nadiadwala
3. Jean Dreze & Amartya Sen with Deepika Padukone
4. Dr Manmohan Singh with Imtiaz Ali
What you get is Tamasha. A movie that makes you question the very purpose of film-making. The movie was very thought-provoking in the sense that there were umpteen moments throughout when I would sit and wonder - why did they have to make this movie? And every single time, I came up with the same answer - MNREGS.
Imtiaz Ali, by now, has a reputation as a good director. The incumbent Kapoor is Ranbir. Glamour-flavour of the season, of course Deepika. And of course, Sajid Nadiadwala for money. So now they hunted for a plot. Of course, boy-accidentally-meets-girl-in-exotic-foreign-location. That is ok, but hasn't it been done to death? Ummm, ok. So let's make it intellectuaaal (Banno tera swagger lage saaaxy). We'll try to intellectualize emotions. You know, both will be common folks. But they'll meet at this god-awesome exotic locale and be completely filmy characters. Then they'll come back to India and become normal again. Then there'll be emotional turmoil. Oh yes and plenty of scope for "acting", at least for Ranbir.
I understand split personality, I understand multiple personality disorder, I also know of special children. But Ranbir's acting transcended all this. In that he tried to exhibit one or more of all this and ended up portraying himself much beyond any of this. And ends up irritating you to nails-scratching-blackboard levels.
Deepika has had the same steady level of acting since her first movie. When the camera's not focussing on either her superbly-toned legs (there's this hilarious moment when she wakes up from bed fully clothed - a kurti on top and leggings upto her ankle. Then she sees Ranbir playing football with a couple of kids. She goes down to get coffee after changing...into hot shorts :D) or her dimples, she's trying to emote in that perennially half-choked voice of hers.
The thing with Prem Ratan Dhan Payo was that it didn't take itself seriously. It was a dumb movie from end to end and made no pretense about being otherwise. It didn't take itself seriously which contributed to some hilarity from time to time. Tamasha, while attempting to be fun, is not. It's a movie which (apparently) seeks to explore the finer nuances of human emotions blah blah.
Tamasha could very well be renamed RKUEGS.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On How Our Hidden Insecurities as a Society Surfaced thanks to #ChennaiFloods

Pardon me for being cynical but this whole business of "all communities rose as one", "Muslims serving Hindus meals", "Hindus staying inside mosques", "Muslims, Christians & Hindus together fight the floods" is getting a tad too exasperating. Are we such a failed state that we have to seek not only solace but joy at such things?

I know Chennai is among the more communally peaceful places in the country, and I am every bit proud to be a Chennaite, but do you mean to say Muslims & Hindus in Mumbai would have fought with each other when faced with a disaster of such mammoth proportions? I'm amazed at our level of insecurity as a nation. It is understandable if our media does this job of hyping up trivialities (for want of a better word), but it's plain sad to see the common people hype up what is *expected* in a mature democracy, or at least in any state that aspires to be and sees itself as a major world power.
The common man on the streets might not match your level of intellectualism in drawing room debates but he is definitely high above the incredibly low standards you set for him - that he would indulge in petty faith-based fights & not help when the very question of humanity and survival has arisen. I'm saddened that you thought so lowly of him. I didn't. And I'm glad he didn't prove me wrong.
Another thing - all of you saw what all Chennai is - all these weeks. Now here's an example of what Chennai is *NOT*.
  • Chennai is not the stereotype this article portrays us to be. I've faced my fair share of stereotyping by my North-Indian friends but even the most ignorant among them did not paint such a picture of us.
  • I can understand that you want to flood people's homes with positivity but this article is really scraping the barrel.
  • And the saddest part - the last paragraph. One of Mudhalvan's most classic dialogues was "Kadaiseela yennaiyum arasiyalvaadhiya aakkittaangaley!" (In the end, they have made me also a politician). How sad that after all the stories of heroism, valour, determination & courage transcending caste, creed, religion, sex, Rasheeda Bhagat had to make this to be yet another story of Muslims Vs the Rest!