Friday, December 22, 2006

Pishtoon and dishum are better than gravity defying stunts.

The writer is trying to do a nasreen munni kabir which he knows he cannot. Discrepancies are inevitable and this is NOT a compendium on hindi cinema.
Happy reading..

"Bollywood has come of age","Bollywood is a bigger industry than hollywood","Hindi movies draw larger audience than english movies". These are some of the headlines of those dime a dozen movie magazines. Surely, the journalists have forgot the moot point in this euphoric time. It is because of the FDI and the sapient IT entrpreneurs that movies are becoming blockbusters even with lacklustre screenplay and storyline. A few days back, while confabulating with my friend (name withheld on request), i asked whether she liked old hindi movies. She snapped "NO, they are boring". I was flabbergasted. I gathered myself and further asked if she likes rafi's songs. She quipped "they are toooo slow". That was the final nail in the coffin. This is not a one off case. The GEN X hardly appreciates the golden period of hindi cinema. Balraj sahni is hardly recognised as the marlon brando of hindi cinema. His "do bigha zameen" finds mention in every film critic's "must watch list". These days, every well known film maker , from farhan akhtar to david dhawan, is making a remake of those masala potboiler fares of manmohan desai and prakash mehra. Does this imply that our industry is bereft of original ideas ? Partly yes, partly no.

Its true that the multiplexes have revolutionised hindi cinema. Niche movies like khosla ka ghosla or say jhankaar beats did get appreciation but there are lots of reasons to crib too. Hazaaron khwahishein aisi is a movie which did not get any patronisation from the movie watching audience. Why ?? Well, the sensibilities of the indian audience is nowhere near that of the international one. Howelse can one explain the reason about why slapstick movie like phir hera pheri or a prosaic fare like veer zaara are biggest hits of hindi cinema. Movie watching has transmogrified from hair raising experience(read it as gooseflesh) to dick raising experience. Testosterone levels started getting up many nothces. It is not an apocryphal that after looking at the D cup decolletage and delphic roundness of the derrieres of mallika sherawat in murder a 11 year old kid runs to his mom and says "mummy mummy i got a bone in between my legs". This is a disconcerting fact much to the consternation of this writer and many others.

See through sari, pelvic thrusts and moans, navel groping,booty shaking, metronomic swinging of the "twins", a yawn inducing smooch are the accoutrements of these days songs on screen. Surely an AC NIELSEN team must have dont a pilot survey -on the behalf of filmmakers- among those soozled up and randy guys in kamathipura and come up with their version of wet dreams. In the erstwhile era the heroines like mala sinha, madhubala, sadhana forced guys to learn how to spell gorgeous. Item girls like helen used to sizzle the audience but these days heroines do the job of item girls and only titillate the viewers. The vital parts are more padded up than glenn mc grath when he comes out to bat. Circa 50's until late 70's the camera lens used to be the silent observer and its positioning was as is if it was narrating the whole scene. V.K.Murthy's lens used to be the shadow in the guru dutt's movies and that shadow evoked most amount of pathos. And nowadays, even a binod pradhan camera acts as a mere appendage.

Music of hindi films has undergone a sea change. Coda used to be the piece da resistance but it is no more in vogue. Psychedelic guitar riff accompanied by hoarse high pitched voice with bland jingles are the ring tones of the mobile phones. Lyrics have been reduced to palaver even in a two minute track. dil,pyar,masti are the leitmotif of every song. Even gulzar has been restricted to write without the use of those trademark metaphors. Punjab da puttar, sunny deol, epitomised patriotic jingoism-which became a huge draw- by flexing his throat and flabby muscles. However, he cannot come anywhere near those lines of kaifi azmi in haqeeqat " kat gaye sar hamare to kuch gham nahi sar himalay ka humne na jhukne diya". Anil sharma cannot better this for sure.

Stunt sequences of the "bhish pitamah of bollywood" -amitabh bachchan- are still the best. The sounds pishtoon emanating from the 0.35 mm revolver and dishum from that fist seem believable. These days the hero bungee jumps and catches the villain by the scruff of his neck. All this while defying gravity. I have no problem with a krishh doing superman like stunts but its very disgusting to see those white transparent wires suppprting hrithik while he is on his flight. I appreciate the dialogue in sholay when gabbar singh mouths that " woh do the aur tum teen phir bhi vapas aa gaye khali haath". From this dialogue, we can sum up that the hero to goon ratio used to be 1:1.5. These days it has accrued to a brobdignagian ratio of 1:20. Cool and sexy are increasingly becoming a part of the lexicon to describe male and female actors. In short, in the name of cinema we are being served pure bollocks. Sahir said "woh afsana jise anjaam tak le jana na ho mumkin, use ek khoobsurat mod dekar chodna accha". And sameer says "crazy kiya re". Beware, absolutely beware.
Having said all this, i must admit though that, i loved the smooch in dhoom 2. But but but.. soul patches,louis vuitton hand bangs, FCUK perfumes are better off in those plush page 3 parties.

Recommendation of the fortnight :

Ya rabba(salaam-e-ishq) : kailash kher vocals make this song a must hear. It epitomises the trauma a person goes through after losing the beloved.
Wujud(jilawatan): The guitar strings and the scruffy voice would make any masochist to stand up and applaud for those amazing lyrics.
Banjar(shubha mudgal version): queen of ragas pulls off an adrenaline pumping song. Its a pity that this song does not find mention on screen. Its from kabul express.
Dancer in the dark : Bjork pulls off a stunning performance. Its better to take those tissues along with you.


At 12:08 AM, Blogger Bharat Jhurani said...

can i add "Smack that.." by akon, Eminem 2 the lsit.. nice song..

At 2:29 AM, Blogger Adwait Deshpande said...

and even more disgusting fact is that all this skin show, the smooches and the he rapchik lyrics , are praised in the name of the cinema watcher becoming more mature and more global.

boy!! those rafis , those kishore kumars , those hrishikesh mukharjees must be turning in their
graves ,if they happen to listen to todays songs.
if u chance to hear a song by himesh reshammiya , u will be surprised to hear more than half of the song in english.and people say our cinema is going the name of new age cinema all we get to watch is the flesh show, the gyrations and superhumanism.

bold cinema has been given a new meaning by our hindi film industry.
its receipe is as follows.
the movie has preferrably 1 heroine with a voluptous figure and two heros( one good and one bad).if the production company is a prosperous one two male and two female leads and the is set n new york or london.
heroine meets an old flame and passions get ignited .extramarital affair takes place and everyone cries.
but in the end u have heroine mouthing dialogues scuh as "main pativrata nari hu"
and all such crap.
such movies set the cash registers ringing and garner the tag of super hit , smash hit and applauds for being differnt and bold from others

At 7:31 AM, Blogger sowmitra said...

yeah nice write up...very candid abt the present industry...probably too much of inflence of the hollywood in the wrong way..and all those useless color xerox copies of hollywod films copuled with rubbish lyrics of songs..probably u are right it's really hard to appreciate an indian cinema these days..strictly speaking the soul of the film has gone missin and still our filmmakers conc on how to make an idiot of themselves..probably this also comes from the fact weas an audience are continuing to encourage this trash of garbage which has been piling over and over..striking a chord is not what they want..they want money( of course who does not)..but that's not everything..hopefully film makers realise's fine if they are a just a couple of bad fims but it's just the other way round with films mader non stop without even thinking seriously abt the's still the same process.. a film becomes a hit and then it becomes a formula for others to really sucks...but i do really hope someday it changes...

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Sameera said...

hmmm another strong article from the man himself :)

i agree with u..i never found indian cinema appealing

but the reason why these hits are hits is also cos of us, the audience...

audience with sense watch the more "serious" movies and are only a handful.
so how can we blame the filmmakers for not making too many of those movies..

i dont know..this sounds like a no win situation to me.

having said that...old hindi cinema doesnt appeal either..i agree with ur friend when she calls it boring..

it's a personal judgment in the place where i can appreciate neither genres of cinemas..old or new

At 3:43 AM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

@sameera: ITs fine if u dont like either the old nor new ones.. But my friends laps up the most inane contemporary film but is just not willing to appreciate old classic stuff.. objectivism is good only if its the ayn rand kind.[:)]


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