Monday, August 20, 2007

Chuck de stereotypes, please !!

Have you ever wondered what epitomises the phrase gigantic cliche ? well, this privilege goes to Hindi cinema hands down. If you are bought up on a staple diet of the kitschy Hindi fare then you can predict every scene- yeah, even in those so called "thrillers"- of Hindi cinema. The only reason why we watch Hindi movies still is that we have this inherent belief-so what if its a stupid one-that sooner or later a breakthrough Hindi film is going to come. Rang de basanti falls into that category and now comes Chak de India(CDI). Shimit Amin(remember, the guy who made that kooky "ab tak chhappan") infuses mindless jingoism into the movie. Orange chairs,white shirt,green field: that is an almost tangible Indian flag for you.

That is acceptable on Indian grounds but I wonder why an Indian flag is imprinted on the astro turfs of Australia. Chalo maaf kiya, cinematic liberties is an abused term these days. This movie is going to rake in moolah for Yash raj films, let there be no doubt on that issue. But i have some serious issues with this movie. Why did the director allocate a quarter of the movie for rapprochements and kerfuffles ? Why such hindi movie stereotypes where the underdogs has to win ? I do agree that a million dollar baby is not viable for any hindi movie producer. That rests the case that we can never reach the heights of American film-making(even it is no great shakes these days). Sports films have been too far in between in Hindi cinema. Kunwara baap is the best sports film,in Hindi,for me,because Mehmood had his entire life at stake in that rickshaw race. Lagaan comes somewhere nearer and deservingly so. Iqbal was a travesty in the name of sports film and Chak de has revitalised an almost defunct sport, hockey.

However, CDI meanders aimlessly,thankfully,on the hockey field only. Shahrukh khan kept me bemused throughout because of his stifled performance. Some instances really needed his over-the-top histrionics. However, two immensely watchable moments of his are

1)"Pehli baar ek firangi ko apna jhanda lehrate hua dekh raha hoon."

2)The scene where he says a flummoxed "aapke team aur mere team".

Rajamouli's Sye is a primer about how a coach can inspire a team with his pep talk. Rajeev kanakala's dialogue during the denouement of the film is sheer goosebump stuff. This movie lacked in that. This woman hockey team needed a Jose Mourinho rather than a John Wright. The movie is still a decent fare, thanks to the novice girls, but please do not confuse it with the "coming of age" cinema.

My verdict : Well, ab tak chappan was better because the film had a raw appeal to it. Watch V.Shantaram's delectable "do ankhen barah haath" instead where the protagonist brings together six disparate prisoners together.

P.S: Everyone is going ga-ga over the entire emancipation of women in the movie. If you introspect closely, Shimit Amin is a chauvinist par excellence. The women's team ahd to lose with men's team but still since the girls wanted to see Opera House they have been sent.

Recommendations(yeah, some more movies):

Heavenly forest: A Japanese version of kuch kuch hota hai but the typical mawkishness of Japanese cinema keeps you hooked thoughout.

Songs from the second floor: Some movies make you ask questions but you do not expect an answer in return. An answer will only vitiate the surreal mood of this genre of movies. This movie is one of the very few such motion pictures.

40 year old virgin: This movie debunks the myth that sexual humour needs to be crude in order to raise a few genuine chuckles. My favourite is when