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


At 4:47 AM, Blogger Shravya said...

U knw wht makes a better gigantic cliche- ppl who disagree wit wht wht most ppl agree jst for the heck of it.Ur peppy titles n inane examples ve failed to curb my discernment. I'm not relating my words to the general hindi cinema but to this movie in specific. Chak de was nvr meant to b a thriller or a story wit intricated plots for u to get d feeling of 'wht-happens-nxt'.you hv failed to consider other aspects which apparently are more imp thn the coloured shirts,chairs n fields of the movie. This movie is a fine work ,which apart frm acting sequences ,also brings the otherwise ignored national game into light.
try to b more original nxt time..

At 7:07 AM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

Thanks a lot for your comment and i wish to shoo away one huge misconception of yours.. Do aankhen barah haath and kunwara baap are some of the best movies which Hindi cinema ever had.. Hence, my examples were not inane.. Moving on, just like everything else in the world, cinema has its own grammar and i felt that this movie was grammatically imperfect.. Unnecessary punctuation marks made it a tawrdy fare(especially in the second half).. If you felt it was perfectly structured, i respect your personal opinion.. Take care saby..

At 8:14 AM, Blogger sowmitra said...

still have to watch the movie dude...then wil comment...

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Shravya said...

i was referring to ur rdb eg in particular which u nvr fail to mention in every post of urs..As we still dint deter frm our own views and as u said, let it remain wit respecting each other's view. Thx for findin time to comment d best!

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

likd chak de only cos it dint hav unnecessary cliches...shimit avoided the sye style coach ka bhashan n all..dint focus 2 much on the country vth vch the final is playd..i likd the casual approach of the film!!!4 the first time i'm surprisd cin ur blog!!!

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey hey...give atleast some credit to the dialogues in the dialogues i mean the appropriate usage of various dialects of hindi...n u hav 2 admit the girls were brilliant!!!

At 10:18 PM, Blogger sadu said...

well very insighting thought! I like ur articles

At 5:03 AM, Blogger Reine de mots said...

funny..Really funny:)

At 5:04 AM, Blogger Reine de mots said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Itika Sharma said...

I am an ardent fan of SRK, but I wud be the first one to find faults in his work, if and when there is. I have hated him in some of his performances and admit it openly when he screws up. But he did amazingly well in this one... SRK looked SO fit and SO in-sync with his role.

The action in the movie... yes very very predictable (all that 2 goals miss and 3rd hit... TOO clich├ęd)... but yes the thought behind the film... I liked it!

It is indeed a breezer compared to the love stories and romances... Indian Cinema is trying to grow... it'll take time, but it sure is trying hard!

Great post...


At 9:09 PM, Blogger Arun said...

It feels good to read your blog.I completely agree upon some of views about the old classics,but one thing Indian cinema is on a transition stage what with shorter movies and bolder views expressed.

There are a couple of places in the movie which are realistic like the beaurocractic struggle,the practicalities of building a Indian national team and most important making a movie on hockey that too womens hockey of which many would started taking notice after this movie.

I believe that the process of better cinema making has started but like every process it is dynamic and will/shouid continue to evolve.Unlike in hollywoood where people can afforef to makes movies for only 5% of the population,the scenario in india is completely different wherin hits matter more than perfomances.

That is why the movie house like yash raj are to be considered trend setters as they have been sucessful in getting a mix of drama,commercial movies and daring to be different.

Indian cinema has turned a new leaf,but the spring is still far away.

good post...keep up the good work.

At 2:40 AM, Blogger sugaredpepper said...

completely agree with your take on the film... i wasnt exactly impressed by the movie either... and i was left wondering what all the fuss was about!


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