Thursday, August 25, 2011

The longest 90 minutes of my life

There used to be beatniks, peaceniks and these days there are coolniks. Everything that anyone does has to and is supposed to be cool. Be it the words they utter or the phone they brandish or their Facebook timeline, the underlining theme is, yes, ‘cool’. Being cool is passé as well, now it’s all about being uber-cool. This is just the sort of affliction Abhinay Deo has. He’s the man who made Delhi Belly with some able production support from the supposedly sole arbiter of sensible cinema in this part of the world, Aamir Khan.

Right off the bat let me make it clear that this isn’t a review where I’ll throw around intensifiers followed by the synonyms of either brilliant or horrible. And neither do I intend to piss on anyone’s parade. What really gets my goat about this egregiously execrable movie is its hollowness that’s being showed off as ‘boldness’. I didn’t know that mouthing the F-word (that too in the most effete manner possible) would make a movie ‘shocking’. For the last six weeks, I was addicted to this brilliant American series called Wire and, trust me; the variants of F- and S-words in it will leave you gobsmacked a.k.a ‘shocked’. Since we are so cool, female infanticide or farmers’ deaths or massive corruption is just sad, if ever they fall in our social radar. An erection on screen or blown up display of human feces or sonic variants of farts is what is, well, shocking.

I don’t mean to sound like an idealistic savant here. When a movie claims to have “broken new ground” in terms of “shock value”, I obviously would draw comparisons with the clitoral circumcision in Anti-Christ or the abandoned fetus scene in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days or the butter scene in Last Tango in Paris and so on.

New York Times was on its money in its review of the film,” Your average American sitcom, let alone summer comedy, outdoes “Delhi Belly” in rudeness and crudeness, though its graphic language and sexual candor are unusual for an Indian movie.” The point to be underlined is the “unusual for an Indian movie” part. Post-Internet, we shouldn’t be at the mercy of Indian film-makers to teach us what is profane or sacred. If a cerebral film-maker in Senegal has something to say, we should be all ears as well. A car boot load of non-funny gags passing off as ‘bold cinema’ cannot be construed as the zeitgeist of any generation. As long as we the audience demand such shoddy supply, movies like Delhi Belly will continue to be dumped on us.

In a nutshell, I wanted to chew my arm off than watch something as putrid as Delhi Belly.


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