Guys, I am off to one of my favourite destinations - Sri Lanka. Galle Literary Festival is one of the top rated Lit Fests of the World. I have been invited by the organisers for readings and book signings. Looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. And who knows - I may run into the newly weds - Dhoni and Sakshi - while I am there! Our Boys in Blue will be in Sri Lanka from the 9th onwards. India's most eligible bachelor is a shaadi shuda man now!
This appeared in Bombay Times...
" I Hate Dumb Storys……"
It started with the annoying misspelling. Come on, guys, we know the trendy sms, twitter and any other shorthand du jour. We do realize nobody has the time to spell out anything anymore – literally and metaphorically. But this sort of a distortion doesn’t make for ‘cute’. However , it does prepare the audience for what is to come - terminal boredom. This is assured right from the first few scenes, filled with dull voiceovers of the protagonists as they drone on and on about their respective attitudes to love – sorry – ‘luv’. The guy with a droopy-loopy grin doesn’t believe in such mush, the girl with a white plastic flower, does. Both work for a hysterical movie director, whose character, nudge-nudge,is based on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s. Once the premise is clumsily and unconvincingly established, the movie meanders off in many disconnected directions, with sub-plots that don’t go anywhere. You’re probably saying, “ That’s okay. Since when do Bollywood films follow logic?” I am fine with the idiocy of most Bollywood products – in fact, the only reason for watching hyped up commercial films ( at hefty multiplex prices), is to come away gasping at the absurdity of the content. But there is generally one important criterion at play – entertainment. Make the rubbish entertaining. Let the people feel they have got their money’s worth. At least the music should rock! Especially when the movie features two big ticket popcorn stars and involves a prestigious production house. What an absolute waste casting Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor in this utterly dull, total dud of a movie which is more a wonky tribute to Karan Johar’s earlier films, songs and screen pairings. After a point, all those ‘in’ jokes and references start bugging the viewer, particularly a replay of his popular songs as background scores and an embarrassingly gauche recreation of iconic scenes , like the ‘kuch kuch hota hai’ dialogue between Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Come on guys, are you that desperate for original ideas that you have to pack so many reels of a contemporary film with such obvious take- offs ? This isn’t clever tongue-in-cheek stuff. It’s plain unimaginative.
In any case, most movies which try and follow the ‘movie-within-a-movie’ formula, generally fall flat on their faces. Only filmwallas get the context and laugh at all the insider stuff. The last time such a formula actually worked, was in ‘Rangeela’, especially that on screen dig at Sridevi and her ‘mummy’. It is a wonder Karan actually approved the script of such an excruciatingly pointless film which,post-interval, suddenly takes off for New Zealand. Why? By then it doesn’t really matter. Those guys could be on the moon. By the time the key ‘turning point’ arrives,that has Imran (Raj), phoning his mummyji ( Anju Mahendru in a terrible wig) and howling over the phone, one is ready to shake up this bloke called Punit Malhotra ( chief villain) and spank him in public. As for Sonam, the lassie lacks oomph, even if she does have a great smile and can act. Oh… and Imran should definitely keep his shirt on… if he doesn’t want the audience to lose theirs.
Why do we insist on referring to poor Viveka Babajee as a
‘Supermodel’? Let’s face it, India has yet to produce a ‘Supermodel’. Not a single one of our models, past or present, falls into that category. Where is our Naomi Campbell? Kate Moss? Claudia Schiffer? Gisele Bunchen? Cindy Crawford? Christy Turlington? These are names recognized by the fashion community the world over. They dominated international catwalks and ad campaigns for over two decades, and captured the imagination of the celeb brigade on a mega level by becoming the absolute darlings of the paparazzi. Compare their success with what passes for it here – we happily throw a few names around, names like Mehr Jessia, Madhu Sapre, Ujjwala Raut etc. These girls made it reasonably big in India, and someone like Ujjwala was a fairly successful model abroad. That’s it. Even within India, chances of anybody outside the glam world recognizing these ladies by face or name, are pretty remote. Modeling in India remains a niche, fringe profession without a mass base. So let’s drop this nonsense of calling every other girl who has walked the ramp more than twenty times, a ‘Supermodel’. As for Viveka, are we really so hard up for ‘news’ about her tragic death, that we end up interviewing her 20 year-old maid ? I am sure Viveka must have been a pretty super person, but let’s not overdo the ‘Supermodel’ bit. I hope the lovely girl from Satara has finally found the peace that eluded her when she was alive trying to make it in big ,bad and mad Mumbai.