I am in December mode - laid back and lazy. Did the unthinkable last afternoon - had lunch with two gal pals at 'Wasabi' ( better black cod and sea bass than at Nobu's). Then went shopping for sensuous sarees at Kala Niketan. BLISS!! Should do it more often. Came home to Bengali fish curry and chicken biryani. More bliss. Went to bed dreaming of Liz Hurley snogging that pig - what's his face, Warne??? From Hugh to Mr.Bandgala to Shane - what a downfall! Getting ready to wallop gajar halwa. Disgusting!!!!
This appeared in Bombay Times on Monday.
YRF Ka Dhinchak Band Baj Gayaa….
Go watch this feel good, fun film that has slipped in quietly into multiplexes minus any band baaja, shor-wor, marketing-sharketing… and stolen hearts. Goes to prove one simple truth – an original always scores.You don’t need obscene budgets, item songs, mega stars or aggressive\innovative promotional activity when the movie itself is terrific. Word of mouth is by far the most powerful tool in this business. And going by the buzz, last Friday’s modestly made ‘Band Baaja Baraat’ is bound to score a bull’s eye at the box office. It may do the trick for Yash Raj Films, the same way that a sleeper hit once salvaged R.K.Films with ‘Bobby’, which starred an unknown called Dimple and the bossman’s teenage son( Rishi Kapoor) as lead players. In BBB, Aditya Chopra has sensibly picked a taaza mazedaar team and introduced a kudda ( Ranveer Singh) who is as Panju as a tandoori kukkad. Here’s a debut that holds much promise and is worth noting since the young man is not a filmi son, brother, son-in-law, nephew, cousin, step-son. But the guy can act and dance with the best. His sense of timing is terrific, and his macho-crudo character who insists on talking with his mouth stuffed with bread-pakoras, is as authentic as sarson da saag.But beyond the lead players ( Anoushka Sharma’s spirited Shrutti is adorable), it is the crackling dialogue (Habib Faisal) that’s the real star. Maneesh Sharma, the debutant director rarely misses a cue - the casting is spot on, especially the flower supplier and the snooty-bitchy Sainik Farms wedding planner who cons her clients by short changing them all the way – whether it’s on the lilies or the lights. Combine this simple story of two Dilliwalla youngsters who are partners in a ‘binnas’ ( ‘Shaadi Mubarak’) and dying to move up the pecking order, from dhinchak Janakpuri weddings put together for a couple of lakhs to staging multi crore super extravaganzas at massive havelis – and you get a charming, uncomplicated, zabardast entertainer. A veritable kitschy mithai shop brimming over with hazaar goodies.The director and art director have got every tiny detail right, and even the ensemble cast ( guests at all the shaadis) are well picked and perfectly costumed. Vaibhavi Merchant’s choreography sizzles - and how. Don’t be surprised if Anoushka displaces Sheila and Munni with her tawa hot moves. And yes – Ranveer can dance, saala!
I watched Ashutosh Gowarikar’s movie ( can’t even remember the name) and my heart sank. That it would tank was obvious from the first few shots – yes – they were that cringe making. And I felt really, really bad for Gowarikar, who is one of our very few sincere and competent film makers. Such an awesome subject… and such a dheela film! After watching BBB, once again I thought about all these ‘important’ movies with monstrous budgets that sink at the box office and everybody loses money and face! What a colossal waste - of talent and big bucks. Then there are the other time pass ‘entertainers’ with Godzilla budgets that also flop miserably and money goes straight down the tube. The other weird category involves super productions running into crores and crores where audiences don’t ‘see’ the money ( meaning, while watching a ‘Jodha –Akbar’, the scale and vision are enough to justify the stated cost. Ditto for a ‘Robot’). Most of the rest are pure junk – shabby at all levels. It is the superstar actor who eats up all that lolly – and then doesn’t deliver. Which is why the success of a BBB is vital to keep the film industry machine well- oiled and moving. Here, the script is king. Which is really what defines cinematic success. BBB demonstrates yet again ( like DDLJ once did), that if a production house sticks to its core competence and to subjects that are in its dna ( Panju shaadi-waadis, bhangra beats and gori gori kuddis in patialas romancing hard core pappeys in tight- tight jeans ), the formula works big time. Delhi has never looked this irresistible, seductive and fun – a major feat in itself.