This appeared in Mumbai Mirror.....
Why would any girl want to be one of the guys???
I was ridiculously jet lagged when I watched 100 crores and still counting YJHD (first day, second show). I could have opted out. But it was a family outing. I was prepared to doze off, wake up half an hour later, and feel like I hadn’t missed a thing. I was so wrong! The movie was just what my brain dead self needed to wake up and enjoy the pop corn. Let’s get it straight – it’s not an art house film. It isn’t made to impress critics at Cannes. It is what it is – a glossy, glitzy, urban formula entertainer with two extraordinarily good looking and talented actors in the lead. Period. Do they manage to capture the zeitgeist? Yup, they do. Does the script reflect what’s going on in urban India? Yup, again. Is the lingo in sync with our realities? Do Naina and Bunny touch our hearts? Is the romance real enough to extract laughs and tears? Do we know/ recognize people like Aditi and Avi? Yes, to all the above. Apart from the almost absurd deliciousness of Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, for me, the two scene stealers and heart breakers were Kalki Koelchin as Aditi and Aditya Roy Kapoor as Avi. It was their far more convoluted and tumultuous relationship that took the movie beyond rom-com ennui into a slightly more complex terrain. On many levels, this is really Kalki’s film, since she is the surprise package. Kalki does not possess either Deepika’s spectacular body nor her mass appeal. And yet Kalki is so much more ‘today’ in this film than the picture perfect Deepika. Kalki starts as a feisty, audacious, free spirited gal pal of the two boys, who later (disappointingly) transforms into the standard ‘I’ll settle for the guy with the BMW, thank you,’ bride. We have all known versions of Kalki . Girls who are not particularly attractive but are immensely popular with the boys, often because they opt to become one of them. They choose to sign up as honourary members of the Boy’s Club, smoking, boozing, cussing, gambling with the best of them. They can be easily spotted hanging out with the all-male crew, dressed in cropped shorts and ganjis. At some distant point the boys become men. But they quite forget that the sole female member of the gang has grown into a woman herself. Win-win for the guys. Lose-lose for the chicks. Which is what happens to Aditi. And which is why she loses the man she loves and sensibly settles for a Beemer instead.
The question her character raises is important.Why do so many bright young women opt to become ‘one of the boys’? Is it to create a differential between themselves and other ‘girlie-girls’? Is it to win some vague trophy in the highly competitive popularity stakes? Or, snag a suitable boy friend at a later stage? I keep encountering versions of Kalki in real life. Often, I feel like offering solid ‘aunty advice’ to these misguided girls who are busy playing poker, swigging beer, puffing cigars, talking tough and trying a bit too hard to conform and fit in with a group of fellas. What for? I mean – really! Most of them are fiercely competitive and pointedly ignore other women. They can be heard sharing a laugh with the guys as they diss a ‘typical’ girl on the fringes of the group, mocking her for being a prissy lady. Sometimes, one hears airy comments like , “ Oh please…. I have nothing in common with other women, I feel bored listening to their inane gossip. I’d rather hang with the guys. I am just more comfortable with men.” Sure. Maan liya. Then what happens?
This is where Kalki’s story in the movie gets more interesting than the far more predictable romance between Ranbir and Deepika (though, their proposal scene alone is worth the ticket). Being ‘one of the boys’ is a cool option sometimes. But more often than not, you get treated like a guy, too. If that’s what rows your boat, go for it. But if you want to have your bhel puri and eat it, too, think again. Remember, Deepika gets Ranbir in the end (and he, her). Whereas, poor Kalki loses dishy Avi and marries a good hearted, over weight clown ( Kunal Roy Kapur, heartbreakingly adorable)…. plus, the BMW, of course.
Blogdosts I am having picture-issues. For some strange reason, all my Spain pics are showing up ulta or thedha when I try to post them here. They behave themselves perfectly in other spaces. I have been dying to show off my fotoo-takeouting skills ( some pretty neat shots in my repertoire, even if I say so myself), but each time I upload a couple the images they get inverted. Is that a cosmic phenomenon.... like the Supermoon? Just kidding! But I know there are quite a few really smart people out there and I am seeking immediate help. Merci beaucoup. Gracias! Dhanyavad!