Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bluffmaster: Mumbai Udipi

He is the man that millions of women in India "go fida" over. And he still ends up in a goofy Superman T-shirt while escorting his papa from Lilavati Hospital. He has given Govinda's pelvic gyrations a stylized makeover and replaced the 108 teeth smile with a hungry naughty look that gives coolness to essentially tapori steps. Thats the new star for you. Abhishek Bachchan. The country's newest darling in his first solo shoulder movie. The movie had a bumper opening due to the rap song rendered by the man himself and a marketing glitz that cleverly masked what the movie is all about and created audience interest.
Rohan Sippy has created a smart movie. And if one goes to watch it like a Mumbai Udipi meal, then its enjoyable (No al-dente, no mineral water, KISS, no hatke). The screenplay is pedestrian at times but is livened up by good dialogues and performances. Abhishek plays a con man with just 3 months to live and a fiance(a wonderfully realistic Priyanka) who can take his lies anymore. So what does he do to make his last few days memorable? He prepares a best practices manual to be kept in the conmen knowledge management system. Well not quite. He decides to train Riteish Deshmukh to pull off a heist to avenge his fathers discomfiture. And the man to deceive is Nana Patekar , someone who does an aarti in front of the mirror and various other idiosyncrasies.(I particularly liked 'yeh dialogue likh leta hoon, baad mein kaam aayega' in his interactions with AB).
One good thing about this movie is that it is completely shot in Mumbai. So you can catch a glimpse of Carter Road CCD to the standard Marine Drive to the view from the tallest residential building in Mumbai ( wow to have a ked like that). Rohan Sippy also pays homage to Shaan by using it in a critical scene of the movie. I dont know why debutant directors can never get over this urge. In fact Nana's character has a self-deprecating humour that seems to humble Shakaal. So how could this be a tribute as claimed by Rohan in his interviews? ( another marketing stunt or evolution). Plus the end is a bit oversmart but cool.
Plus even in a con movie, Abhishek and Priyanka manage to work up enough mush thanks to those intense eyes of no prizes for guessing and candid expressions of the other. Riteish can now be a cool second hero/sidekick revelling in a role as a phattu ( Reminds me of Amol Palekar at times). Nana is a breeze. Boman Irani is now getting very stereotyped and hammy. Songs are well placed and extremely hummable . The variety dished out by Vishal Shekhar is amazing. From the remixes of Mehmoods Sabse bada rupaiya , parde ke peeche and do aur do paanch to the Iranian 'Boore Boore' to the bhangra-funk 'Say na', these guys are the ones to watch.
Bluffmaster is medu vada... you can crib about the sambar being too sweet, the chatni being soggy but you will bite in and enjoy nonetheless.


At 11:33 AM, Blogger Parth said...

Excellent review. I can't get the songs out of my mind. For the first time in a long time, you haev actual 'remixes', bnot just jhankar beats added to original songs. I am hoping to catch the movie soon, especially so after reading this.

At 11:37 PM, Blogger Adam said...

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