Thursday, June 29, 2006

Krrish review

It takes time, effort, money and liberal doses of cinematic madness to create a blockbuster. Krrish has all the first 3 but it falls behind on the fourth and thats where I still think Mr.India still remains India's best superhero movie till date. Yes of course Anil Kapoor with all the hair on his body cant match Hrithik in prowess. But then you cant expect Rakesh Roshan to match Shekhar Kapoor.

Rakesh Roshan is one of those directors that typified the mediocre 80s of Bollywood. All his movies had good plots but the execution was over the top, melodramatic and sometimes vulgar. Kala Bazaar, Khudgarz, Khoon Bhari Maang, Kishen Kanhaiya, Karan Arjun were all hits but they were engaging in parts. They also had the useless Nitin Mukesh singing in his nasal voice. People crib about Himessh but Nitin was horrible. He actually made good songs sound bad.
But things changed once Hrithik arrived. Rakesh managed to spruce up his act to catapult his son in arguably the best hero debut ever on Indian screens with Kaho na Pyaar Hai. Then came Koi Mil Gaya , threats from the underworld and now Krissh. Hrithik was firmly established as a kids hero although he still has to deliver a big hit without his dad.

Well if you go to Krish expecting slam bang superhero type action and thrills, you will be very disappointed. Its basically a masala movie where the action only comes for 15 minutes. But those 15 minutes are worth the price of the ticket. In an amazing combination of Singapore darshan, special effects and pure adrenalin, Hrithik jumps , flies and zooms over busy Singapore streets in those pulsating few minutes which leaves you craving for more.
Coming back to the rest of the masala. The movie starts well with Rekha raising her grandson with Bournvita and Tide washing powder ( product placements) wearing stiff Kanchipurams and lush lipstick. And in true old Amitabh fashion, the boy transforms into an adult in the background of chasing a horse. deja vu . Then comes a boring phase where Hrithik plays Tarzan jumping around trees and talking to animals. Priyanka Chopra plays a bungee jumping tourist who accidentally jumps into his arms and the customary love story begins. The Bahadur comedy track is funny in parts and Manini De as her friend manages some infectious comic timing. Pretty Chopra suffers a bad Sridevi hangover for the first half as if she had seen Mr.India many times to rehearse for a superhero movie. Well the superhero wants to go to Singapore but his overprotective grandmom tells him the story of how his father was mercilessly exploited for his prowess by an evil IT head who wanted to build a computer to see the future. But finally she relents when Hrithik promises not to display his powers publically.
The second half actually has some deft touches of screenplay. The Chinese circus artist as an alibi that Hrithik uses , the fire at the circus and return of Sharat Saxena livens up proceedings. The parts where Priyanka Chopra tries to showcase Hrithik's powers to save her job at Star News is not funny. ( Again here you are reminded of Mr.India. But Annu Kapoor as a mad boss and Archana Puran Singh are poles apart. I still laugh at those scenes where Annu meets but doesnt see Mr.India) . Plus the suspense is too tame and the action is very shortlived. Naseer as the villain is half baked and not sinister enough for a superhero film. And the music both songs and background score sucks big time. You wish Rakesh Roshan had used someone better than his brother.
Krissh will make tons of money. Its already grossed Rs.100 Cr. It was promoted and marketed well. But it could have been a bigger and better blockbuster. Alassssshhhhhhhhhh....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Kaha gaye ye Bollywood gems ?

"Hoton pe aisi baat, to dabake chale aayi "( Jewel Thief)
"Jab tak hai jaan, jaane bahar mein nachoongi " ( Sholay)
"Yamma Yamma , yeh khoobsurat sama" ( Shaan)
" Anhoone ko honee kar de ,Amar Akbar Anthony"
" Oye oye, gazar ne kiye hai ishaara ( Tridev) " and many more such songs.

Whats common to all of them is that they are all climax songs from Bollywood of yore. Songs that are now slowly getting extinct in the new marketing heavy Bollywood. Climax songs were characterized by the following
1. Skimpily clad heroines singing a catchy song usually with props like daru bottles that would flow freely as the muncipal drains in Mumbai.
2. A huge kumbh mela type aggregation of villains ranging from Bob Christo, Papu Polyester, Shakti Kapoor, Anand Balraj to champs like Raza Murad, Gulshan Grover and of course Amrish Puri. And in that rare moment of weakness when the double intoxication of wine and woman induce the bathroom singing Indian Idol in the villain, the movie would reach its earth shattering climax and the heroes would crop up to pound the living ketchups of the villains.
3. Usually the heroes would be locked in custody and at that end of the song would have got the energy or the strategy to break the chain or lock. Just the thought of having to dance around trees with the heroines used to stimulate their brains to ideas. Or they could be in obvious disguises that would completely fool the villains. Long moustaches, a big mole, a turban, a velcro strip like beard and other fancy dress stuff leased by Maganlal Dresswala would be the common disguises.
And then there would be the action se bharpoor gun fights and dialogue baazi to create a happy ending and der aaye durust aaye police would come and arrest the left over villains.
Oye oye ... such golden moments of a bygone Bollywood era.
The other mandatory items that are dying a slow death are :
1. Entry scene/entry song for the hero. Here the best scene would be Ajay Devgan entering college with his two legs split between two motorcycles in his first movie Phool aur Kaante. A close second wud be Suniel Shetty in his first movie Balwaan where he jumps from the 21st floor, lands on his hands, does a push up and then begins bashing up the goondas. And look at Shahid Kapoor now. He did not even ride a bike in his first movie. Hero banne chale hai barkhuddar.
2. The super titillating rain song for the heroine to display her calling cards in Bollywood. Here the best is of course Raveena Tandon's Tip tip barsa paani in Mohra.Well Kareena and Priyanka are still light years away from such a dynamo performance.
3. The separate comedy track where Johny Lever and Shakti Kapoor could elevate ordinary scripts to watchable ones. Well the age of specialization is upon us. In the main movies, hero khud comedy karega like Akshay Kumar or else we have to wait for the pure comedy movies of Priyadarsan. Pappu koi to chalao chappu...

Readers(if any) also please comment if I have left out something any of your favourites from a bygone era.