Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bollywood 2005:bubbling ahead

One year has almost whizzed by and the Bollywood factory is in fine form. Looking at the releases for this month, Neal N Nikki, Ek Ajnabee and Family look very promising. Ek Ajnabee has Big B in uber cool suits and his towering screen presence would be best savoured at multiplexes. Neal N Nikki will be another attempt by the czar of karva chauth,chiffon and candy floss to reel another story about Indian hypocrisy about kissing, skinny dipping and premarital sex. But we will end up enjoying it like most of his movies.Family is a movie by Rajkumar Santhoshi, who is probably the most underpublicised director in the country. His last movie Khakee was dark, exciting and powerful.
Going back this year, it started off with the breezy Dil Maange More whose title epitomises the current spirit in Bollywood. Good production values , corporatization , increased multiplexes and a plethora of TV channels and newspapers that need movies as a staple diet has really helped. Of course the scripts need a lot of improvement and nepotism is a huge issue. Zayed, Fardeen and more such star sons cant act. But this year probably belongs to one star and his son. Abhishek Bachchan stands tall as the man who can be naughty , adorable, funny , serious and droolworthy. And his dad with a killer schedule has shown with a vengeance like good Scotch whisky, maturity matters. The duo gave India the biggest hit of the year "Bunty aur Babli" and their serenading of global item Ash in Kajra re had the nation dancing. They also gave us the best Factory movie Sarkar where one could learn how to hold a tea cup in style and how business can be managed by just stares and glances.
The other big successes were the comedies, each one trying to outdo the other in crass humour, trite situations and number of biwis per person. The best in toilet humour was Kya Kool Hai Hum where Ritesh and Tushar ran amok with the corniest lines possible. It had all the school level jokes ( D K Bose anyone?). But had some great situations with Ritesh trying to patao Bobby Darling and a pundit who does last rites being got for a marriage etc etc. The next was No Entry a clean lift of a Tamil movie Charlie Chaplin but it was funny thanks to an in form Salman singing 'Tan Dole mera Man dole' on seeing a snake while hanging from a cliff. And absolutely zany songs like "Adi di da Adi di di, just love me" sung by Anu Malik. Then came Garam Masala which had Akshay Kumar and John Abraham competing for attention of 3 air-hostesses. This fourth Priyadarsan comedy after Hera Pheri showed that his formula was finally wiliting. The problem was that unlike his earlier movies the number of characters(remember Babu Bisleri) were too low and situations very trite. Akshay carried his funny act with the entire jamboree cast of the old 'Awara Pagal Deewana' in "Deewane hue Pagal". This had better situations and more characters with Paresh, Shahid, Suniel, Om and TV's funny man Rajesh Menon adding to the madness. And Anu Malik's heavily Bhangra Pop inspired music was better.
Page 3 was probably the best hatke movie that entertained and provoked at the same time.
This year had a lot of critically acclaimed movies that didnt get box office success. One of them Paheli also went to the Oscars. The other one Black with superb performances by Amitabh and Rani did reek of the standard Bhansalisms, melodramatic excess and overdone interiors. Then we had the sugary sweet Parineeta which was an ordinary story with good songs, Vidya Balan and the naturally dumb Saif. A great marketing effort by Vidhu Vinod Chopra but had a 60's kind of feel with brilliant performances.
And then Yash Chopra made Preity and Saif the uber cool duo of the country in Salaam Namaste and everyone in the country was wearing pink and discussing live-in relationships and saying "Ekzaktly" for everything one agreed with. But the movie that according to me had cool written all over it except for the last twenty minutes was Dus. Chhota B and old tharra Sanjay Dutt with Shilpa Shetty's kicks thrown in for good measure. And again super hit songs Dus Bahane and Deedar de. Talking about music, we also had the usual Mahesh Bhatt camp giving musical hits like Zeher and Aashiq Banaye Aapne. "Woh lamhe" and "Aapki Kashish" still rock most pubs in Mumbai.
The most high profile flops were probably Kisna, Shabd , Shaadi no.1, D(will we have A aur M based on Abu Salem and his paramour) , Lucky, Kaal and of course Mangal Pandey where Aamir Khan after ten thousand retakes gave us how not to mix commerce, naach gana and history. Looking forward to more First Day, Fourth Shows next year. And a few more international film festivals whenever there is an overdose of Bollywood.


At 3:16 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Good roundup.. Some points however..
- biggest hit of the year "Bunty aur Babli" I thot this was "No Entry" for its phenomenal collections across the country.
- the best Factory movie Sarkar Comeon, tell me this was a joke.. Sarkar was just abt a decent movie. The best factory movie would still be "Company" or "Satya". For this year, it should be "My Wife's Murder".

The year started off with some bang-on different movies like Page-3 and Black, continued the mid-year-segment with not-so-well-made Parineeta and Mangal Pandey and is ending with a spate of comedy movies - hits (Maine Pyar kyun kiya, Garam masala) followed by duds (Shaadi no. 1,Mr Ya miss, Deewane hue paagal, home delivery). Cool movies were interspersed.
This sums up the direction of bollywood. Wanting to be somewhere (road not taken), biting the dust in familiar tracks (roads over-used) but still surviving!

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Shivaji said...

are you going the youthcurry way


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