Thursday, July 20, 2006

Golmaal: Masti maalamaal

Pull together : two actors with great comic timing whose talents were not spotted easily in Bollywood, Arshad Warsi after Tere Mere Sapne and Sharman Joshi after Style. Of course Arshad Warsi had to wait till Munnabhai MBBS and Sharman till Rang de Basanti to get noticed.
Add the deadpan Ajay Devgan with coloured hair and a newly chiselled body making an entry reminiscent of his debut in Phool aur Kaante.
And Tusshar Kapoor who has perfected roles where he needs no acting like being invisible in Gayab and this time he is dumb.
Add Rimi Sen the standard heroine for multi-star cast comedy movies. Well she needs to watch her hair as well as her dressing, she has lost the Dhoom appeal.
Paresh Rawal, the standard torch bearer for comedies and a pleasant surprise in Sushmita Mukherjee who looks naughty even when she is playing a blind grandmom.
Golmaal is classic leave your brains at home Bollywood cinema, though not in the same league as Hera Pheri. You just have to like the chemistry between the characters and wait for the comic sequences dished one after the another. And there is enough of that which makes the movie very watchable.
The first half hour is quite trite with standard college scenes like a shouting principal who hams to the hilt and leaking question papers although none of the heros resembles a student. The movie gains traction once the four land in a blind couple's large house and Sharman Joshi becomes their long lost grandson and Ajay Devgun his voice. You can completely shut your brain henceforth ( like how can a blind couple maintain such a big house and so on) and wait for sequences and characters to jut the screenplay. Some sequences are hilarious ; the attempted rape on Rimi Sen, the parody of Black and AK Hangals Sholay sequence, the proposal to Rimi and Tushar Kapoors Chinese billi and Arshad Warsi and Sharman instigating each other to end Devguns dadagiri.
There are 2 characters who liven up proceedings big time, Vrajesh Hirjee playing the servant after the treasure with his snake-like action stunts. And Babli Bhai the don after the treasure, its the same guy who is the first con in Bunty aur Babli. He sits with a life jacket on a boat , is hard of hearing, speaks Subhash Ghai English like who will the saves for kaun bacheyaga inhe. His cronies play goti (marbles) on a pool like table on the boat and astound with their dumbness. There is a classic interaction where Babli Bhai gives Rs.5 to Vrajesh and says " Nagpanchami mein doodh pee le."
As you must have guessed by now, the movie has more lukkha boyish humour than family humour, especially if you add the gaalis and Tushars (non)mouthing of them. But the cast shows amazing comic timing. In fact there are places where the superfast editing makes you miss a dialogue/nuance or two. In summary, Golmaal makes an ideal weekday watch after a bad day in office rather than a weekend watch in a multiplex with expensive popcorn.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Terror strikes Mumbai

Terror strikes again. This time it is a series of clinically well orchestrated blasts on Mumbai's lifeline local trains at peak hour. There is a pattern which SCREAMs global terrorism ( Delhi Akshardham and Bangalore the IT capital sometime earlier, and now the financial hub) but India remains committed to peace and hope. Even though more people will be killed in these blasts than either the NY bombings or London tube blasts, our country will never wage a war against terror . The epicenter of global terrorism is so close to our country that although tremors are common in places like Kashmir we still need events of higher Richter scale to wake us from the slumber that believes all is fine when doves and buses are exchanged.
Coming back to Mumbai. You are not a Mumbaikar unless you have clung to those iron bars in suburban trains battling hordes of passengers. ( yes this definition excludes South Bombayites). And when you see images of stations like Matunga and Mahim on news channels, it sends shivers down your spine. It just reminds of how natural a sitting duck Mumbai is. How easily the city can be attacked and thrown into disarray.
And you feel sorry for Mumbaikars. Any professional in Mumbai is 1.5-2 times more productive than an average professional in the country. In which city will you get an auto rickshaw driver returning exact change in the middle of the night? Where will you get to see sheer human dexterity at work like the guy at Status restaurant takeaway counter in Nariman Point who serves biryani at peak lunch hour. The efficiency of the dabbawalas. The value proposition of the Udipi hotels. In fact, anyone who puts in 8 hours of work after braving the commute of 2 hours is a hero. These are the people who make up Mumbai and its never say die spirit. Not the Bollywood heros whose only tribute to the city will come as an opening remark in a baritone voice about 'yeh hai Mumbai' with snapshots of Dharavi and local trains.
No other city has its psyche so shaped by its means of commutation as Mumbai. Thats why the pictures are so horrific and the experiences gut wrenching. Again like the floods of June 26, it will be Mumbaikars who will help their fellow bretheren. The authorities will come late as usual. Star News will show the same clips 50 times over with as much sensationalism that their reporters can muster. People will sing paens to the Mumbaikars resilience. In the irony that will follow, people will need the same local train desparately the next day to reach their place of work. Life will return to normal within a week. And the city will never sleep?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bolne bhi do yaaron

Sorry Kundan Shah(maker of Jaane Bhi do Yaaron), could not resist this lift. And sorry readers for writing Hindi in English.

Tarneja: Tumhara Singapore trip kaisa tha Mr Dmello

Dmello: Hum log abhi bhi bahut peeche hai. Yeh India Shining udhar ke saamne sirf ceema bulb hai, waha to poora suraj hai. Waha chalne ka rasta alag, gaadi ka rasta alag. Aur koi aadmi ya kutta raste pe nahi sota hai.

Tarneja: Lekin idhar bhi aaj kal Singapore ke tarah malls aur apartments hum bana rahe hai. Aur Singapore mein ek aadmi ki haalat yahake kutton se buri hai. Tum waha thook bhi nahi paate ho, lekin yaha kutta masti se tatti bhi kar leta hai.

Dmello: Oh Tarneja tum bhi kya bakwaas karta hai man. Singapore mein 2 building ke beech mein swimming pool hai aur tumhare paas ek bahta hua naala. Udhar woh log planned development karta hai, ek mall ke samne kabhi traffic jam nahi hota. Aur tum ho, In-arbit mall bana dete ho lekin uske bahar traffic terabit ho jata hai. Tum builder log sirf apna paisa ke bare mein kyon sochta hai?

Tarneja: Tumlog bhi to sirf paise ke bare mein sochte ho, janataa ka nahi.

Dmello: Tum bahut bolne laga hai Tarneja. Metro project main tumko nahi dega, Chhotani ko de denga.

Tarneja: Hum bhi tumhara kaafi khyal rakhte hai Dmello. Winks at his secretary who inches closer to Dmello.

Dmello: Accha hai. Bahut accha hai. Airport banao, Mall banao, metro banao. Lekin humara bhi fayda hon chahiye Tarneja.

Tarneja: Kyon nahi. Humne aapke liye Singapore se khaas Kaya toast mangvaya hai.

Dmello: Oh ye kaya toast jo Singapore ke har food court mein milta hai. Tumlog yaha pe foodcourt kyon nahi banata.

Tarneja: Yaha pe food courts ki koi zaroorat nahi hai. Humare Udipi bhaiyon ne ye market bahut pehle se capture kar liya hai.

Dmello: Udipi hotel me chhole aur sambhar ke beech mein jyada farak nahi hota hai. Foodcourt mein har cuisine ka exclusive taste to aata hai.

Tarneja: India mein foodcourt jyada chalte nahi hai. Kyunki ek to Indian consumer lazy hota hai. He likes to be served and wont drop his plates into the bin even at McD etc. Aur foodcourt franchisees in some places logon ka sar kha jaate hai by placing 10 menus in front of them and asking them to choose.

Dmello: Ye Indians bhi saale kabhi nahi seekhenge. Ghar ko saaf rakhenge lekin bahar bahut ganda karenge. Aur sarkaar se safai maangenge. Ye desh kabhi nahi sudhar sakta until deshwalen sudharenge.

Tarneja: Hum to sudhar rahe hai na. Tharre se Glenfiddich pe pahunch gaye. Tum bhi pahunch jao Dmello.

Dmello: Kya karega man. Ye Mumbai Shanghai kabhi banega to pata nahi. Lekin apun roadpati se karodpati zaroor banna chahta hai.

Suitcases are exchanged for contracts and the great Indian dream lives on.

Hum honge kamyaab. Hum honge kamyaab. Ek din. Ek din.