Life's Like That

Friday, November 11, 2005

movies etc...

I watched two movies over the past couple of weeks. One left me confused as to the the point of it all, the other..well that left me wanting to laugh and cry simultaneously and admit myself in the nearest mental asylum for having bought tickets for it in the first place.

One : Riturparno Ghosh's Antarmahal. When Bengali movies are screened in Bangalore, non resident Bongs like myself get excited..and when one's Punjabi boyfriend suggests that we see this movie together,(subtitles you see) non resident Bengalis like myself do not argue much and just grab the opportunity in both hands and run to watch the damn movie. (Please note: I don't have too many Bengali friends in this city and therefore lose out on some Bengali fun like plays and movies and Chondrobindoo concerts due to lack of people to go with..parents are not always suitable companions).

Im EXTREMELY glad I didn't go for this movie with my mother...or my 13 year old sister (thank you R..ur such a honeybun sometimes...). My aunt put it aptly when asked for her opinion : "Ritupornography"!!!!!

Seriously..one or maybe two explicit bedroom scene to demonstrate the new bride's (Soha) trauma and the heartlessness of the zamindar (Jackie Shroff) I understand...maybe even appreciate (even the 'heaving and panting just before the orgasm' bit) But when a self proclaimed, woman centric movie, that is supposed to depict the new bride's emotional, psychological and sexual trauma at the hands of her husband, merely focuses on the sex and nothing else...it is a bit of a problem. What was the point of all the sex Mr. Ghosh? Could it be a ploy to draw audiences to the theatres? Could a otherwise talented filmaker like you be stooping to such lows? Im afraid I must think that you are.

While we are at it..what was the point of the movie? What was it trying to say? That torture like this happened in pre independance India? That polygamy existed? That men in those times were chauvisnt pigs unable to accept that he is incapable of having children? We know all of that..hell not much has changed even in post independance India. Was it an attempt to talk about a woman's desires and needs? If so, then the gorgeous Soha Ali Khan (she looks exactly like her mother...so preettttty) has completely failed to deliver the goods. She looks beautiful but vacant and devoid of expression (maybe her mother can teach her to express and emote with those lovely eyes). The 2 or three vague scenes with Abhishek Bachchan did not drive home that point either. Although the scene where Rupa Ganguly goes to the new poto in a wet sari...now THAT scene showed flashes of the Ripuparno Ghosh I expected to see...it was poignant, and heartbreaking in its simplicity.

Which brings me to the actors, Jackie Shroff is good. He is the very picture of the decandent zamindar obsessed with having a male heir and having the most impressive Durga Puja in the area. Will not dwell too much on Soha. Abhishek Bachchan does not do much...but is SOOOOO HOTTTT (the scene where he swims in the pond.....oooooohhh...*ahem! gets a grip on self*) the star of the show undoubtedly is Rupa Ganguly, she is brilliant in her potrayal of the ignored first wife. The scene where she breaks down on discovereing that she has her periods and can't therefore conceive was superb (although we didn't really need to see all that blood streaming down her legs you know...kind of gross. We, being reasonably intellegent, would have understood about the periods even without the graphic visual). Hers is a complex charecter and she moves the audience with her performance.

All in all, I don't know how to react to this movie. It simply had no point. Much more is expected from a director of Rituparna Ghosh's calibre. Watch it, but with people with whom you can watch sex sex and more sex. Good performances save the movie from falling flat on its face I think.

The other movie: Kyon Ki. Do NOT ask me WHY I went to see this!!!!!! I have no excuses to offer except temporary insanity!!!!!!! If it makes any difference to you, I came away witha splitting headache and as I mentioned earlier the uncontrollable wish to admit myself into a mental asylum!! To call it garbage would be insulting the word garbage. I think my ability to suffer in silence was broken when Suniel Shetty (who in the movie Kareeena has just jilted for her mentally il patient Salman) drives up to Kareena as she is running away from home (eloping with Sallu who will meet her at some place) and says "Bahar bahut sardi hai, chalo mein tumhe *whatever Salman's name was in the movie* tak chor doon"!!!!!!! THAT, my friends was when I started laughing and crying hysterically and started begging R to take me to NIMHANS. Horrible. Watch it if you must..don't say I didnt warn you!!! *shudders at the memory*

PS: Lest Im accused of unfairly criticising this work of cinematic magic,lemme just list down the good points about it:
a) Salman is fully clothed throughout the movie( weeellll...one leg of his asylum pants is permanently rolled up..but then he is mad in the movie so its justified..and by Sallu standards its almost nunlike)
b)Kareenawears some very nice cotton saris. And she is all freshly scrubbed and wears very little makeup and actually manages to look kind of pretty.
c)Rimii Sen is rather pretty and has an expressive face(she really needs to work on her Hindi diction though, that "tickticktick" dialogue made me want to slap her)
d)um....err...arent three points enough??

12 Comments:

  • Hey...nice reviews...am looking fwd to watching antarmahal. Quite like Rituparna's work (but hate is dress sense!). Right about Soha though, saw her in Dil Mange more was it? and i remember making up my mind that she cant act. I also remember a friend suggesting tht she should join the women's cricket team... father's genes and all...btw, my email ad is chatterjee.abhishek@gmail.com
    Cheers!

    By Blogger Abhishek Chatterjee, at 6:58 AM  

  • rimii sen is very sweet but she wil not marry me - very sad. yanyways.

    is it just me or do other feel that rituporno has been just riding on the suceess of his previous movies - i really liked unishey april, dahan and hirer angti. my dad said that utsav (i dint see that) was great too. but there has been a terrible drop in std (and consistently) trhough bariwali, titli and shbubho mahurat. now he has reached a stage where ppl think that it is "intellectual" to like his movies - i find it crappy - which is very sad :(

    By Blogger Sagnik Nandy, at 11:59 AM  

  • @Abhishek: Why on earth did you watch Dil Mange More? Actually, considering that you also watched Kasak I guess I shouldn't be asking that question :-)
    Soha playing cricket is an interesting thought though.

    @Sagnik: I know what you mean.I keep expecting Rituparna movies to be of the same standard as Unishe April and Dahan. Though after Raincoat I should have known better. Shubho Mohurat was ok u know...time pass chilo..again good performances saved it. Raincoat and now Antarmahal are possibly his worst movies. Such obvious and desperate attempts to gain commercial success.
    As for Rimmii Sen...cheshta kore dekho..stranger things have been known to happen ;-) bhiiishon neka kintu.

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:22 PM  

  • YOu said it,it was Ritupornography!! I hated the movie.

    By Blogger good morning, midnight, at 4:54 AM  

  • i've been DRAGGED away from in front of the theatre with a "poisha beshi hoyechhe tor? want to waste it on THIS?" so i suppose you have public support on this :)

    By Blogger Rimi, at 9:05 AM  

  • @gm,m: i totally understand. i left the theatre rather bemused...felt rather sorry for R...aami at least ekhaane shekhaane jokes gulo bujhchilam...o bechari toh shetao bodh hoy theek kore bojhe ni.

    @rimi: u have wise friends i must say. i hv wasted 300 bucks between those two movies. siiiiigh :-(

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:17 PM  

  • "Krrringg, krrringg, krrringg...", Is the "sanskriti monoshko bangali" (culture conscious bengali) alarm beeping in the review of "Antarmahal", what say Ronita(n not Ron)???

    I think, " hay maney,Rituda" has got the cue from a hell lot of surveys, revealing the bengalis (to be specific the Kolkatans)as the most amorous and sexually gratified lot in the Indian sex scenario,published widely in the newspapers and magazines in the recent past.

    So,has "hay maney Rituda" found a new USP for his seemingly sloppy "soaps" or has Bengali Cinema come of age in some sense or the other????

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 PM  

  • @anonymous: Im not too sure about what you mean by "sanskriti conscious bangali"...Im certainly not the sushma swaraj type and have no issues with sex and sexuality being shown on screen when it fits into a context and carries the story forward. I do however have a problem with on screen sex when the only purpose it serves is to titillate audiences; hence my reaction with Antarmahal.

    Was not trying to review the movie...just expressing my opinion of it...and according to me, it was bad and pointless ..so much more is expected from the man who gave us Unishe April and Dahan.

    Ron.
    (Yeah, thats what most people call me. But please... feel free to call me Ronita if you want).

    PS: Did not understand the stress on "hay maane Rituda"..ignorant me.

    By Blogger Ron, at 12:06 AM  

  • reaction TO Antarmal...not with...me n my typos...really!!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 12:09 AM  

  • Hmm...Ritu-porno....
    I like his Shubho Muhurot best !
    By the way you seem to be hardcore from Bangalore. I am from there as well.....was born there in fact.
    Where are you from in B'lore ?

    By Blogger Soham Pablo, at 10:50 PM  

  • i quite liked 'antarmahal', i don't think the sex was overdone, i mean, there was'nt anything remotely titillating about them, so i cant really agree with you if you say r.g. used sex to pull audiences in. he does'nt need to do that, he's better established than that, isnt he?

    By Blogger Srin, at 6:51 AM  

  • @srin: with his reputation one wouldnt think that he would try these cheap stunts. the problem with antarmahal according to me was the fact the it didnt touch upon to any aspect other than the sex. but anyways to each her own i suppose :-).welcome and hope to see you often.

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:08 PM  

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