It has been a little over six months since I wrote my last blog post and this post is the first one since I have been conferred the status of a senior citizen. I just felt that the pressure of sticking to a deadline was becoming stressful depriving me of the pleasure which had, in the first instance, gotten me to write reviews. I still see movies with great regularity, but with less critical (in)sight and at my leisure. During this period, I have borne cheerfully, and certainly with more than a little joy, taunts, nudges and demands that I get back to writing. I was, or rather, my reviews were being missed!!
What prompted me to write this piece was my observation that there seemed to be the sudden spurt in two areas in Bollywood films. The first one pertains to increasing coverage of “slapping” scenes. It began with Dhanush (son-in-law of Rajnikant and a very popular star from Tamilnadu, who last year hit high notes world over with the Kolaveri number) getting repeatedly slapped by Sonam Kapoor in RAANJHANA and followed by Farhan Akthar repeatedly slapping himself in BHAG MILKHA BHAG (which despite Milkha running throughout the movie had an inordinately long running time). And then, we had the lissome Sonakshi planting a firm slap on Ranveer Singh in LOOTERA. Will this set a new trend? We will have to wait and watch! The second trend pertains to the increasing influence of Chennai in Bollywood. We had Dhanush performing wonderfully in the colourful RAANJHANA and Shruti Hassan (daughter of Kamal Hassan) making a good impression in two releases last month (D-DAY and RAMAYYA VASTAVAYYA). And as if to top it all, we have the SRK starrer CHENNAI EXPRESS coming in tonight over here and John Abraham sipping filter coffee in MADRAS CAFE a few weeks from now. Will we see even more of Chennai from now on Bollywood screens? I do not know, but I certainly know that Muscat features in a big way in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAI (DOBARA) slated to be released in a few weeks. Perhaps my pleadings have helped!!!
As an overall summary of Bollywood’s releases till now, we certainly have had a number of above average productions. FUKREY and KAI PO CHE were good expressions of bonding and camaraderie, CHASHME BUDDOOR and NAUTANKI SAALA provided a good reason to laugh, ATTACKS OF 26/11 and D-DAY were grippingly delivered, BHAG MILKHA BHAG was a decent biopic (although PAAN SINGH TOMAR in the same genre last year was much better), SPECIAL 26 and GO GOA GONE were weirdly delightful in parts, LOOTERA and RAANJHANA covered the romantic side ably, YEH JAWAANI HAI DIWANI radiated tremendous energy, SAHIB BIWI AUR GANGSTER RETURNS and INKAAR were fairly intense in drama. In terms of songs, AASHIQI 2, YEH JAWAANI HAI DIWANI, RANJHAANA, BHAG MILKHA BHAG, RAMAYYA VASTAVAYYA and LOOTERA stood out amongst the rest.
Another phenomenon involving me in recent times seems to be at play. When we were planning a short trip to Chennai en route to Tirupati last week, I was asked by my friends as to whether I was getting involved in Tamil films or going there to investigate as to the reason behind Chennai’s moves in Bollywood. It didn’t help matters that I did see Dhanush’s latest release MARYAN in the short time I was there and talked to my friends about two more Tamil films which we had seen recently: a disaster called KADAL and a superb movie called NADUVALA KONJAM PAKKATHA KAANUM ( A few pages are missing in the middle).A few weeks before, when I was planning a business trip to Europe (which thankfully has been postponed), I was asked as to whether I was going there to investigate the rail crashes in Spain and Switzerland and France. And just as when we are planning a visit to part of the Eastern Bloc, I am being asked as to whether I am going there at Obama’s instance in view of his having canceled his proposed meeting with a prominent leader!!!
A very Happy EID to all my Muslim friends!
And since I shouldn’t be late when SRK and Deepika shout ” Ready, Steady PO!” , I need to stop here!