Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Week That Was...

After a long and tiring week, a small wrap of things that went by. Some movies apart from the dud Harry Potter I managed to catch. 'New York' (John Abraham, Niel Nitin Mukesh, Katrina Kaif and Irfan Khan) and 'The Hangover'. NY was good, better than I had expected. This is a story of three friends studying in NY and how their lives get into one big mess post 9-11 massacre. It is a story of how racial bias can play havoc with you if you are caught on the wrong side of the law. The story picks up pace after the movie's only song and what seemed to be as long as the movie itself! Nice watch, though it could have been better.

If only our film-makers go the extra mile to make a good film, a great one. Whenever we show movies that place a lot of importance on locations or caste/creed/race, a little of research is required. Authenticity in this regard can elevate the movie by leaps and bounds. 'A Wednesday' could have come across as a much-better researched movie had the director not made the police van take a U-Turn at Chowpatty to go towards Nariman Point and made us believe, at the same time, that the van was proceeding towards Juhu. Remember the Nandita das starrar, 'Ek Din 24 Ghante' (copy of 'Run Lola Run') where Nandita runs from one end of Mumbai to another? Though it was a flop, this is an example I can never forget. I only hope that film-makers could get the road names right, and not pass off Peddar Road, for instance, as Linking Road.

Thankfully, NY didn't have such a problem (to the best of my knowledge, atleast), but it got the the thing wrong. The accents of its actors. Though John Abraham's character has been shown to be out and out Americanish in lifestyle and mannerisms, his accent was of quite the Indian college yuppie. Where was the American accent? Katrina fitted the role to a 'T', but that's largely because her real-life accent, I think, is quite American/British. The little kid too has an American accent, so to this extent it wasn't bad. But even Irfan Khan,a NY native and a police officer (presumably then, that's he's been living in NY for many,many years) has a totally Indian accent, in other words, his original. This is why I feel makers like Mira Nair are a cut above the rest. Take Irfan Khan's example again. He had a perfect Bengali accent in 'The Namesake'. So did Tabu. But I found Khan's accent more original and flawless than Tabus' though the latter is one of the finest actors of this generation. Who could tell, after watching that movie, that Irfan Khan is not a Bengali. This is what I call, paying attention to the finer details. The quest for perfection....

But I would still New York. Watch it once.

The other movie I quite liked was 'The Hangover'. Awesome movie, well-made, good performances and a great comedy. Four friends go to Las Vegas for one of the chap's bachelor party. The fun goes majorly awry when after the 'night', the groom disappears and the remaining three friends are left with a baby and a complete memory loss of what happened the night before. If you want a proof of why Hollywood movies are way ahead of desi ones in terms of originality of ideas, here's one more.... I don't think I'll ever figure out why our desi film-makers can't get their heads out of making love stories or partition stories and think of something original like this.

Two natural events were a no-show this week. I did not catch the Solar eclipse at the Nehru Planetarium, but I think I'm glad I didn't go. It was way too cloudy that morning and I thought we won't get a clear view. I don't know whether Mumbaikars got to see it, but newspapers reported that day that Mumbai views weren't all that great at all.

The high tide spectacle was also a whimper. I went to the Gateway of India (Apollo Bunder) on 24 July (Friday) and today, 25 July (Saturday) at around 2 pm. Yesterday though, the authorities had put up barricades so that we could not get to the parapets. The show was a flop as even though the sea had swelled up a lot, the tides were nothing great. I have seen tides much higher than the ones I saw yesterday and today. But it was good to be at the sea shore and to see the sea all swelled up and angry, tossing and turning. Monsoon by the sea side in Mumbai is always a pleasant sight.

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