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It is no secret that I am not a great fan of Aamir. I don’t dismiss him entirely — in fact, I really like the pre-perfectionist Aamir a lot — but a lot of his image now is carefully crafted publicity. Anyone who thinks otherwise is welcome to take this offline with me.
Among the things that does annoy me is the double standards he holds, by choosing to not attend Indian film award functions, but bending over backwards when it comes to the Oscars. And that is just the tip of my peeves.
Anyway, when I saw this news When James Cameron met Aamir Khan, I couldn’t resist a chuckle.
I am sure both are great artistes at what they do best (this too could be taken offline), but there is such an obvious discord here between the known craft of one and the perceived craft of the second.
These were the words by Priyadarshini Singh, one of the eliminated contestants of Rahul Dulhania Le Jayega.
Participants mostly come on such shows to gain popularity, as they aspire to become actors. Is it the same with you?
Of course not. My funda for participating on this show was very clear. I wanted to get married to Rahul. Besides, I am not from the media background, so participating in this show doesn’t help me in any way.
and some time later :
I don’t know. Currently I am just spending time with my parents and having fun. I would like to join politics or for that matter, get into the media as that is the best way to reach the masses.
Yeah, well, she atleast proved her sincerity beyond doubt.
On second thoughts, I quite hope she is an attention seeker or a gold digger. If she really is in love with Rahul Mahajan, then god help her. I don’t see why a reasonable individual would go out of her way to be a part of Rahul Mahajan’s swayamvar.
That said, even though I know the contestants on such swayamvars are faking it worse than Aamir Khan fakes his intelligence, it is fun nevertheless. I guess that’s how guilty pleasure works. It is not rational, but it is much fun.
If you belong to the Shiv Sena, of course who know who the monkey is.
If you are SRK, of course you know who the monkeys are.
If you are Aamir, stop searching for SRK on the net to go one up on him (in a strictly non-literal sense).
The Shiv Sena/SRK standoff has gone on for so long now that it has exhausted whatever will I had to write a serious post. Instead, I’ll just post all my tweets on the topic. Here you go :
The MNS and Shiv Sena shud first decide whom the Marathi manoos agenda belongs to. Then we’ll decide who Bombay belongs to.
Sena to greet Rahul with black flags http://bit.ly/bUlRgH The Sena has gone crazy. They’re doing a democratic protest ?
Heh, quote of the day : Preity Zinta : SRK is the most secular and the most fair guy I know http://bit.ly/cyLDqo
SRK is clearly losing to Shiv Sena until there is an online petition supporting him. Oh wait, here it is http://bit.ly/atZH3L
Now that SRK is at war with the Shiv Sena, Aamir, as always, is looking to go one up — something like North Korea or Iran.
Someone please check on Suhel Seth. There has been no rant on the SRK-Sena issue.
Sena activists detained as Rahul lands. That’s Sonia’s way of saying Come to Italian momma.
Shiv Sena, MNS should be banned:Paswan http://bit.ly/dhr3Cb That is ridiculously undemocratic. Paswan should be banned instead.
Centre using Mumbai as ATM: Uddhav http://bit.ly/aWXi3d .. while the Sena wants to use it as a bearer’s cheque.
Sena threatens to move court http://bit.ly/dhKbl8 Suddenly someone realized that we have a law in our country.
Sena attacks cinemas after promising it wouldn’t http://bit.ly/agltkh Next time, be sure to look for crossed fingers.
This is the baap of all cop frame-ups in India :
In a desperate attempt to crack a double murder with no eyewitnesses, these policemen planted blood group AB on the weapon of offence thinking it would explain the killing of a man and his wife who had blood groups A and B, respectively.
The fraud was thankfully caught by the high court in its hearing.
I like to root for the underdog, so may I suggest some more frame-up formulae :
Plant a green cloth if the victim and accused were wearing blue and yellow, respectively (if you are a painter and this this is incorrect, get back with the right color combination).
Plant a photograph of the ugly Hutch dog (is it still alive ?) if the victim and accused are fans of Maneka Gandhi and Himesh Reshammiya, respectively.
Plant a URL to my blog if the victim and accused think — and this is a very strange possibility — that Aamir Khan and The Bachchans are over-rated.
OK I’ll stop now.
May I interest the above 3 guys in a thought : When you have a film named 3 Idiots, make sure there aren’t exactly 3 guys in all promotional campaigns, else you’re just asking for puns. And we’re good at those.
Boy, oh boy ! This review is going be long. But I think someone needs to do it. And just so that this post doesn’t seem only negative, I’ve highlighted the positive bits.
Disclaimer : I am not a fan of Aamir Khan — I think he is over-rated and hardly an intelligent actor, but I can convince you of that later in a coffee-table discussion. I think of Rajkumar Hirani as a wonderful storyteller, and Vidhu Vinod Chopra as an astute director and producer. I wanted to like the movie, having loved the Munnabhai series. So I assure you, I was not cynical while watching 3 Idiots.
Is 3 Idiots good ? I’d say continue reading and make up your mind.
3 Idiots (3I) is Hirani’s weakest film yet. The first half of 3I is — in one word — bad. There are funny moments and witty lines, but it left a bad taste at the end (of the first half). I remember telling a friend that one reason I looked forward to 3I was because Hirani could come up with original humour. In 3I — especially the first half — a majority of the jokes were rehashed from decade old SMS and e-mail forwards. I don’t want to sound elitist by claiming everyone should have anticipated those jokes and ergo, not found them funny (I didn’t). In fact, I hear audiences loved those bits, and I’m glad for that. But this took away much of what I expected from Hirani/Joshi (writers).
Munnabha MBBS, while not sleek or technically worthy of mention, was high on emotions and the human connection, while also being refreshingly funny. Lage Raho Munnabhai was technically superior, but still fairly strong on Hirani’s USP — emotions. Both the movies could make even a cynic like me choke up in the span of a few seconds, and that is the experience for which I watch movies. I don’t mind overlooking a few flaws as long as they do not hinder my experience. The second half has such moments and Hirani is on steroids in those bits, but they are too little and as the cliche goes — too late.
The script tries too hard to be funny and makes one critical error in the process — mixing empathy with humour. In Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy movies, one doesn’t feel bad when they or the bad guy is hit, or in pain. The narrative decouples emotion from the scene, so that you can laugh along without feeling guilty. With Raju Rastogi’s (Sharman Joshi) parents, Hirani makes this blunder. It would have been perfectly fine to not try to elicit laughter there, but he does — like the bit with the hair in the food, which was not tasteful (pun) humour. That bit was a major turn off for me. The Munnabhai series never trivialized pain, but with Rastogi’s parents, he consistently does it here.
Ryan from Five Point Someone was a better character than Rancho. Rancho is firstly, too perfect to interest a viewer (the character has no depth), and why on earth is he preaching at every single opportunity ! He takes snipes at everything seemingly wrong with the world (except of course, older actors playing far younger characters), and it is just annoying after a point. Many lines seemed straight lifts from Munnabhai MBBS and Taare Zameen Par, especially the ones directed at the education system.
Which also brings me to my biggest peeve — both in 3I and Taare Zameen Par. Both movies offer no solution, and worse, the victims of the education system are always geniuses in some other field — usually art. Our problem is not that geniuses do not get an opportunity, it is that an average student who is not particularly talented, struggles. I am fine with using caricatures of genius kids stuck in the system, but please do not claim that you are addressing the problem of the education system. Aamir did that consistently whenever he opened his mouth during the promotion of TZP and at times, with 3I. What is sillier is such movies pump the dormant thought in everyone that they are geniuses stuck in the wrong place, but I’m sorry to say — most people are not geniuses, and such thoughts only promote laziness.
(As as aside, I expected Taare Zameen Par to be the story of a child with dyslexia who isn’t talented — someone like Abhishek Bachchan *hihihi*)
Casting : This is the first time I’m speaking out against Aamir Khan playing a student. No, really. Have I said it earlier ? I don’t think so.
A huge thumbs down for casting and it is time we reject such outrageous casting. Think of it : in 2007, Aamir was a teacher (in TZP), and in 2009, he is a student. Think of it : in 1988, he said it was his last day in college and yet, 21 years later, he is a fresher (I got these bits from some Twitter stream; feel free to claim credit).
Aamir Khan tries to ape the mannerism of an 18-year old. Oh yes, when students enter engineering, they are 18 years old. 18 years old. If you know anyone who is 18, that is how the character should look. Remember Dev Patel from Slumdog Millionaire ? Technically, he is old to play this character.
Aamir Khan, with his wrinkles missing, does fairly well with the body language. But he doesn’t look the part. Heck, even Amitabh Bachchan would’ve played the part to the best of his ability, but would you accept him in this role ? Umm .. wait, don’t answer that; just remembered Paa.
The best in terms of casting/make-up is Chaturlingam, the only one honest to character.
Acting : Aamir is decent as this falls right in the middle of one of his 2 USPs — tapori (Ghulam/Rangeela) and over the top comedy (Andaz Apna Apna). The others are just okay. Chaturlingam is again, the best.
Music : I’ve covered Sonu Nigam’s singing earlier. I think Shantanu Moitra creates good melodies, but I don’t expect much in terms of music from Hirani movies. I liked one track, Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh, and that’s about it. If you understand Marathi, I’ll recommend a better song with a similar theme — Mi Hazaar Chintanni by Sandeep Khare/Salil Kulkarni. If you want, I can post a translation.
The last positive : Ladakh is stunning, but I don’t expect anything less of it.
All in all, 3I is a heavily flawed movie. I haven’t even gone into ridiculous bits in the plot (Farhan to Pia : You still love him, because you are eating a dhokla; delivery with an un-sanitized vacuum cleaner) and the caricature that every single character is. To be fair, when things are going right (e.g. Munnabhai series), flaws aren’t visible. But when things aren’t, every fault is elevated. If you loved it and think it is a masterpiece and the best film of this year and even this decade, I wish you well.
No wait, I wish you go to hell.
P.S. : I don’t want to get into the controversy involving Chetan Bhagat and the makers. — it’ll just give the issue more publicity.
I wasn’t keen on writing this review, but this was the quickest way of ending my hibernation.
There are 2 things I inferred from this movie :
1. This is from the writer/director of Andaz Apna Apna.
2. Even he can’t re-create Andaz Apna Apna.
The movie has around 15 mins of wonderful comedy — sadly all those scenes are scattered and in the second half. But if you have to watch this one, walk straight into the second half. I was disappointed that Smita Jaykar and Darshan Jariwala (as Prem’s parents) weren’t used earlier in the movie. Once these (and other) side-characters get screen-time and the story veers away from his romance and friends in the second-half, the movie is almost on a stimulant. But just in spurts, not enough to save the movie.
The script is so bad that even someone as earnest as Ranbir couldn’t pull off some of the scenes (like the one in the balcony after intermission). Katrina Kaif is strictly okay but improving — her Hindi accent now sounds only 70% English. The revelation in acting is surprisingly, Upen Patel. The way he satirically imbibes the acting skills of those non-actor model-types who can’t act to save their life, was one of the high points of the movie.
Overall, I was especially disappointed with Ajab Prem .. as this could’ve so easily been a superb comedy, if only the script was worked on. It ends up being the story of another director stuck in a time-warp, struggling to reinvent himself. Sad.
Word has it that Rajkumar Santoshi is planning a movie on the lines of Andaz Apna Apna. It won’t have Salman, but more importantly, even Aamir won’t be in it.
Gee .. I wonder who’ll play a college student then.
It is heartening to see educated individuals take an active interest in politics and providing solutions. Aamir has a suggestion for the election commission :
Talking to reporters after casting his vote, Aamir said a candidate should be declared ‘elected’ only if he has won 51 per cent of the votes in his constituency.
Since Aamir is an intelligent actor, I assume he does not refer to 51% of the total number of eligible voters in a constituency, just 51% of the votes cast. Now a non-intelligent actor would have just said anything above 50% should work, so I am sure there is something about 51% that I don’t get.
Aamir explains further :
“This will ensure that the winning candidate represents all sections of the society,” he said.
Probably that’s what the last one percent does.
And if no one ever gets above 51%, the elections can always go on and on, like The Rising.
I really think it’s a brilliant suggestion though and would work very well in India, assuming we have a 2-party system. Go figure.
Just to clarify, I don’t dislike Aamir. On the contrary, I love his acting, his intelligence and his perfectionistism (I know that’s not a word, but hey, I’m not the perfectionist here). There are detractors who are going to claim that his public perception is self-created and largely modelled on the Rajnikanth-Kamal Hassan rivalry in the south, that he hams like most actors while claiming not to and that most of his great films (save The Rising) had another mastermind at the helm .
I detest such individuals and I’d go as far as saying that due to these people who belittle him, he is not among the tallest actors today.
For the pseudo-intellectuals who claim actors in Bollywood lack sincerity and dedication, I can only point to this article :
Dubai : A Dubai court has fined an Indian man who said he was rehearsing for a role in a Bollywood movie for cross-dressing after he was seen applying mascara at a shopping mall, a newspaper reported on Sunday. The court found the 45-year-old property development firm manager identified only as P.K. guilty of cross-dressing in public, the English-language Gulf News said.
“I’m not guilty… I was cross-dressed because I was training to perform a woman’s role in Indian cinema,” the newspaper reported the defendant as telling the public prosecutor.
Police who apprehended the man said his outfit was glittering like “a woman’s clothes,” and that “he wore a bra, mascara, women’s perfume and a wig” at the Mall of the Emirates, the paper added.
Well take that Aamir ! But I am a little concerned about the whereabouts of Bobby Darling, for whom the above role was tailor made.
P.S. : The people of Dubai must be so glad he wasn’t rehearsing for the role of a terrorist or serial killer.
The latest addition to reality TV is the 15th annul (sorry annual) Star Screen Awards with the controversy surrounding Ashutosh Gowarikar taking on Sajid Khan for making fun of film-makers during the show.
Following this, Akshay Kumar rejected his Star Screen award for Popular Actor as he thought Aamir Khan deserved it.
I do not take sides in reality TV fights. I am just glad there are 2 sides so that people can fight more efficiently. In fact, I would like to have more sides.
But whatever happens : You cannot reject a STAR SCREEN AWARD FOR POPULAR ACTOR !!!
For people who think that reality TV in India is hardly even real : I know this might sound untrue but a few days back I had a fight with a friend and believe me, everything went black and white, I could hear thunder and lightning in the background plus I could feel camera closeups all over !
I am just waiting for reality TV to take over our news channels. How we would love a catfight between Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghose over who gets to ask a victim, “How are you feeling ?”.
This is the end of 2008 and a good time to reflect on the good movies of Bollywood and award the deserving makers. Yeah I know they don’t care but now I know how it feels to be Filmfare for Aamir Khan.
I think this was one of the best years for Bollywood with the emergence of independent cinema from small time debutant filmmakers, most of whom were more impressive than the established ones. Shreyas Talpade and Abhay Deol emerged as the actors to really watch out for in the future and we got a long awaited brilliant composer Amit Trivedi.
Best Movie : Welcome to Sajjanpur (review here).
The other contenders were probably Mithya, Dasvidaniya, A Wednesday, Aamir, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Oh My God, but I think I’ll go with Welcome to Sajjanpur because it was truly a different movie in today’s time and still entertaining till the last drop. Of course, the direction, writing, music and acting was all top notch. What else would you want in a movie !
Best Performance : Paresh Rawal in Mumbai Meri Jaan (review here).
His Tukaram Patil was one performance I’ll always remember him by. He embodied the Gandhian wisdom that is need so badly today, and carried it off perfectly.
Among the other possible contenders : Shreyas Talpade was a revelation in acting in Welcome to Sajjanpur; Rajeev Khandelwal was refreshing in Aamir; I did not find Naseeruddin Shah do anything unexpectedly brilliant in A Wednesday; Abhay Deol was good in OLLO but not a knockout performance; Ranvir Shorey was really good in Mithya and Farhan Akhtar was quite good in Rock On.
Best Female Performer :
This was a real tricky one, because I couldn’t think of just one really brilliant performance that surprised me. But if I had to choose, I would go with Neha Dhupia for her roles in Dasvidaniya (completely natural acting), Mithya and Maharathi. Even I am surprised that I had to choose her. A few years ago, no one would have expected her to be selected the best performer on a non-adult site, but she is one actor to watch out just for the kind of movies she has been selecting.
Best Direction : Neeraj Pandey in A Wednesday.
We all can agree that it was one of the most technically sound movies of the year, and a tight and fast paced thriller. So I don’t need to defend this one.
Of course, how can I end this without a mention of Vinay Pathak ! Let’s just call him the man of the series this year for his amazing portayal of varied characters in Mithya, Dasvidaniya, Oh My God and of course, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi !
You are welcome to agree/disagree on the views here. I will not issue a fatwa, I promise.