Friday, September 12, 2008

"Mumbai Meri (mein no) Jaan" & "!!"

here is a review that i had written for the iview section of passion for cinema. i was resisting the temptation to post the same here. in pfc, as a rule, i need to wait for 7 days before posting the same elsewhere. 
Bombay Meri Jaan 
(I prefer bombay to mumbai... raj, bal, uddhav! come, arrest me)
mumbai meri jaan received positive reviews from bollywood’s media critics. lot of hype and great reviews. but i am not content. probably because there was too much content. i beg to differ from all the other reviewers, mumbai meri jaan was quite an “ordinary” film. i expected a fantastic movie, which would be chilling and packed with emotions. there were none. there were some shots which were nice. but i found the film director nishikant lost between the many characters he wanted to depict. 

the director wants to tell so many stories. 
a madrasi chaiwala: irfan khan who makes hoax calls and spreads bomb scare in malls, as he was insulted and thrown out by a shop owner, in the “new” bombay mall (“mumbai” meri jaan???) “center one”. 
a tv news reporter: soha ali khan is a reporter of the channel “tv news” (which uses brand colours of times now. subtle branding/sabotaging??). she does her “duty” by sensationalizing everything, until she loses her fiancĂ© to the bomb blasts. and the same channel tries to use her to create sensationalizing news. 
a today’s patriot: r madhavan, who gives up foreign plans in his love for mother india and faces the psychological aftermath after escaping the blast, unaffected. 
a head constable: paresh rawal, who metamorphoses from an immoral cop to someone with a strong moral conscience. 
a rebel: kay kay menon, who is a hindu sadak-chap guy turns anti-moslem post the blasts, by the end of the movie he turns empathetic towards moslems. 

(does this plot sound new? at least, to me it doesn’t)

i expected reality. i got to see a “film”, where all characters (except soha) were acting. the acting was filmy. the music was filmy. the background score was filmy. screenplay and dialogues were very very filmy. the camera angles… well, where there were tight shots needed, they made do with wide angle shots, where there were wide angle shots needed there were close ups. irfan khan and kay kay have acted really well, and irfan is someone who looked at ease with the character that he was playing, he could well be the saving grace of the film. but, the director put some jhintaak bollywoodish music as a background score in one of the scenes and sabotaged the efforts of these bundles of talents. 

the direction was bad. the director has spoilt the screenplay with his insensitive treatment. the result: the movie is neither a hard-hitting reality movie, nor it is, an out-and-out bollywood movie. this movie hangs somewhere in between. and it doesn’t touch you. 

i wonder how all critics have given it a good rating. well, that’s what we call herd-mentality i guess. or whats a better word. ripple effect.
rock on!! is worth the two exclamation marks. as i moved out of the theatre, i carried the experience; it continued to linger in my mind. excellent screenplay, fantastic performances, a complex orchestra of emotions, and every emotion etched out very clearly. the result: rock on!! is a melodious journey. 

bang on! the audience connects with the film right from the titling stage. it’s evident that there has been a lot of thought applied on projection of the brand “rock on!!”. the story went back and forth in time, without losing its connection with the audience.

rock on!! does what jhankar beats couldn’t? it merges passion with compassion. frankly, i never appreciated rock before. i expected a loud show. thought of it as an alias for insanity. but here, it didn’t matter to me if what was played was rock or jazz or whatever. simply, loved the experience. 

i have to mention that this about farhan, the actor. he was at ease with his character. there wasn’t one moment in the movie where i felt that he was acting. he was natural. the film was believable. abhishek kapoor has done a good job. shabana was good. really good. prachi has acted well (but there was nothing for her to do anyways in the movie). i was disappointed by arjun, i feel he didn’t look that comfortable with the guitar. the ones who stole my heart were purab and luke. luke was the true true rock star. if you compare him to farhan, luke was far far far better than farhan. this doesn’t imply that farhan was bad. it implies though, that luke was better. purab is another star one needs to watch out. he is the best sidekick any film could be ornamented with. who is the hero of the film? it is undeniably luke. 

besides, this movie does justice to all the characters, all definite, precise and sharp and none of the characters looked over-the-top or forced.. and thanks to the fantastic cinematic genes and upbringing of farhan, son of honey and javed and step son of shabana, the producer farhan, didn’t take extra mileage. he has not been selfish and made this movie his acting portfolio, he has been non-dominating and has told a story, very well.

but, but, but… still, this movie is
not a classic. it will be forgotten in a few years. nevertheless, it is a nice film. commercially, it is doing well. it is an urban movie, like what dil chahta hai was. 

nice film. take some time off from the hustle-bustle of life, watch this movie. treat yourself.

~ Aham


Vinz aka Vinu said...

saw both movies..

liked both the movies..but rating Rock On above Mumbai meri jaan..!!


Rajul said...

With you Harish,
I always liked BOMBAY and not Mum Bai feels like mom's bai :-) A Wednesday is far better movie than Rock on no doubt about that

Prateek N kumar said...

Good one but will wait till I watch the movie...BTW what your idea on RGV's Black Majick saga

*Aham* said...

@ vinz

bilkul... Rock On!! was definitely better. perfect. bombay... was a ameteurish film.


you call a rose and bombay by any other name, would remain the same.rose and bombay. (atleast for us)


i havent seen rgv's comedy flick "Phoonk".lol!

ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

Dearest Aham!

Well you already know my views on Rock Off... in the iBlogs! I was not impressed with anything... but Luke and Purab! Not my cup-a-tea, just another movie, I say. Where is the ROCK in Rock On? I was turned OFF, rather, perhaps with the high expectations I had of Farhan. He seemed too stiff, really was he still stiff about a simple fight that happened a decade ago? Naah! He looks good, I agree, but acting, nope.

I do agree with Mumbai Meri Jaan review, but like you said it was absolutely "FILMY MERI JAAN!" Beyond, Irrfan and KK I saw nothing. Soha, nope, it was nice to have the fiance' loss in RDB but again here? Gimme' a break! Did you notice both the fiance's names... AJAY! in both the movies, same acting, gosh could they have atleast changed the name. What's new here? Madhavan... no sir! Not for me :-D

Oxy said...

Wasn't MMJ remake of Marathi movie Dombivili fast or something like that? Maddy's character did not look to me that convincing and same with Soha's portrayal. Paresh either does this (preaching n gyaan) or nonsensical comedy. Kay-Kay was unnecessarily irritating and his change of heart was equally unbelievable. The only thing that worked for me was Irrfan. Even he had change of heart but taht was so much convincing.

Rock-On!! Pheew. What do I say? I have seen it twice (in theater already), the last I saw twice (in theater) was Khosla Ka Ghosla. Totally unrelated movies these two are but so connected when it comes to natural and real substance.

Good one here dost.

P.S. Thanks for that HUGE comment on my 2nd blog; updated that after long. Do check.

manorath said...

i rem reading reviews in TOI saying MMJ is quite 'too much'.. but the cast seems good with Kay Kay Menon n Soha..

and Rock on, if u are comparing it with DCH, then may be i must watch dat..

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