Friday, January 06, 2006



Only twice in my entire life have I walked out of a cinema hall in the middle of a movie. The first time was in Nagpur, during my posting there 3 years ago. The movie was 'Yeh hai Jalwa', a Salman Khan starrer by David Dhawan. Its claim to fame was that it had a song called "Na main fax, na Xerox, na main computer ki floppy... Main hoon apne papa ki carbon copy!" The theatre was Sudama. Looking back, I think one of the reasons that I left during the interval was that it was peak summer, and the hall didn't have any air-conditioning (None of the halls in Nagpur do, btw)! Still, if the movie had been any good... The 2nd movie I left 30-min into it was Shabd. I'd gone for the red carpet premiere of Shabd which our channel had organized, and was watching the movie sitting on the stairs in the hall. Couldn't force myself to go through the torture for very long, and left the theatre! Last night, there was almost a 3rd occassion....

Watched '15, Park Avenue' last night. Had decent expectations from the movie, with Aparna Sen as the director, and the 'Mr. and Mrs. Iyer' pair of Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen-Sharma in the lead. But was hugely disappointed (actually, disappointed is too mild a word)! Thought I'll write a couple of lines about it today, but my resolve was concretized when Mayank Shekhar, the Mumbai Mirror film reviewer, gave it 4 stars today! The movie is a farce. Nothing wrong with the story idea- it's about a schizophrenic(Konkona), who lives with her elder sister Shabana Azmi. Interesting subject, but Ms. Sen managed to make a total mess of it. The acting was horrendous- you've got to see Shabana in this movie to see how a brilliant actress in Hindi can be a terrible one in English! Kanwaljit as one of her suitors was speaking with such an artificial accent that I felt like pulling my hair out! Konkona was good in parts, Rahul Bose slept through the movie!The situations were contrived, the treatment over-the-top! In parts, it was like watching a horror movie! Ms. Sen tries her best to manipulate viewers by squeezing in stuff like a gang-rape, even though it wasn't adding too much to the movie. And the ending.... Ohhh the ending!!! You have to see it to believe it. Have not seen such a wannabe intellectual attempt in a long time(not since Shabd actually)!

I am not a movie critic, I don't know how to write a review. All I know is that a good movie is one which has a tale well-told, with good performances by everyone. I do not have Mayank Shekhar's talent and skill for evaluating good cinema... and I thank God for it! Otherwise, I would never have been able to enjoy 'Main Hoon Na' so much, and, like him, would have rated it as one of the worst films ever made!

Oh my God! I am extremely upset! I was looking forward to watching that movie. I love Aparna Sen's work. Especially her Bengali movies are awesome. I love her even more because she works with strong, women-oriented subjects. As you must have guessed, I am all for such subjects.
Let's see. I think I'll stll watch it! :D
BTW, I'vw watched Yeh Hai Jalwa! ;)
May I ask which cannel you are referring to?
If a story is not well-told, no one will praise it. And it's ok to have an opinion that is opposite to what the "critic" says.

I'm a little down now that I know what to expect. But I'm going to go ahead and watch it anyway.

Btw, I could sense that you didn't want to say anything without giving away the ending! Hai nah?
Rita: You should obviously watch it if you feel like it, I was just presenting my views on it. For all you know, you may really like the movie, just like all the critics :-) btw, I was working in Zoom at that time.

AFJ: I normally don't write reviews, especially in the 1st couple of days after the release, cos everyone has his/her own opinion on movies, and it's unfair to the film-maker to bias potential viewers against the film. This movie was an exception since a) I really felt very strongly about it, and b) critics were praising it to the skies, and I wanted people to know that there is a strong contrarion viewpoint on it!
The ending- I NEVER reveal the ending of any movie/book to anyone (except to my friend Keerat, who insists on knowing the ending of suspense movies before watching them , and forces me to reveal all). It's a very sick thing to do!
My friend has written a review for it and she loves the movie!
Ma'am I'm extremely happy for her that she saw and liked the movie. I, and the 75 other people in the hall, didn't! :-)
But seriously, it's totally a function of individual taste and sensibilities. What is "...cinematic history in terms of both plot and technique" for her, is a "wannabe intellectual attempt" for me. Maybe it's because I look at my movies from a very basic, simplistic point of view... but that's me!
My bro pretty much shares the same sentiments as you do about the movie. I was looking forward to watching it..i'm not sure if I want to now...or maybe I will just because Aparna Sen has directed it..and has roped in good actors..while ignoring the terribly poor storyline....

btw, the link that you posted on my blog does not work..i think you missed out a 'w' in www...., but it still doees not work...
aquamarine: It'll work, just end that link with '.htm'
You have been tagged! Check my blog!
About the review, I think everyone has a right to his/her point of view, so it's ok if two of my friends have different opinions about a movie! :)
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