Monday, September 04, 2006


Munna Bhai meets Hrishida

The difference is reducing! The gap between my last post and the one before that was 30 days. My present post is being written 26 days after the last one. At this rate, I am sure to reach an optimum average of one post a week in around six months. Yahooooo!!!

Don't have anything in particular to write, have been kept quite busy by work, and hence have hardly had any time to myself. But one of the fringe benefits of working in the entertainment industry, especially a Hindi film channel is that watching the much-anticipated big releases becomes a must! Hence, saw KANK on the night it was released, and the same was the case with Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Enough has been written about KANK in various fora by a variety of commentators, and there is really not much that I can add to pan the movie! Two anecdotes are all that I want to list down:

a) While watching the film, heard 2 girls, sitting in different parts of the hall, say aloud the same thing: "I wish I had a husband like Abhishek(the character)!

b) Towards the end of the movie, when the soporific title song is playing, I simply dozed off for 5 minutes! I know it is pretty insulting for any film, but I just couldn't help it!

Lage Raho Munna Bhai, on the other hand, was everything that I was expecting, and more! I have said it before and I am saying it again, Vidhu Vinod Chopra is one filmmaker who is a genius in the art of storytelling. Even when he produces a movie, you can clearly see his stamp on the film. But Rajkumar Hirani deserves full credit for scripting and directing this modern masterpiece. What a film! More than anything else, the reason I loved the film so much was that it is so 'Indian' in nature! The values that we grew up on- the values of honesty, non-violence, unconditional love, being happy at small things, that somewhere went missing in our mad rush to overtake the world...those values find a place of pride in LRM! That's about as feel-good as it can get! As for the acting- Sanjay Dutt rocks as Munna Bhai(as usual), Vidya Balan proves that Parineeta was no fluke, by playing one of the most lovable female lead characters in recent times. But it is Arshad 'circuit' Warsi who is the real star of the film. Simply brilliant- amazing timing, voice modulation, and expressions. Just listen to him in the brilliantly picturized 'Samjho ho hi gaya' song, you'll understand what I am saying!

Hrishida passed away last week. No, I did not know him personally, but it seems like someone very close to me is no more. His movies have made me smile for so long, it seems as if he used to make movies for me, so that I could laugh when the chips were down. His movies have made me cry so often, it was almost as if he understood that my emotions needed a vent! Amitabh Bachchan acted in 8 films directed by Hrishida, the most he did with any director(jointly with Manmohan Desai, and he did some of his best work, some of it not very widely known) with him. Most of us have seen him in Chupke Chupke, Abhimaan and Mili. See him in Alaap if you ever get the opportunity! No one could make Dharmendra look as good as Hrishida. If you don't believe me, watch Anupama and Satyakam! Rajesh Khanna was a superstar, but he was a great actor only in Hrishida's films like Anand, Bawarchi and Namak Haram(All right, I admit, he was very good in Asit Sen's Khamoshi and Shakti Samanta's Aradhana and Amar Prem also, but you get the picture!)

Rajkumar Hirani openly admits that the Munna Bhai series is spiritually inspired by Anand and the whole genre of Hrishida movies. Somehow, his statement doesn't surprise me! May your soul always keep smiling Hrishida, and thanks for all the smiles that you gave us :-)

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