Sunday, May 18, 2008

Juhi Chawla, Nath Uncle, Kurkure and Baghban

Watched Bhootnath on Sunday. Yes - at the DT Megamall, my backyard. I liked it quite a bit. I was ROTFLOLing very much, and then noticed that the average age the junta giving me company during the same was 7 and held back a little. Nevertheless, it is by far one of the most delightful first half's we have seen in Hindi movies till now.

The slightly worrying aspect of the movie was product placement. Operative word being slightly, obviously the movie had graver concerns. Every scene in the kitchen / dining / fridge had to have many bottles of Pepsi, Fanta, some new product called Ceres Juice and Kurkure. I wonder if the Pepsi guys thought since brand connect is so high with Juhi Chawla being the new age house wife which we portray her to be in our ads, ( which she actually is), etc - this movie is our jackpot. Therefore we must go overboard - every time there is enough space on the dining table - we must put a Kurkure wrapper which has been crumpled and thrown away is such a manner that kurkure is always visible. With the amount of money we are spending, we should get atleast one scene where Juhi and family are sitting on the couch and watching a cricket match with one of our slowest SKUs, so on and so forth.

The philosopher in me tells me that New Age Cinema will be like a series of ads - with the story embedded in between. Soon, this will in the future also make ads more entertaining ( since they would be shorter and have more original storylines) than what they are now, relatively only, - and instead of T 20 and test cricket, people will then be debating as to whether 10 second ads with the some punch are the future of entertainment, or whether long and grueling movies ( like test matches where Sanjay Manjerakar and Jimmy Adams decide to bat together) are the only irreplaceable true vintage entertainment .

For example, director really struggling for budgets might be willing to add a

"Mummy, let me drink my pesticide free softdrink before I go to school today"

or in a slightly different movie -

When daddy is on the hospital bed telling mommy about previous escapades because of which wealth will be shared between his n sons and daughters instead of 2 ( to which mommy is thinking, "now I don't feel so guilty, teehee"), the youngest and smartest son is putting mseal on the roof.


Everytime Rajni evades a bullet in bullet speed, and the sleave of his white silk shirt touches the dusty ground, and he looks at it, calls up home and says "ghar mein Surf excel hai na?".
((Yes Thambi, Rajni never evades bullet, bullets evade Rajni. But this is for the sake of aesthetics only ))

So on, and so forth.

But coming back to Bhootnath, there was very little product placement in the second half. Which was evident -as the budget cuts became apparent. PepsiCo spent so much money in the first half, that they had nothing for the second. I think this the film makers figured after they shot the first half, and decided to play safe in order to maximize ROI.

Lets stick to something which the value for money Indians love.

What do value for money Indians love? 2 at the price of 1, instead of one at the price of 1. Yes - thats it - we can bundle one slow moving storyline, which we can get for a good pirce, bundle it with our story and market this as 2 movies.

Ok, now what are the cheapest story lines we can procure in the limited time we have to make another movie? It should have a lot of emotion and lot of crying, someone dying and someone being indifferent to it, because thats what works for in India across all TGs.

hmmm... - Ah! Baghban!! We can even get that for free. And whats better, the Amitabh connect remians - so lets make the second half a Baghban. We don't need no product placements in the second half!!! Soopra Machi!

But despite the budget cuts and the product placement, the movie still had original bollywood cliches such as -

The conventional haunted house with an excessive supply of dry leaves in the large front yard

Large gate

Flash back ( The innnovation here was that the flash back took us into another movie, but it had a flash back nonetheless )

Thunder and rain at the end of every flash back-indicating, erm.. don't know - but most movies have it. I think they all trying to bring out the Tansenness in the narrator of flashback at times.

The Firang chicks who dance with the ghost in oversized pink ballet suits

"Tumne aane mein bahut deri kardi, beta..."

and lastly , a happy ending - aaha.

I really missed the owl, the black cat, "ooooooooo" sound in the background when nothing much happens and the full moon which I badly wanted to see in a ghost movie, but thats ok.

The only confusing part in the movie was - ok - so he died once, and became a ghost. Fair. Then he sat through his own funeral, just to be sure that he dies again - since he was bored of living like a ghost ( which was not very different from living for real - eating, shaving, dacning with Firang chicks, telling stories, etc - wouldn't get bored? Duh. ). So he dies again. Then he comes in the sky, like Mufasa in Lion King - and *this* **has to be the** surest sign that its the last time we see the person in the movie, unless of course junta decides that the last scene must contain them praying to his photo, wherein we will see him again in the photo.
But, magically enough, he is back the next day. So what is he now - ? Ghost? Star ghost? Angel? Granddad? The twin borther of Kailash Nath the purpose of whose life was to be a part of the Juhi family when post the ghost episode to fill up that void? Interesting - that mystery still remains. I like such open ended movies.


Unknown said...

I liked the movie. All of it. Fine, the director cops out and takes the safe wa out in the 2nd half, but it's not like it was mangled for the sake of innovation (a la Race..)

And me and Sumana were rolling around laughing as well! So it's NOT only 7 year olds! Us 13 year olds can enjoy it too!

Roofy said...

I liked the movie too dude :-). Most of all of it. Ah - yes us 13 year olds.

But again, why would you watch race in the first place?

nisha said...

'tansenness'. hahahah. good show,roofy. keep writing.

product placements arent new in bollywood though, have you undergone the ordeal of a movie like yaadein? or recently, love story 2050 (shudder!) lawman jeans in 2050 for crying out loud!