I had been waiting to watch this movie. Finally, this evening I got to do that. I find Farhan Akhtar a very “thinking” guy. Although this movie was made by his sister, but it seemed clear that the “wisdom” of Javed Akhtar and his son were written all over the movie. It was a very intelligent script and very engaging story.
Indian movies are incredible to the outside world in the way they rely on songs. Delhi 6, the movie I reviewed last week, was the exact opposite of this movie. In that film, all that I remembered at the end of the movie were its songs. The story and performances were really forgettable. Here it was the opposite. In this movie, I remembered the performances – and every character had its own strength and finish. Rishi Kapoor, abandoning his Amitabh Bachchan-style goatie/sophisticated look that he had started playing, went for the emotional yet very earthy Punju character and dressed for it. Juhi Chawla also fit her own character really well. Saw Sanjay Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia after a long time and it was interesting to see how they fit the new roles. Sanjay Kapoor’s role was a spoof on his real life – an actor who didn’t make it big and later turned director.
I think the greatest victory for this movie was that at the end of the movie, I didn’t remember any song from it. I know it had some songs, and they seemed good and soothing as well. But they were not such that would overpower the movie itself. Movie was the central piece. Songs were incidental. And I believe that’s how it should be. Of course, the greatest movies are remembered for BOTH, great songs and great story, acting and plot – Sholay, Mughal-e-Azam, Pakeezah, Pyaasa etc.
The story lacked cliches and was pretty unpredictable – because it didn’t follow the usual Bollywood cliches and so, our mind, which has become adept at predicting the Bollywood story writers .. fell short of anticipating the next move. Also, in some places it caught me by surprise – when Farhan (Vikram) comes to Konkana Sen (Sona) to apologize. I found it very intriguing and real how she rebuffs him by pointing out his obvious self-centered behavior. Her final compromise in her ambitions which still give her a respectable career was a path that has been tread by many in real life.
For me it has always been a fascination to see how people – thorough outsiders – could succeed in a very competitive place. But people with great drive and energy have done that. Those who thought above the crowd, and who could look higher than the rest of the lot. Shahrukh, Amitabh, Anil Kapoor, Dharmendra, Prithviraj Kapoor, etc – all were unlikely successes. They came in through the slightest of wedge available to them and still made it big. I am sure many compromises were made on the way – by all of them. And when they would look back, they would find that there is a big list of losses of relationships and friendships that they left behind. The thing that made them genuine human beings. And Shahrukh tries to touch upon that in his very brief appearance in this movie. It is a great lesson. Many people can succeed. But only the grounded become great.
Btw, talking of outsiders doing well in the movie, I saw the name of my cousin – Puneet Khanna – also printed in small letters at the end of the movie as the 2nd Assistant Director. His journey also has been.. and I believe will be in future very much like those on which stories could be written.
Overall, a must see movie!
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