Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jansankhya Ek Abhishaap - For want of a better title!

If men had been able to conceive, the world would have been half as light. I don't see any man patiently going through all the pain and an extended paunch for a whole 9 months in return for an act in which he is just a 50% shareholder. In all probability, the number of miscarriages would have outnumbered births and we would have been saved from the crisis of population explosion that comes face to face with us in our everyday life, especially in a metro like Delhi and Mumbai. Of course it would sound demeaning when I admit to men being incapable of doing something but call it surrender of a man or an acceptance of one of the few things that we simply are incapable of , it is true nonetheless.

Coming back to the topic of population explosion. You will never be able to gauge the seriousness of what I am talking about until and unless you spend one day commuting between Delhi and Gurgaon and get a taste of the Great Indian Population Commotion. Buses, with a capacity of 60 seats overstuffed by people double that number, huffing and panting to run that extra mile, 1241 bikers per square meter sweating it out and giving a literally earthy (rather earthenware) feeling driving on those dust laden roads and impatient car drivers trying their best to inch ahead of each other in a remarkable battle of 'who drives smartest!'

Add to it the contribution of what you have, as the Delhi CM calls them, the gang of Biharis and the Bhaiyajis of UP and the setting is complete. Assumed to be mostly uncivilised, each traffic accident in Delhi is rumored to be statistically related and hence attributed to a Bihari alighting from the Sampoorn Kranti Express at Delhi Railway Station.

We faced the brunt in Mumbai sometime back where people with political affiliations had concluded that each breath taken by a non Mumbaikar actually reduced the air available for the native Mumbaikars and hence they were justified in asking for a Mumbai for Mumbaikars. So all this blame game is not something that's new to us and it hardly fazes us anymore.

Nevermind, each day when you take up the arduous task of wading through the swarm of heavy traffic the one thing that you dread is an accident on the road and when I say an accident, I mean a minor one where you just brush past the other person's side doors or touch the rear guard of his car. No one loves an altercation but they all do it. The heat, the traffic, a hard day at the office and then the skirmish - not even an atom bomb dropped on your head will be as agonizing! You have to go through the customary ritual of blaming each other and then settling the matter with the weaker party coughing up a few hundred to thousand rupees.

The best thing that has happened to Delhi in a long long time is E. Sridharan - the man behind Delhi Metro. The guy has a knack of wrapping up things well ahead of schedule and no doubt he is going to make travelling on Delhi roads a much better deal in the times to come but the poor guy does draw some flak as well from the people locked up in a traffic jam with the roads all dug up and 'Delhi Metro - Work under progress' boards neatly arranged to their left and right. While returning from a late night office party, I actually lost my way in the neverending Delhi Metro boards kept alongside the roads.

Population explosion is indeed a menace and perhaps this is the only crime in society that has legal approval and patronising support from the society in the form of marriages. There certainly is a scope for a long debate to discuss and decide on any change in the way society starts to think about it in the times to come but its high time the partners in this crime own up to it and exercise restraint. Going ahead at this rate, I very well see the possibility of people being sentenced to 5 year vows of celibacy on having a legitimate kid of their own.

Nurse: Aapko judwa bachche ho gaye..
Father: Nahii..main iska zimmedaar nahi hoon.
Mother: Sach ka saamna dono aapke hi hain
Father: Ye kyun ho gaya Munna-Munni ki Maa. Ab mere jaane ke baad tumhe akele hi inka khayal rakhna hoga..sob sob sob!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bheja Fry - Review

If today someone asked me what Rs 150 is worth for me, I'll be tempted to answer "Worth a Bheja Fry!" I did watch the film a good two weeks after lavish praises were made for the film that has stood its ground despite competition from big shot Ta Ra Rum Pum in multiplexes and I must say that I felt that the film is worthy of all that has been said about it.

Its probably not done if you try to point out the technical shortcomings of small films like these. You could definitiely say that the editing wasn't all that good or maybe some other technical aspects were not tuned to perfection but then the film never intended to be the best in those aspects anyways. A small multiplex film with a 3-4 crore budget should be rated based on its cast, its plot, direction and maybe the message it conveys. Bheja Fry has first two of these firmy in place, I cannot say anything about the third with conviction and the fourth one is irrelevant here.

An out and out timepass film that with witty dialogues and gripping plot holds your attention throughout the 2 hours. Now getting to the usual business of telling you why you should watch this film.

a.) Cast: Vinay Pathak all the way with able support from Rajat Kapoor and small appeareances from Ranvir Shorey, Milind Soman and Sarika. Yes, this is pretty much the entire cast for the film. Vinay Pathak has been doing bits and pieces roles for sometime now and with this film he shows that he is really good with his craft. A role like the one that he portrays in this film requires a lot of improvisations so that the humour is more lively and this man has perfected it. Even in the small gags that he performed on Star One's comedy show showed flashes of what this guy was capable of.

As a die hard Naushad fan and an aspiring Gaayak rather than a singer ('singer' made him feel like a sewing machine), he breathes life into the film and is easily the soul of Bheja Fry.

Rajat Kapoor is a good actor. He never fails you and here too he delivers. Playing a man who is mean to many, one who goes crazy if asked to miss his Friday Bakra night parties and someone who spends most of his time looking out for a 'talent', he portrays the character with ease. His jugalbandi with Vinay Pathak is worth watching.

Ranvir Shorey gets to play a cameo here. I expected him to get some more screen time but I am not complaining. The rest of the cast suited the parts they played.

b.) Plot: How many times have you come across a Bharat Bhushan in your life - a person self obsessed with himself, completely oblivious of what others think about him, emotional at heart, irritating but not evil and messing around with things unintentionally? You could say that Bheja Fry is a kind of hindi version of Mr. Beans with no overt display of trying to be funny. The comedy here is situational rather than created.

Its difficult to hold the attention of the viewer for two hours with just a house setting, two central characters and no specific story to tell. But the writers of Bheja Fry do it and do it with aplomb! Great work!

Bheja Fry is not inspired by any Hollywood film, it's hero is not a conventional Bollywood hero. In fact he will at best get a 5 min character role in a mainstream hindi film. Even with all these anamolies Bheja Fry is pure unadulterated fun - a laugh riot. It definitely will bring a smile on your face even if you are the real life incarnation of the brooding Gurudutt in Pyasa. And what's more you won't be carrying away any baggage from the film once you are out of the theatre. Doesn't that give you a reason enough to go ahead and watch it?

Paisa Vasool is my verdict for Bheja Fry!

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