Confession time again. I bought movie tickets in black from a tout. For a hindi movie. With a title that contains 5 words. And that’s not the worst. I actually enjoyed the movie and found myself smiling and content in the end. How did this miracle happen? Or the question to be asked is – why does it have to be a miracle? Aren’t movies supposed to leave you smiling/scared/weepy/excited and content in the end?
Anyway – I thought about it after the movie was over (another miracle) and realized that the movie actually had a script which could be encapsulated in a line. A boy and girl are best friends who go through heartbreak to realize that their true love is actually the other. I realized that there were NO big stars or awesome Swiss locales. I realized that the performances would never merit the President’s medal. (Or even the Shah-Yuck-Khan Filmfare award.) So why was I still smiling at the end? Miracle.
So this is how I assume it happened. A jaded Xavierite from Mumbai got sick of the reels of premium Kodak stock being wasted on big stars, awesome swiss locales and plots more convoluted than Whoopi Goldberg’s tresses. He got tired of spending 300 bucks on soft popcorn, stale sandwiches and fizz-free cola – and then wanting to throw it all on the screen in disgust. He got exhausted from seeing stars with IDs larger than their IQs baring their six-packs and attempting to look cool and hot at the same time, but managing to look like exhibits at Madam Tussauds (only without the charm). He got murderous with remakes, remixes – when all the movies required was a complete retake.
So he decided to take matters in his own hands. He first took standard Bollywood fare and put it on a pedestal in front of him. (Imagine a fungus infested shapeless mass stinking of rot, sweat, skin and money.) He then took a chisel and hammer and started chipping off the useless bits… he chipped the stars away, he hacked away on the nonsensical script, he decimated exotic travel budgets, he did away with the hitherto mandatory item number and he squashed the scheming & plotting villian/uncle/mother-in-law. What was left was the lean clean shape of entertainment at its basic minimum – something like a madari and his bandar.
Then he started adding. He found a face as fresh as freshly churned butter, for the hero (“Never mind if you cannot act!”). He stood at Andheri station and caught the first girl who stepped out of the train as the “heroine”. Then he stood with a net in front of Balaji studios to catch tired and hungry TV hopefuls as the supporting cast. He then went to NCPA and Prithvi and sold his unique concept to theater veterans. On his way back to the office he made a call to a dimunitive curly haired musical genius in Chennai – and the remainder of the time, he wrote down the script of the movie. And the screenplay. And the lyrics to the songs.
Ah…but he needs the blessings. The blessings of someone, the public and the industry respects. Who better than the fresh-faced hero’s chachaji. This chachaji fellow is a shrewd chap with a nose for successful ventures. He sees the brilliance of this movie-making-lite, no-risk concept and immediately under the pretext of dedicating it to his chachaji – agrees to produce the movie.
And that my dear readers is what Jaane tu ya jaane naa is all about. Really…it was like a breath of fresher air in a Sulabh Shauchalaya. Nothing special but with less pollutants. The acting was understated – actually half the time it didn’t look like the actors were acting at all! (Which really doesn’t have to be a bad thing!) The dances were amateur. The locales are all aamchi Mumbai – with significant footage at St. Xaviers and Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (I can imagine the look on the actors’ faces when they found they were at the Airport to shoot and not to fly to Switzerland as would have been promised…). The theater actors (Mr & Mrs Ratna Pathak Shah, Paresh Rawal, Jayant Kriplani, Rajat Kapoor, Anuradha Patel, Kitu Gidwani) all seemed to be enjoying themselves – with Naseer having a total ball. Arbaaz and Sohail Khan as “Rajput Cowboys” were truly funny. And about the core cast – including the two main characters played by Imran Khan and Genelia D’Souza? They are about as lovable and attractive as your own friends. 🙂 The music is unforgettable – and again it is A.R.Rahman at his “lightest”. Everything about the movie is so light on your senses that the only emotion you feel at the end of it is a lack of all negative emotion. Isn’t that what contentment is?
Abbas Tyrewalla (the director) and Imran Khan have long way to go – before they can enter any kind of hall-of-fame. One can only hope that they don’t loose their innocence on the way…