Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Colourful Saturdays

Haven’t blogged in a while. Not that I was busy. I never am. In fact, that’s one of my major cribs in life-never being busy. I look around and see my friends busy doing whatever they do-long office hours, too tired to get drunk and puke in the weekends and all that sort of thing.

Although Saturdays are getting increasingly interesting. On weekdays, I come back home by seven in the evening. Come Saturday and I happily gallop back home by three. But not for the last two Saturdays. Thanks to my flatmate, who wants the flat to be vacant till six. Why, I asked? Was it because he wanted to practice occult magic in peace? Or maybe because he plays the obo on Saturdays?

Apparently, not. The reason is altogether different. Let’s not get into that.

So, to allow him to follow his pursuits in peace, I ended up watching two Hindi flicks-D and Parineeta. Now, I generally avoid watching Hindi movies on screen. Firstly, with tickets prices much higher than what they used to be, watching a Hindi movie is a risky investment. Given the high proportion of trash (71%) that gets released, there is a 71% probability that the ROI is going to be negative. Sounds snooty, I know. All this talk about Hindi movies being trash. But the harsh truth is this-forget all the new stuff that’s been happening; all this big hoopla about fresh ideas and bold approaches is nothing but bull, considerable bull. The cleavage view has improved, probability of watching an on-screen kiss has gone up by 300%, but that’s about all-the acting is still shoddy, direction and script often non-existent.

Of course, D and Parineeta are better than the average fare. In D, it seemed as if the film had different directors for the pre-interval and the post-interval phases. Till the interval, the movie had a fresh feel-good editing enlivening the pace, sharp acting and a well-written script. But after the interval, the movie moves aimlessly-the director who seems to take over is pretty sad.

Parineeta is also plagued by the same disease-of being directed by two different directors. The movie is excellent in parts-good music, very decent acting from Saif and Vidya Balan, though Sabyasachi, otherwise an excellent actor, didn’t pull off the role of the perennially villainous father too well.

The funniest thing about Saratchandra’s books remade into films is that the directors do not seem to realise that the author’s works are rather melodramatic on their own. Which is why you don’t need to add sugar (or glycerine) to already sweetened (or glycerined) coffee. Those who have read Devdas or Parineeta would know that the melodramatic content in both novels is quite high and goes over the roof on several occasions. Saratchandra was light years ahead of his time; his vision of the future, where his books would eventually be made into Bollywood blockbusters, made him sweeten his coffee. But he didn’t know that directors would add lumps of their own.

The original storyline has been changed on several occasions in the film-which is perfectly okay, for directors often need to cinematise books. Satyajit Ray did it for quite a few of his movies, as have several other great directors. But where the director gets everything wrong is when he tries to further dramatise the ending-which is melodramatic on its own and could have just been followed blindly to produce the desired effect. Instead, he ends up recreating the Ambuja Cement Ad, only that this one’s far more hilarious.

Poor Saratchandra-one would have thought Parineeta was a tragedy. But, then again, great authors have been interpreted differently in different eras.

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12 Comments:

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