It was early morning when the telephone rang. not having prepared myself for a social lie ' i'm busy maybe some other time...' i happened to answer, 'no...i'm free, bolo!' to this friend who happily proceeded to take advantage of my truth and rope me into seeing a film with her. Black!
as my friend Vee from Austin explains..."it's another version of 'The Miracle Worker'. Having read the play and watched the original theatrical release with 2 award winning performances, had aboslutely no desire to see another re-interpretation, albeit a desi one. So much for all the hype about something completely different, something that had never been done before.(?) Et tu, Bhansali?"
Now Vee is a movie buff,I mean she can 'movie sequence' like she programmed the damned game and in comparison, i can barely connect two or maybe three films...(the game is film sequence and you can download it from the lifetimetv web site), and when she has this opinion about the film when everyone is gushing, I thought it would be a good film to catch.
i am in the theater, and six coffees later i have no desire to use the ladies' as the damned water has been released through tears. my head is so heavy from the obscene color maniplation (not to be confused as copying off the big K's three color coded films red, white, and blue) of black and white. i have a headache and i feel grossly manipulated.
headache because everyone acts over the top. the dad hates the disabled kid, the mom is over the top illogical (one minute agrees with the dad, next minute she's kowtowing to AB), the house where the kid stays is like a library or a museum (the photographs are far too many, placed too high... did people in the house climb up ladders to view the photos?)...
I love films but i am very suspicious when copious tears are deliberstely induced by the director...looks like the dialog writer was directed: aisee lines likho ke har line par aansoo aa jaaye! close your eyes in the film and you might see shades of kadar khan there...give me sholay or deewar or even veer-zaara's 'aisa des hai mera' for that matter for dialogs that touch the heart! why, i can still recite dialogs of AB's old film Trishul...
i think the almost knee-jerk reaction to films like this one is "wow" simply because it deals with disability. hence the assumption it must be good.
"how can you laugh aloud at rani's chaplinesque walk? she's blind!"
" see how beautifully she's trying!"
this is what someone said to me as i got up to get my nthcp of coffee. i was hoping the bloody story had moved forward by the time i got back. it doesn't it gets worse! one of my friends is visually impaired, and i DO NOT SEE HER WALK LIKE THAT. and its not 'cute' or 'good direction' to have a slly chaplin film (very obviously a directors cheap trick)play at the stupid cinema theater..who's he 'kid'ding!
and what's with the weird clothes? if it's a period film then AB's clothes are buttoned all wrong. too few buttons on his jacket. and the stupid kid (sorry, just rolling the eyeballs skywards and behaving like a cheap exorcist imitationor even throwing food about is not acting, it's being a brat) wears skirts. what kind of mother puts skirts on an accident prone disabled kid? she should be wearing pants! the horrid princess leia hairdo on rani is just as bad as it was in star wars...
at film school one is taught to write out character definitions on a page to help understand progression or growth of character. eg. how will he/she dress, react to social situations etc..try figuring out the dad and the mum...you'll go crazy!
has anyone seen kamalhasans hindustani, chachi 420? or govinda's movie with multiple roles? sunny the spy or even anil kapoors fat-man make up...the prosthetics were far far superior in any of those films than this one, and this one happily gives credit to some chap for his obvious and hence shoddy make up. and what a horrendous white wig has been given to amitabh bachchan so it matches the hospital white! one did not know the disease wasted hair color as well as the brain!
given that there's nobody like amitabh bachchan. but he limps too the moment he starts doing a shake-the-head a la veer pratap singh from yash chopras latest...
forget about black. i'm betting long names for movies are soon going to make a comeback...after all black did not work, neither will sheesha or bewafa or any of the stupid movies... and we'll continue to put or hands on each other's mouths, and confound the dumb waiters at restaurants by mouthing "woaaater!"