Let’s Play Village-Village
A cowpat here, some dirt there, huts and buffaloes and a rickety rope bridge that prevents the perfectly made up heroine from leaving the village with the hero. Alas the audience is stuck too…
I tried to like this movie. I really did. But I loved Imran Khan’s eyebrows more. They act more than anyone else in the movie does. But even the most amazing eyebrows in Bollywood cannot help the movie where everyone’s playing ‘village-village’.
‘Oooh! Let’s put a cowpat in the hero’s way!’
‘Nooo! But his shoes are so expensive!’
‘Don’t worry, he will act like he’s stepped into that steaming putrid pancake.’ ‘Aah! Good!’
‘How about dirt?’
‘There should be dirt, of course!’
‘Yes! Buffaloes, Goats, Chicken..’
‘But… But… How did the buffaloes reach the village? That rope bridge is not meant for cattle...’
‘No one comes to cinema with much logic!’
‘Oh! So it’s okay to have chickens in the vegetarian village?’
‘Of course you need chickens! How else will villagers wake up in the morning?’
‘What about the heroine?’
‘As usual she will have endless ethnic wardrobe.’
‘And a tote that carries enough eye-liners to have lasted her for eleven months.’
So it’s a tale where boy tells girl she’s only playing at slumming, so she goes to a really far off village. It is so far away, the audience will not know why they speak UP style Hindi with a plate of dhokla thrown in to show us we are in Gujarat.
‘Don’t be mean, ya! Everyone will be wearing Gujarati mirror-work clothes.’
‘Oh, okay then. Erm… Will there be garba?’
‘No. Last week’s movie had enough garba.’
Remember how we laughed when Asha Parekh and co would wear Jean Paul Gaultier-esque conical cholis and applique skirts and their dupattas were more to cover their heads than their bosom? (I’ve always wanted those conical head thingys from where the dupattas billowed, as the heroine chased, and cuddled lambs!)
If you’ve ever spent time in your granny’s village, you would know that lambs smell like hell (like sweaters left out in the damp, really), and it smells so ghastly, you’d want to wear a clothes pin on your nose if there are buffaloes and hay around. The inspiration for this movie seems to be more A Simple Life than any reality, or the need to ‘save the villages’.
Anyway, had the chemistry been volatile, we would have loved the a year of simple living with gori ben and eyebrow bhai. But we loved eye-brow anna’s appa and amma more. And they are sidelined after intermission.
We happily forgave Bombay masquerading as Bangalore, because Sriram’s appa and amma are shown to be adorable. Loved the way appa said, 'Amrica se yaylien ban ke aaya hai!'. We wouldn’t mind being adopted by the family either (the maamis are dressed in Kanjivarams and really, really wonderful jewelery and the periappas and chittapas are dressed in veshtis)
We even loved Shraddha Kapoor and her Kammo Singh. But he runs away from this family, what to do, and plays village-village with belle with bedecked eyes. I wish there was a cavorting with lambs song (while carrying pot to the river) to show us how the heroine has been assimilated. But we get to see lots and lots of ACC cement bags and trucks… And you squash that nagging voice inside you which asks, ‘With only a rope bridge connecting them to the world, how did they get to the village?’
But eye-brow boy hums Lagaan songs, swings his tote bag over the shoulders like Shah Rukh does and we are distracted by his devotion to Sandy the crab.
What? have I lost it? Yes. I went looking for sanity that slipped out of my hands and under the seats of a practically empty theater (no more than 25 at this PVR ECX in Andheri, First Day First Show), and the bridge was still not built. Please save yourself some (sanity, money, time) and maybe watch it when it appears on tv. Suddenly eye-brow boy’s I Hate Luv Storys (despite the horrendous grammar) seems like an awesome movie.
I am listening to my favorite song 'Bin Tere' from I Hate Luv Story. So apt for this movie: Koi Khalish Nahi Hoti Bin Tere...