Friday, April 10, 2015


If it ain't broke...

1 1/2 stars

Mini Review:

So the story of Parinda has stayed with Vidhu Vinod Chopra for years and he remade it in Hollywood. The cowboys and Mexicans faux Western tries so hard, you wish he had friends who told him, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.'

Main Review:

Vincent D'Onofrio in a Nana Patekar role? You settle down for a five star cinema. The movie begins exactly as Parinda does. Night over cowboy country (In Parinda the night sky over Mumbai). Good, you think. And you hope for the same madness, the same violence, maybe more, because cowboys are sharpshooters and scenes with cool cowboys like the knife wielding James Coburn are etched in your brain, the same brotherly love, the same... What The Kabootars is that? They have begun speaking. Slowly and deliberately. Is this for real? Is this version of Parinda meant for ESL students? 

And then you wish to find solace in the moody visuals. But the super begins to bother you. 'Fifteen years ago' ... Since when, you ask. But you are distracted by Kishen, I mean, Buddy, driving a sedan. Where are the pickup trucks? What red-blooded American cowboy drives a sedan? Why are they driving SUVs like the mafiosos? Those are not 15 years old... But the movie theater they work out of looks at least a hundred and is located in Belen New Mexico  - a town used in the Johnny Depp starrer Transcendence. Now you are confused. 

The badly named Mr. Hench does not own horses, or a ranch or does illegal mining. He doesn't even accused of gun running, human trafficking or smuggling cocaine (something movies and tv shows set in the Mexican border towns have taught us). He just gets Buddy to kill 'bad' people.

You wish there was a rivalry like Moosa and Anna here with someone better than Buddy to defend Anna... Like Suresh Oberoi... But the Mexican Moosa is tame and his smiling henchmen who shoots polaroid pictures of dead men is so not convincing, you want to get into the frame and ask the Mexican Moosa why they aren't using their cell phone cameras?

Did I say cell phones? Yes, the cowboys bandits have cell phones. Don't ask. I was trying to like this Western Parinda. Dammit! The seagulls that fly in formation at the beginning of Pocahontas are more convincing. It gets worse when you think that the curly top violin playing American Anil Kapoor is actually the retarded brother. (Apologies for all intellectually challenged people.)

The interview scene is straight out of any musical audition you have seen on tv or in the movies. But nowhere do the auditioning characters say, 'Don't call us, we'll call you.' Jeeeeejus! Isn't that understood? Did firang Anil Kapoor expect to get the 'Ticket to Hollywood' and a hug from the judges? Come to think of it, a song even like that would have helped in making us feel better about the ghastly characters and the director's penchant for Americana.

An old fashioned tape recorder at the interview, the polaroid camera, the old movie theatre with a black and white film flickering on the screen in the background are pushed at us again and again to tell us how American the movie is. Not to forget the stetson... All at the cost of the story. You remember that even a kiddie flick like Home Alone used movie footage to propel the story forward. Here all these things are just a sign of the movie trying too hard. 

And they are still speaking as though English is alien for the audience. Boss, we have come to accept Salman Khan do the flamenco dance steps to Maria Maria, why shouldn't we accept Americans in Hawaiian shirts in Mexico? But we were promised Parinda, and we get this wannabe. Of course it doesn't 'pump up the jam' as the cool Khan would say it, but we love Govinda's footwork in this song. Desi isn't always bad, mister Chopra... But if you wish for a cowboy song to tell you that, here it is: If It ain't broke, Don't fix it

PS. You may not be a Nana Patekar fan but you gotta admit, his mad final act in Parinda is way better than Vincent D'Onofrio's pale imitation. 

PS. As Anna says, 'Dhande mein koi kisi ka bhai nahi' waise hee yeh movie Parinda ka bhai nahi, pale imitation hai...   

1 comment:

Kusumita said...

Totally agree! I gave it 1.5 too. Just wanted to high-five.:P

Here's my take: