Friday, November 25, 2016


Shah Rukh Khan Is Hawt. For Everything Else There's A Martini

2 stars

Mini Review:

A PYT cinematographer dumps boyfriends like they change shoes. Then hates it when that happens to her. Circumstances take her to Goa (riiiiiiiiight!) and she encounters Dr. Jehangir Khan (His Hawtness Shah Rukh Khan) and he cures her of everything from insomnia to trust issues... You hate the shallowness of it all, but every time the camera is on Shah Rukh, you sigh into your seat. The last half hour is emotional, but by then you're bored out of your skull.

Main Review: 

You cannot watch a movie only because His Hawtness looks so good when he's: 
Fixing bicycles (awww! he loves kids! He fixes things!), 
Walking on the beach (I'm singing 'Suraj Hua Maddham' in my head, get rid of the patient quick!), 
Sitting on a chair (oh mah gawd, he crosses his legs!), 
Telling hokey homespun stories (cho chweet na!), 
Using the CSI New York Medical Examiner glasses (looks so stylish, but he doesn't seem to really need them, still...), 
Listening to his patient (ye gads! A man who listens!),
Bicycling (is the theatre airconditioned? Why is it so hot in here?)

That he has a screen-presence is known, but to wait for him to look directly into the camera after he's put eye drops, now rivals his standard open arms for heroine to run into them gesture. 

But this is not why you watch a movie. You want something to happen. Nothing does. Even after the Intermission (I staggered out and ignored the free popcorn for the press line and went to the pay for chai to sustain you through the tinsel tedium counter). You sympathies go out to the good-looking Kunal Kapoor who just seems to never get a break. He has a great smile, has acting chops, but somehow he ends up in such films where he gets his ex in rebound.

Aalia Bhatt, the PYT in the film, gets Ali Zafar. Who sings and sings and sings so much even you want to scream and say, 'Dude! Make out with her instead of singing to her!' Thankfully he is not poet from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil or we'd have more pouty shayari (peppered with pointless Urdu) to put up with. You like Ali Zafar's character: tattooed lad on Goa beach with a guitar. So when he begins to educate Aalia about music, holds up a vinyl which he casually puts on a cluttered table, saying, 'This is Pink Floyd's first album. Great music!' And it makes me choke on the chai. First Album! You are casually throwing Piper At The Gates Of Dawn on a table that has melting chocolate! 

Obviously the writers know of Pink Floyd, and it's cool to own a Vinyl player today, but first album? Someone, somewhere should do a little more research. Do they know how much it costs? If they did they wouldn't be casual with it. Even second pressed albums are handled like priceless aritfacts. 

Aalia's friends are nice. But their concerns seem so casual, you'd expect them to have bets on how long the new boyfriend would last rather than 'he's the one yaar', 'he's perfect for you'. Even the parents and uncle and aunt seem to be dated, as if they were the director's parents and not young Aalia's. Today's parents are a little more ambitious for their kids instead of only wanting to get them married off. Seems more like a scene from Pride & Prejudice rather than something in 2016.

And I absolutely hated the 'Gay Jokes'. 'Are you Lebanese?' the uncle asks instead of 'Lesbian'. Not funny. It spreads homophobia, does it not? Then the random, needless incident where Aalia asks a crew member: 'Do you keep saying I go to a shrink because you're telling people you are gay?' And the boy replies, 'No I'm telling myself that I am gay'. The boy is not seen again in the film. What s the purpose of that scene? 

Are there straight jokes in the film? When will Bollywood stop assuming all gay people are flamingly so and making comic tropes of them hoping people would laugh? Are gay people not being persecuted enough in real life already? 

Did I say Shah Rukh is hawt in the film? He is, he is! Sad change of subject, but needed. So Aalia is shown to have a legendary memory. *Cough!* *Cough!* You try to remember the name of the awful math teacher who beat you in middle school and you cannot. But Aali's character remembers everything about her childhood - when she was three years old she did x, y, and z - but doesn't remember the last time she spoke with her parents. She tells Kunal Kapoor she drinks only when she's in love (and when she's not) but is happily seen drinking in Goa. You don't care to remember why, because the movie makes you squirm in your chair with the homespun, un-doctorly advice His Gorgeousness dishes out...

There's a reason why sessions with a psychiatrist are private and confidential. The soul-baring is emotional. There's only one scene in the last half hour where you don't want to slap/groan at Aalia's silly concerns. Both Shah Rukh and Aalia Bhatt make the 'last appointment with Doctor' scene perfect.

You emerge from the theatre not satisfied with either the illness or the cure. Mebbe they should have had a story with substance like they did in English Vinglish, the movie about fixing memories is just too foo-foo to be memorable. 



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