of (in)sanity

This was an eventful weekend.

Mister was expected to travel to Singapore for three weeks on Sunday, and in a turn of events best described as filmi in the Serendipity kind of way, the trip got pushed to the 23rd of August at the last minute. No we weren’t at the airport, but all his bags were packed, and he had one foot out of the door when we found out he didn’t have to go yet.


And as if that drama was not enough, we ended up watching three movies and having a kick-ass debate with a cousin over the Yakub Memon issue. But that’s a story for another (non-existent) day, going by the sheer number of times I’ve said I’ll-tell-you-later in the past.

Ajay Devgn in a forest. Really?
Ajay Devgn in a forest? Really?

So I watched Drishyam, despite ugly-ass posters that looked like something created by a graphics design intern (or one that was just about to quit). I thought the movie was overall pretty riveting, but the first half was super slow.

The story had a lot of loopholes that I’d be happy to ignore because *drool* Ajay Devgn. (Unnecessary backstory: When I was younger, I used to think he was my soulmate, especially in the hand-eye coordination department. Have you seen this guy dance?)

I’d have been happier if they had portrayed Ajay (Vijay in the movie) as someone who blends in a bit more and stays out of trouble; a series of fake alibis coming from a fourth-class-fail, nondescript guy would’ve been more fun, you know? Maybe they should’ve chosen another actor?

And someone tell me this – why would physical intimidation and bullying, aka interrogation, take place at the IG’s house? What policeman has the gumption to hit an eight year old girl? Anyway. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the movie, so I will shut up now.

I have nothing to say about this one.
I have nothing to say about this one.

People who had seen Bajrangi Bhaijaan all came back applauding Salman’s acting and the screenplay. This is nothing like the regular Salman Khan movie, they said. You will see none of the usual antics and the monkeydance. Whatever your opinion is about him, you will have changed it by the time the movie ends. Needless to say, I felt compelled to witness this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

Holy moly – they were right! I have changed my opinion about Salman – I used to think he couldn’t act – but I was so wrong! The truth is, Salman is a consummate actor; he just doesn’t get the right roles. If I were to ever make a movie, I’d cast him in the role of a saucepan, and then you’d see how convincing he really is.

Anyway – back to BB and seriousness – what a contrived India-Pakistan-unity plot! And what horrible acting by everyone (including the little girl) – except perhaps Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who completely stole the show even with the stupid-ass script he was given. As for Kareena Kapoor, she may as well not have been in the movie. Enough said.

They’re right. The visuals are seriously amazing.

And then, there was Bahubali – beautifully shot and directed, with a lot of scenes that were copied from 300 rather well. The actual war, which was what I went to watch the movie for, lasted long enough for me to scream paisa vasool (Hindi term for a movie that is your money’s worth). The women characters were strong, except for the female lead, whose portrayal was really disappointing. She is, when the movie begins, a fierce warrior who can defeat a group of soldiers with her physical strength and wit; she has a purpose. And then the hero spots her. He is in “love”, so that justifies the stalking and the forcible undressing, and the relentless pursuing (though she has made is abundantly clear that she is not interested in romance) until she has an epiphany – that she is a woman and must, therefore, dress well and look pretty.

The “man” wins, they have sex, and the warrior turns into – lo and behold – a “woman” who needs a man to look after her. The “man” takes on her mission as his own, because he’s, well, the “man”. The poor girl just recedes into the shadows only to emerge at the closing scene to watch him do impossible things and clap from the sidelines. That broke my heart. Good thing Mister could stay back to nurse me back to sanity.

So that’s how I spent my weekend. How did you spend yours? Have you seen any of these movies? To my non-Indian friends – have you ever watched Bollywood films? What do you think about them?