Saturday, May 12, 2007

Metro & GBBB 

Life in a Metro

A tribute to Mumbai city needs to dip into the 1960 Billy Wilder film The Apartment for ideas? Anurag Basu could not come up with original stories about people in Mumbai—and that too in a city teeming with stories at every street corner? Insulting to Mumbai, really!

Basu builds a microcosm of life in Mumbai as see through the eyes of a small bunch of interconnected people, with bits and pieces picked up from other films. And he concentrates only on relationship/sexual issues, which automatically cuts down the scope of his observations about the city. A lot of the life-changing moments take places at a railway station—a clean and not too crowded one at that. Even though he keeps the stories nicely under control and the film moving at an efficient pace, he is bogged down by his own lack of imagination.

The workplace – a factory-like call centre—is a hotbed of sexual activity, at the centre of which is Rahul (Sharman Joshi), who lives solo in an apartment all his seniors want to use for their illicit trysts with female colleagues. And he actually gets rapid promotions with no protests from any of the other robot-like co-workers. He wants the money to build a restaurant—which is one of problems of lifting an old film and remaining clueless about real life. In reality, for instance, a guy sitting on valuable real estate, would easily get a loan, he wouldn’t need to turn into a pimp, if he didn’t want to.

Anyway, the chain starts here-- Rahul is in love with Neha (Kangana Ranaut—yet another suicidal character hanging on to window ledges), who is having an affair with the boss Ranjeet (Kay Kay Menon), who is bored of his marriage to the dull Shikha (Shilpa Shetty). On her visits to her old dance teacher Vaijanti (Nafisa Ali), she meets a theatre actor Akash (Shiney Ahuja) and is attracted to him. The dance teacher’s life is about to change, because a former suitor Amol (Dharmendra) has returned from the US after 40 years to claim her hand. Shikha’s sister Shruti (Konkona Sensharma) is Neha’s roommate, desperately looking for guy to marry, when she meets Debu (Irrfan Khan), whom she does not like at first, because he shamelessly stares at her bosom.

Despite packing so many characters into the film, Basu can’t give us one we can care about-- all their problems seem so trivial. The only story that’s funny and endearing is the Konkona’s, but here too there’s a piece out of Page 3, when she walks into her boyfriend (Gautam Kapoor) in bed with her boss —there’s a big poster of Brokeback Mountain in the boss’ cabin for a clue. The story of the oldies does not work at all—in fact it’s handled particularly badly. And strangest of all, is that the man who made Murder, chickens out of showing a married woman having an affair and Shikha calmly takes back her horrid husband.

More irritants— music composer Pritam and two catatonic bandmates appearing on screen to belt out every song; and a mad chase climax belonging to the pre-cell phone days

If one performance has to singled out from the lot of fairly competent actors, it would be Irrfan -- hilarious as the crude dude. Perhaps Shiney Ahuja, in a tiny part of a loser, would come a close second.

Good Boy Bad Boy

The college has students who look like they could be parents of college-going kids! It is also divided into two – the studious types who wear glasses and sleeveless sweaters, and the ruffian types who wear trendy clothes and don’t know the difference between “library” and “laboratory”. How did they get into college without passing high school anyway?

So logic is not the strong point of Ashwini Chaudhary’s Good Boy Bad Boy. If it is possible for an intelligent Rajan Malhotra (Tusshar) and the brainlesss Raju Malhotra to switch places without anyone suspecting a thing, then this is obviously not a film that expects the audience to think too hard either.

The new college principal Awasthi (Paresh Rawal) arrives when there’s almost a mini-riot on campus and segregates the smart ones from the cretins. But Raju is in love with Rashmi (Isha Sharwani), a bookish girl and wants to be in her class, so he bullies poor Rajan into sitting with the morons, and that includes Dinky (Tanushree Dutta).

The principal is seen constantly making faces into the mirror—he’s not a To Sir With Love type—but he figures out the Raju/Rajan switch and sends Rajan to participate in a dance competition while Raju is sent to a quiz contest. When it’s a “game of life and death”, obviously Rajan learns to dance and Raju mugs up on his GK-- and presumably both become good boys.

There are some odd villains around gnashing their teeth, but they cause no major problems. The unintended hilarity comes from lines like Rashmi saying. “I want to take a new subject, Karl Marx’s Communism,” because she saw Raju with The Communist Manifesto. Obviously nobody involved in this harebrained film went to college, or at least doesn’t remember it. As always the teachers are objects of ridicule, and this is not something to be taken lightly.

Emraan Hashmi and Tusshar actually stay awake, which is more than this film deserves.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker