Friday, March 18, 2011

Band Bajayega Bollywood

After a hiatus of over three months, we had a lot to catch up on the movies department. That opportunity came last week, when on a whim Neeti and I booked ourselves two seats for Band Baaja Baraat!
Being away from home, any
movie that shows life in North India, particularly Punjabi culture and Delhi is uniquely appealing for us. Band Baaja Baraat seemed to be exactly that kind of a movie, from what the reviews said.
The other reason why I was particularly keen on the movie was because I have quite liked Anushka Sharma ever since her debut, as Taani Ji, with Shahrukh Khan in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi in 2008 (I can never forget a classic - Shahrukh blurting out syaapa, when he tugged at his laptop through a pen drive which was looped around his neck!!!). But Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was a different ball game, obviously Anushka was overshadowed by Shahrukh in the movie.
Anushka is the quintessential girl next door, with an unusual spunkiness that makes her breeze through her character. I would concede that Deepika Padukone too does score high on the girl next door kind of a look, but clearly lacks Anushka’s spunk to pull it off, though I would still rate her high.
I do remember telling Neeti after her debut that Anushka would make it big in tinsel town, and reaffirmed that after Badmash Company, on which I got a standard “okay, may be” kind of responses. While Neeti would never speak greatly about my preference of actresses, she did choose to remain silent on Anushka, which gave it away – she does agree with me on that.
Another distinctively feature that Anushka has capitalized on is her very apparent Punjabi looks – that is a bit odd as she’s a Garwahli. But she pulls it off real well especially when she’s in Patialas.
Having said a lot on Anushka, its time to get back to Band Baaja Barat. A simple plot woven into magical imagery on the screen, it certainly was not Ainvaiye Ainvaiye!!! I would give half of the credit for that to Ranveer Singh who complemented Anushka on getting the real feel of young college going North Indian kids, and their kaands. Sex was an integral part of the plot and it was handled very very succinctly, very sensuously. I have seen very few Indian movies that have handled sex as maturely as this movie.
Immediately after getting out of the multiplex, we booked ourselves for the next day’s show of Tanu Weds Manu, which was entertaining in parts, but no way close to Band Baaja Baraat. Though Kangana does score a 10 on 10 for stylishness, she does need to go a long way on dialogue delivery but is zero on spunk. Madhavan as always played his part well, mature, yet boyish, sophisticated yet flirty!
It does seem that Bollywood is coming of age, breaking out of that NRI-esque mould, the Karan Johar concocted melodramas, especially when one sees movies like Band Baaja Baraat or a Do Dooni Chaar or a Khosla Ka Ghosla, which are based on the struggles of real people, the middle class – they could be you, the ones next door, the ones sitting next to you on the Metro or wherever. Obviously, you don’t need a “Main Zandu Balm Hui” or “Shiela ki Jawani” kind of songs to make the movie a hit. (Let’s accept it – such songs do have some utility as I figured out when my colleague told me that his 7 year old son likes “Shiela ki Jawani” very much and therefore he and his wife were relieved because their son “noormal chhe” and is not gay!!!!).
Surely much better cinema is in store for us - Band Bajayega Bollywood!!!

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