$#IT Happens

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A couple of years back, when asked about his recent films being flops, Indian actor Prithviraj Sukumaran said something like this,

That is okay, it happens to everyone, even the best of actors. There were a few movies of mine which were critically acclaimed and the people who saw it in the theatres couldn’t stop raving about it. The box office collections of the same was extremely abysmal. The movie bombed… Even that is okay, but it is the responsibility of the audience to ensure they don’t make a success out of a mediocre or a bad movie. <emThat is not okay. Those types of movies  will become a trend and there’s no point in blaming the filmmakers later.

I strongly agree to this observation and that is why I felt that the best thing to have happened to Tamil cinema in the year 2014, was the ‘Linga’ debacle.
 
Being a person who always dreams of an utopian movie land, seeing the box office returns for some of the star vehicles across India, made me feel so bad about the plight of Indian cinema…

Then, this past week two Hindi movies released… I went to the theatre to get my tickets for Piku… I saw people across different age groups, queuing up outside theatres. There were predominantly housefull shows… I half thought it was for the new Sunny Leone movie. I was pleasantly surprised and the audience inside the theatre laughed out loud for quite a lot of scenes, smiled and chuckled to themselves at a few others and held back a tear or two at a couple of other scenes. . . . Piku might not be the movie that we deserve, but it most certainly is one that we need right now…

 

Piku is an example of how some immaculate writing, kickass casting and stand-on-the-seat-and-doff-one’s-hat performances can make the most ludicrous one liner into an efficiently engaging motion picture…

 
Being a Malayalee brought up in Chennai, I’ve been seeing Tamil and Malayalam movies all my life.
A reason, why I’ve never been much impressed with Bollywood… But time and again there comes a movie that makes me look at Bollywood in a new light. . . Piku is just a brilliant showcase of screen writing.

A movie about a hypochondriac father, his financially and sexually independent daughter and a stranger with his own baggage to deal with, bonding over culture, traditionalism and constipation. . .
 

Indian movies have always dealt with sex and shit with a degree of cringe and grimace. . . Kudos to the writers who talk about shit in every other scene but never made anyone squirm in their seats… The laughter was not at the expense of the characters. It was extremely situational and you just laughed with them… Just brilliant…
Though I am not a fan of superlatives, I can’t rave enough about the dialogues and the scripting for this movie…

 

In one of the initial scenes, the father and daughter are having lunch and he talks about his motions earlier in the day. She cringes and shows disgust all over her face…  I felt so cheated… The next line uttered by her was to admonish her help because he had failed to keep the curd in the fridge. The curd had tasted bitter. Talks about one’s bowel movements was an acceptable dinner table conversation topic… I couldn’t resist smiling at that excellent scene and I didn’t stop smiling till the movie ended…

 

The movie is existential and philosophical without forcibly dunking your head into the holy Ganges or making you attend a meditation seminar… It talks about how keeping things like feelings and thoughts to oneself for an extended period of time does more harm than good to everyone involved…
And the setting was a masterstroke. . . Kolkata plays a major part in enhancing the mood and the director prefers sitting back and allowing the movie to move in a not so hurried pace. The old world charm of Kolkata makes this portion of the directors job a cakewalk….

I’ve always felt that there’s something beautiful about everything in Kolkata.. you just have to keep your eyes and ears open for it…
 

Personally, on the flipside, this movie takes its surrogate advertising very seriously and the lack of subtlety in this front, sticks out like paavakai in an avial…( Basically a food reference to do away with mentioning things like sore thumb in the future)

I was talking to a certain person with eons of experience in cinema about the art of direction. Without batting an eyelid he said, “Direction, like acting must be effortless. There must be glimpses of his calibre but never the entirety”
Shoojit Sircar. . . I wasn’t very impressed with Vicky Donor… but, I am now a Fan…

Deepika effortlessly lives as a girl who loves her father, doubles up as his mother, is fed up with him, has a friend with benefits, a traditional modernist and the best of all, doesn’t care a damn about the opinions of others… She’s busy sorting out her own life to be bothered about them and what they think… Shouldn’t that actually be a norm in a fast paced and vastly populated country like India???

Personally, she is the best bollywood actress in this generation… She doesn’t have to act in biopics, change her appearance or even her accent to emphasize her acting abilities… She manages to do something different with every movie of hers, within the mainstream frame and that’s impressive… Her acting has evolved over the years and the very fact that she is the standout performer amongst the likes of Amitabh and Irrfan, proves that she might not be the Numero Uno Hindi actress, but when it comes to diverse roles and credible acting chops, there’s no one like deepika… Yet…

 

The casting gamble and the trump card in this movie is Irrfan…
Undoubtedly he is a wonderful performer, but to lend a semblance of sensibility in the madness and to bring out a half baked character into the forefront, required someone of his caliber… Irrfan can do any role… just any…. The casting team must take a bow for the sheer audacity in their choices… Even the supporting characters like moushumi, raghubir and Jisshu are so eccentric and quirky that they fit into the overall scheme of things with perfection….

 

The music was lazily addictive… A trait that a few friends of mine vouch, has been synonymous to Anupam Roy in the Bengali music circuit…its just interesting how borderline monotony at one place seems refreshing and inspired somewhere else… Sometimes it’s all about being at the right place at the right time . . .

 

And… AMITABH BACHCHAN… I’m not going to talk about how at the age of 70 , there are interesting enough roles still being written for the thespian… I’m not going to talk about how impeccably he pulls off a character that is almost the antagonist to Piku… I’m not going to talk about how this is the most vibrant character he’s played in ages…  I’m not going to talk about how time and again he has proved his versatility… I’m not going to talk about that scene where he just looks at both Irffan and Deepika from the back seat of the car… I’m not even going to talk about the reasons why my Dad doesn’t even like Rajnikanth and Amitabh Bachchan being uttered in the same sentence… All am going to say is that…

 

AMITABH BACHCHAN is truly the biggest and presently, the only STAR in Indian cinema…

 

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One thought on “$#IT Happens

  1. Pingback: 2015… A Flashback – 1 | The Wannabe Writer

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