Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
A phone call in the morning woke me up and invited me to Wonderland. So, of course, I said 'Yes'.
In the Wonderland, Alice is lost and strong. She is almost a sprite, even in the real world. Or maybe, especially in the real world. When her prospective mother-in-law calls her gardeners imbeciles for planting white roses instead of red, Alice calmly suggests painting them red! (Alice’s prospective groom, Hamish and his mother strongly reminded me of the mother and son frogs from Thumbelina).
The White Queen is ethereal and - a tad mad – reminiscent of Professor Sybill from Hogwarts, sans glasses.
And the Mad Hatter. Well, he is mad. But like Alice tells him, all the best people in the world are (I will remember that next time I worry about going round the bend). He is brave and ridiculous. He rues the fact that Alice is never the right size - either she is too small or too big. And then when Jabberwocky lies slain, he has his heart in his eyes, as he tells Alice, "You could stay." It made me wonder if a Mad Hatter with orange hair and orange eyelids couldn't possibly be the Prince. After all, this was Wonderland!
Yet the Wonderland is dark and a mite depressing - even after the White Queen banishes her sister. The colours are bright and vivid but not cheerful, bordering on garish.
- There is a potion that can make you shrink
- There is a cake that can make you grow
- There are animals who can speak
- There is a cat which can vanish
- There is a place called Wonderland
- You can slay Jabberwocky
Friday, March 26, 2010
Foreword: Here's the article I promised. It was written when '3 idiots' was just released.
I have to confess – I have not watched 3 Idiots. Neither do I intend to spend a mini fortune and watch it in a hall.
It is not that I do not spend mini fortune every second weekend on movies in multiplexes. But I refuse to do it for 3 Idiots.
In past three days I have read at least 10 reviews of the movie – some by seasoned critics, some by my friends on networking sites. All of them, barring one, have gushed about the movie. Raju Hirani has been hailed as a visionary, arguably the best director of the last decade. Perhaps, he is. I have no arguments against that. His Munnabhai series was heartwarming and beautiful. But my grouch with 3 Idiots is same as Munnabhai – the casting.
When exceptional filmmakers cast actors for their films, I like to think, they take into account the entire package the actor is. So, it would an actor’s histrionic skills, persona and suitability for the character. And the last includes the compatibility between the age of the character and the actor. Raju Hirani, it seems, is so impressed by the first two criteria that he completely disregards the last.
Sanjay Dutt acted superbly as Munnabhai but the role would have been his in entirety fifteen years ago. He preached Gandhigiri while giving out ‘jadu ki jhappis’ like a champ but romancing heroines who looked more his nieces than sweetheart was a bit too much.
Same with Aamir Khan. He sang ‘Papa kehte hain’ two decades ago at his college farewell party. And he is still at college!!! He seems to sincerely believe in the ‘boyish’ image that Mansoor Khan created for him and scores of other filmmakers abetted. For years, Aamir was the chocolate hero and aptly so. And he could act. Then he decided to broaden his horizons and did so beautifully. He broke out of the mould. He was the actor with guts and the intellect to do something different. But alas! It was not to last. He turned out to be as vain as others, giving in to the temptation of playing a character, he could be playing a father to. Most reviews brought up this point only to gloss it over. To me, however, it is the biggest discomfort. Aamir does not look like a 20 year old engineering student, despite all his loud proclamations that he will be 18 till he dies. Be that as it may, but he sure does not look it.
This miscasting is quite rampant in films. And it would not be fair to say that it happens only in
A large majority of cinegoers out there would disagree and say that Aamir’s acting helps to overlook the age factor. They would go out, buy expensive tickets, gush about the movie and prove me wrong. Yet somewhere, I think, a small minority, would wonder that just may be, the movie could have done with a younger Aamir. Don’t you think so, Mr. Hirani?
And true to my promise of being Devil's Advocate, coming up next is an article I had written when one of the biggest Bollywood hits (and an iconic movie to 99.99% Indians) was released.
Do let me know, what you think! Ciao, for now.
P.S. I have been very modestly requested by 'senior' blogger and a friend to dedicate my first post to her - so 'Star of a parallel universe', this is for you