Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal.

When I go from hence
let this be my parting word,
that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Cinema: Two movies

Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! is not a comedy. Sure it has lots of humour. But ultimately it is a tragic tale of a bright boy lead down the path of crime by his environment and his own greed, taken advantage of by everyone around him and then betrayed by all. It is to the film maker's credit that he manages to tell the tale with humour instead of with the usual dose of glycerine.
It might have something to do with the fact that I am from Delhi but the first thing that I noticed about the movie was its atmosphere. This movie has captured Dlehi in all its avataars. From the posh colonies of South Delhi to the run down mohallas, Oye Lucky! does for Delhi what Aamir did for Mumbai. Abhay Deol and Manjot Singh as the teenaged and adult protagonist are terrific. Abhay is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors in Bollywood today. His just being in a movie guarantees that it will be different from the run of the mill stuff. Paresh Rawal is great in all his roles. I did not understand the logic behind him playing three characters though. If there is some hidden meaning behind it I totally missed it. Both Archana Puran Singh and Neetu Chandra do justice to their roles. The pace flags a little in the second half but not so much as to prove distracting. This is probably where the director's first movie Khosla Ka Ghonsla scores over it with its tight pacing through out. I liked it the open endedness of the story and the morally ambiguous ending. Any attempt to tie all ends would have made it either sermonizing or clicheed. Dibakar Bannerjee set out to make a more difficult movie than his first movie which was an out and out comedy and has succeeded admirably. I would have liked to see this movie become a big hit but that will be tough considering that it does not offer push button entertainment like most audience seems to expect.

Dil Kabaddi seems less like a movie than a collection of random scenes taken from a different movie. It starts and ends abruptly and zig zags in between. For a movie which claims to be a comedy, very few situations have anything funny in them. The only saving grace of this movie is Irfan Khan. He practically carries the film on his shoulders. Khan has all the rib ticking scenes in the movie and does full justice to them. The movie becomes entertaining whenever he comes on screen and goes back to boring when he exists. Rahul Bose is totally miscast as a college professor and also has the most irritating story arc. But then he also has the best (and only) kiss. Konkona Sen is competent as usual, Rahul Khanna has nothing much to do and Soha Ali Khan is incompetent, again, as usual.

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