This was the mellow view from my suite at Ganga Kutir. Lovely, isn't it? A gently receding monsoon... Baul singers in the courtyard, and pretty fishing boats making their way up the narrow creek.
This appeared in Bombay Times today.....
What went wrong with ‘Heroine’….
“I feel happy when you hate my film….then I know it will be a hit,” said Madhur Bhandarkar to me recently… and we both laughed at the irony. I like Madhur a lot - he is gutsy, self made and his movies are his own.Importantly, he doesn’t clone anybody else’s style. Madhur has created his own genre, his own brand - take it or leave it. Madhur’s movies follow a simple, or rather, a simplistic path – he picks a field ( fashion, society, corporate life, bars ) and constructs an unwieldy narrative around the central character – generally a luscious lady. Sometimes, this singular approach, devoid of complexity or insights, works big time ( ‘Chandni Bar’), sometimes it collapses on itself. In his latest, ‘Heroine’ , Madhur has overplayed his card, in that he has cannibalized his own. Dangerous! Very dangerous. You don’t devour your contemporaries and not pay the price… remember the old dog-eat-dog theory? This, in an industry that is known for its lopsided loyalties and absurd protectiveness. Fraternity is fraternity, howsoever hypocritical that sounds. Madhur has ruffled far too many feathers in ‘Heroine’. No problem… had the movie been a super hit. Success silences detractors like nothing else. Since the boast was that ‘ Heroine’ would be the first female-driven Bollywood movie to crash through the 100- crore ceiling, its lukewarm box office performance has Madhur’s rivals on a rampage. The knives are out … and that is how the cookie crumbles in this business. Madhur’s a tough guy and he’ll take the attacks in his stride. He has seen worse. But it would be worth asking himself where he went wrong. The starting point for the required introspection should be the clumsy script, the loose story line, the lack of attention to details ( Chateau Margaux on ice ???? Ouch!), and an over indulgent , almost arrogant approach to the subject. Had it been any other actress but Kareena Kapoor, the film would have collapsed on the first day itself. If people are still watching it with interest, it is for Kareena. Her stellar performance as Mahi keeps viewer interest afloat and frankly, it is too heavy a burden for any single individual to bear. The rest of the characters are almost laughable in their one-dimensional, caricatural monotony.Take away Kareena’s incandescent beauty and passionate, almost flawless interpretation of a really poorly written role, and what do you have? Cartoons babbling away in a movie that’s defined by incoherence and ineptness. By the end of this over long, over wrought,tedious exercise, one feels like groaning, “ Babes…. please spare us further torture!”
After a really bad spell of cop baiting, our Mumbai Police have finally redeemed themselves a little in the eyes of citizens. On the fifth day of the ongoing Ganesh Festival, several people called to compliment the efficient handling of traffic and other arrangements. It goes to show that with the right leadership, our vardiwallas are capable of excellent results. Well done!
The best way to celebrate Gandhiji’s birthday on 2nd October is to put on your running shoes and head towards the BKC complex for Mumbai’s first 10 km walkathon ( fitter individuals are free to jog the distance). ‘Footsteps4good’ is driven by the diminutive Jill Beckingham, who has succeeded in benefitting several NGOs through this initiative. 700 supporters ran last year. Many more are expected this year. All it takes is a big heart and a small donation to a charity of your choice. Go for it, Mumbaikars!