Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Idiocy of Three

This is not a review. Just a few stray thoughts that are not twitterable.

I usually go to a lot of the Hindi movies that are on at the local Cinemark; not because I'm a die hard Bollywood film buff, but because they are, for most part, fun. Either I come out feeling good about the movie, or I laugh out loud at the unintentionally funny moments. Mainly, it's because the movie is not screened in some dingy desi cineplex but at a proper main stream hall.

Recently, I've enjoyed watching Wake Up, Sid and Rocket Singh: Salesman of the year despite the odd quibble (the stock one being the length), mildly enjoyed Love, Aaj Kal and was driven to bang my head against a wall after New York and Kurbaan.

[I gave Paa a miss because I couldn't stomach Amitabh Bachchan's guttural "Paaw" here. That instinctively put me off.]

I wasn't really excited about 3 Idiots but I was keen on watching it anyway. [After all Rajkumar Hirani was teaming up with Aamir Khan!] And I was disappointed. Never have I felt so strongly about my opinion of a movie that I didn't even care if I came across as a curmudgeonly old fart. [And that, I think, I did. In plenty.]

It's not like it was a bad movie. But it promised so much more. It could have gone completely over the top and held its own. Hirani's handling of comedy was genius for large parts. But all that jarred with the film taking itself too seriously. I'm not interested in the preaching if you're going to be a series of fart and piss-on-electrically-charged-piece-of-metal jokes. The thing with Munnabhai... was the serious scenes interleaved perfectly with the comedy elements. There was humour in the sadness, and a message in the humour. And it struck you honestly. There was no standing up in a pedestal and saying our education system is broken. Well... no shit, Sherlock!

A lot of people will ask me if I related to characters in the movie. Well, to that I'll say yes... to an extent. But I think they've been painted in such broad strokes of black and white that it's hard to relate to them beyond a few fleeting moments.

Anyway I promised this will not be a review, so I'll end it here and now. But if you were to ask me if I'd recommend the movie, I'll say yes. Because you might actually like it like most people I know have.

Maybe it's just me.

[In an unrelated note, yet on the subject of watching films in theaters, I walked 10 minutes late into a 11:15 screening of Sherlock Holmes. The movie got over in an hour and fifteen minutes. I was scratching my head, and actually thought maybe it's just me -- or Robert Downey Jr's English accent -- that I didn't get some parts of the movie. Turns out I'd missed the first half because I'd walked into the wrong hall, adjacent to the one I was meant to be in. In conclusion, maybe it is just me.]
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