Thursday, January 28, 2010

To see or not to see, and my two bits on the Three idiots

I really don’t want to see Avatar. But just as I was bullied into submission by the world’s insistence on discussing Three Idiots over all dinners, lunches, telephone conversations and facebook updates, I am getting hustled into a 3D theatre to see a world that has introduced new words into the English language; and there are only so many times I can go to Wiki to figure what Na’vi is, and then what unobtanium is, and so on and so forth.

I am not too optimistic about my expectations. Partly because technology and special effects cannot make me love a movie, but also because the public adulation makes me cynical. Don’t get me wrong – I am no snob. I loved Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code series, and it was their populism that drove me to them in the first place. But my appetite and acceptance of books is way wider than my tolerance for movies, and if I don’t like a trailer, chances are I won’t like the movie.

Take the case of Three idiots which, really, is no masterpiece. In the first five minutes you know the movie is going to stretch incidents to accommodate a point of view. Faking a heart attack to stop a plane has no place in cinema that seeks to be a realistic depiction. That scene alone marks the movie as an exaggeration. Which is not a fault if something is seeking to be timepass fun – but is totally out of place if aiming for grandeur.

And it is slapstick. Giving the villain a lisp, and filling a speech with sexual references, while potentially hilarious, is not a stroke of comedic genius.

Topping it all, 3I suffers from the old Bollywood failing of falling back on lectures through a hero’s monologue even though the storyline alone would be, should be, enough to get the message across. What I’m saying is: if you need to explain a joke, it is a loser joke. And if you need to explain the moral of a story, it is a loser screenplay.

And what’s with the casting of old men as college students? Okay, so Aamir Khan looks seriously unaged. But that is not enough. What makes youngsters look young is not a lack of frown lines, it is a certain something – perhaps a rebelliousness in his ponytailed hair, a boisterousness in her haughty expression, a languidness in the way they walk - some symptom of a nonchalant attitude ... Look at Imaad Shah in Little Zizou. Or Saif Ali in Dil Chahta Hai. Youth is a facial expression, a body language, not a skin texture. In Three Idiots, only Sharman Joshi has that look, perhaps because he actually is young(er).

3I has its good moments too, but I can’t be bothered to list those out coz enough has been oversaid about them. Long story short, if I must spend 3 hours staring at a screen on Sunday, I’d rather it be Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron once again. Instead, it ended up being Three Idiots earlier. And it is going to end up being Avataar next.


Gypsy Girl said...

hey.. i enjoyed 3 idiots coz i stopped dissecting the stuff that bothered me in any Hindi movie though i do draw the line at nonsense like kambaqt ishq!I figured that was the only way to really enjoy... gimme chupke chupke, jaane bhi do yaaron and angoor anyday!
And i refuse to watch Avataar!

Nandita Mathews said...

I agree!for the lack of better insight mainly cos I was flabbergasted for being at a loss to find anyone's view the same as myn,and getting 'bullied' into liking it,I only murmured my dissent at anyone's praise!
thank you!

Soul Kitchen said...

Like with lotsa hindi movies, leave your logic behind and then enjoy. Exaggeration is an inherent spice of hindi films...still 3I is better than the 99% that gets dished out by bollywood every year..

bangrudy said...

wow. your appreciation in Movies is good.