Super Filmi Week: Why I love & hate Dil Se..

Favourite movie homes, comparing Amitabh-Shashi’s beds in Kabhi Kabhie and discovering the truth about Salman Khan’s 1990s chartbuster…
All in my Super Filmi Week.

Monday
When not outraging, social media can be a source of a lot of fun compelling us to think about things we didn’t realise we care about.

Like the other day, someone brought up favourite movie homes.

One comes across a variety of houses on screen — dreamy, ostentatious, rundown, cosy and classy. But the minute I read this query, DK and Indu’s snug bungalow in Shekhar Kapur’s Masoom pops up before my eyes.

It’s perfect in the context of the script and has the air of a lived-in residence inhabited by a well-to-do South Delhi architect and his wife, with their school-going daughters.

The interiors are tasteful yet homely, where abstract artwork and kiddie doodles happily coexist and greenery abounds as furiously as books and brass.

And lest it all seems too good to be true, the mistress of the house sternly refuses to accommodate the cute puppy her kids wish to adopt following one destroyed photo frame, vase and curtain.

Hits close to home, doesn’t it?

Tuesday

Dil Se.. completes 20 years today.

I have a love and hate relationship with Mani Ratnam’s 1998 offering. I was watching it again a few days back to check if I feel any differently. But its problematic narrative of cursory politics and north east tokenism looks even shallower in retrospect.

Except Dil Se.. dares you to dislike it.

Aside from its breathtaking soundtrack, ethereal visuals, technical finesse and captivating performances, the film is loaded with such killer intensity, perhaps the only way to end it was in a huge explosion.

The ending completely shook me the first time. I hated its nihilistic guts and felt indescribable rage at Manisha Koirala’s character. Most movies fan your romanticism and a desire for the couple in love to get together against all odds. But Manisha’s mystery, manipulations, indecision messed with my head, especially because of how hauntingly hurt she seems all the time. 

The viewer in me wanted to save Shah Rukh Khan’s Amar from meeting her fate and see her for what she is. Preity Zinta’s cheerful presence only fuelled my frustration when he refused to move on.

Always feel so conflicted and compelled watching Dil Se..

Love it!

Wednesday

Started binging on a Chinese TV series called Meteor Garden on Netflix.

A live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga, Boys Over Flowers, it’s all things cute and cheesy, as one would expect from typical teenybopper fare. But it’s also got a lot of heart. Karan Johar should check it out if he ever runs out of ideas for Student of the Year 3.

Set in Shanghai, it’s about a middle-class teenage girl befriending a rich, hip clique of four guys that goes by the name of F4. The spoilt one in the bunch falls for her while she’s attracted to his more introvert best friend. A fleeting love triangle soon makes way for a classic rich-poor romance.

Despite its super trite premise, the fresh-faced leads, their goofy charms and adorable chemistry help Meteor Garden retain its innocence.

Thursday

After all that Chinese entertainment in my system, I am not surprised how much the incessant ‘All Chinese look the same’ jibes offended me at today’s Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi press screening in Delhi.

Barring Jimmy Shergill and Piyush Mishra’s free flowing camaraderie I didn’t think much of this silly sequel.

But the thing that truly annoyed me is the crowd I was watching it with.

Short of livestock, the press shows hosted here allow pretty much anybody inside.

Journalists tag their kids along and don’t even bother to see if they aren’t pulling someone’s hair or disturbing the person on the front seat.

I don’t think it’s usual to have children in the audience unless the invite specifically mentions so for added perspective in case of a kiddie flick.

Friday

Close on the heels of Sacred Games drops in Netflix’s next Indian original series, Ghoul.

Originally a film split into three episodes, the supernatural drama works up a dystopian climate to announce a mood of intolerance and instability, specifically towards its Muslim population, in a not-so-distant Indian future.

Under Patrick Graham’s direction, it plays out like a graphic novel on to unnerving revelations following Radhika Apte’s appointment as an advanced interrogation unit officer of a hellish detention centre.

Her interactions with the spooked prisoners and cruel colleagues while she proves her credibility and copes with the guilt of putting her father behind the same bars occupy much of its running time.

Ghoul has its atmosphere and actors in place.

But between poorly planted allegories and laughable horror, its well-meaning albeit vain criticism of hyper nationalists falls short.

Saturday

Some movies have extraordinary repeat value.

Sometimes they’re a joy just to revisit, sometimes they provide brand new insights.

Watching Yash Chopra’s Kabhi Kabhie is always such a pleasurable experience — the dialogues, the performances, the songs, the scenery, the romance… what’s not to love?

Today something else caught my eye. There’s so much thought put in the smallest of details. They say one’s home is a reflection of their personality. It’s evident in the choice of beds as well. 

Rigid, imposing, firm — the wooden headboard of Amitabh Bachchan’s bed reflects his stoic, unyielding disposition.

Cut to Shashi Kapoor passionate sleeping space, featuring a red leather futon surrounded by a bright red lamp and painting, which reflect his flamboyant style and torrid affections for his better half.

Sunday

That feeling of betrayal when you learn the song you flipped over as a college kid is a blatant rip-off.

On my way back from Raksha Bandhan lunch, I put on a playlist of Western disco hits from the 1980s on Amazon Radio. The song to come on is called Born to be Alive by Patrick Hernandez. That opening riff sounds very familiar, I mumble to myself.

Bummer, mukhda tune confirms it.

Clearly, music directors Jatin-Lalit took more than inspiration from Hernandez to compose Pehli Pehli Baar in Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai from? (Yep, that Salman Khan-Twinkle Khanna rom-com where a womaniser’s philandering past catches up with him just when he’s found his dream woman.)

I found this track from the album immensely catchy. Should have known better.

Ugh Bollywood, you hopeless crook!

This column was first published on rediff.com.

Share on TumblrSubmit to reddit+1Digg ThisPin it on PinterestShare on LinkedIn
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.