June 17, 2006
AV – nil
EV – *
Phir Hera Pheri (PHP) was the most anticipated sequel of the year. The characters like Baburao, Raju and Shyam gained iconic status after the first movie and made Hera Pheri (HP) one of the the finest comedies of Bollywood, made with special focus on strong characterization and dialogues. It was neither slapstick nor satirical and never went overboard with its brand of humour. It had an infectious charm and loads of attitude, a comedy which had a repeat value!!! I must have watched it nearly 10 times…………..
Now hey, wait a sec, I almost forgot that I was supposed to write about PHP. Well, I was expecting a lot of funny one liners, genuinely funny situations and Baburao's "wisdom", though a part of me was apprehensive about the directorial capabilities of Neeraj Vora.
After the movie ended, I had more questions than answers:-
1. Why was Neeraj Vora, who usually played the bumbling sidekick to the hero in most of his movies, given director's job?
2. What were his credentials as a director?
3. What happened to the other directors in Bollywood?
4. Where is Priyadarshan?
5. Why were the dialogues from HP repeated in PHP?
6. Why were the situations, like Baburao's Dhoti scene (and almost 80% of HP) copy-pasted as it is?
7. Why was there a deliberate attempt to make this into a slapstick comedy, in the process making the entire movie LOUD?
8. What were the actresses doing in the movie? Any junior artist would have played their part.
9. When will Himesh Reshammiya realize that he has begun to suck big time? Anyways, his bull run has come to an end with PHP.
10.What was Milind Gunaji doing in the movie?
11. Why were there so many unwanted characters? Poor laughter champion Sunil Pal had to run around in the whole movie only to get 2 forgettable lines.
12.Was that circus scene necessary? Can anyone explain what was going on? Whose idea was that fake Gorilla?
13.When will Sunil Shetty realize that he can't act?
14.Why was Baburao's charater cut down and Raju's character given more footage? Nevertheless, Akshay Kumar was the only bright spark in this mayhem. He has become a specialist in comedy.
15.Why would any sane producer ever offer the director's chair to Vora considering he did the impossible of mercilessly murdering the comic genius in Paresh Rawal? One of the finest actors of Indian cinema was made to play a buffoon rather than the loveable Baburao.
16. Why did the movie end in a deadlock? Is Neeraj Vora planning a sequel? DAMN!
In summary, PHP is one of the worst movies I have ever seen (yes, its as bad as Neal & Nikki but Kisna still rules the roost!). I could not laugh during the entire movie and felt miserable after it ended. I would prefer renting the DVD of the good old first part and having a laugh for the umpteenth time.
June 7, 2006
AV – *1/2
EV – **
Zooni starts walking towards the road, Rehan grabs her by hand and pulls her out of the way of a speeding car. She confesses that she likes him and thinks this is might be the way to impress a him, the way girls in their teens do for their guys. Rehan is speechless…………..
In the rickshaw, she places her hand on his chest and says "Now you are scared". He struggles for speech.
She says goodbye and starts walking, then stops and turns back. He is still standing there, with a lump in his throat. The timeless classic by Lata Mangeshkar "Lag jaa gale, ke phir yeh haseen raat ho na ho….." plays on.
Arguably these couple of scenes take Fanaa to an altogether different league, reminiscent of some of the classic romantic moments of Indian cinema. These scenes also empower the character of Zooni to such an extent that Rehan's charater is overshadowed (which gave the impression that Kajol overshadowed Aamir; I beg to differ) and also reminds us how great a performer Kajol is and how badly cinema has missed her.Well, thats the browny point Fanaa earned, only to go ahead and make a royal mess of all that superb build-up post interval.
Everyone knows the story by now, lets get into the nitty-gritties.
Aamir – Nobody loses his/her heart to the Rehan's character, not just because it has grey shades, but the very fact that its a poorly etched character. I still feel that only Aamir could have pulled off this difficult act as getting into the character that had so much volatility like the Sensex was a tough job. And still showcasing his usual best, knowing the fact that at the end of the day Kajol would be on the drivers seat and walk away with much of the accolades, requires a special mention.
Kajol – A tailor made role, the perfect comeback vehicle? Well, she rocks as Zooni. A character whom the audience will relate to and equally love and she couldnt have asked for more. She looks beautiful and acts with style. All said and done, its not fair to compare Aamir and Kajol's performance, both are powerhouses of talent and winners in their own right. This time she gets a better role, that's it.
The onscreen chemistry – It was amazing, a real treat to watch. Take both of them away and Fanaa sinks deep. Shahrukh, watch out!!!:-D
Rishi Kapoor and Kirron Kher were too good and so was Sharad Saxena.
Music – Its sad to know that this was Jatin-Lalit's last movie as a music director duo. The guys who gave us some timeless hits (who can forget "pehla nasha") has called it splits. Their swan song is nevertheless rich in content. "Chand Sifarish" is one of the best songs of the year (reminded me of "kehna hi kya' from Bombay), absolutely rocking. The title track is another winner. Prasoon Joshi has penned some great lyrics (thank god, he didnt make a mess out of good songs like the way he did for "paathshaala")
Background score – haunting and adds a lot of punch to the scenes. Dialogues and shayaris, are good, though at times "filmy".
Cinematography and visuals are a treat to watch, the detailing was good (Aamir's wounds were visible till the end) but passing off Poland as Kashmir was, well………….
Kunal Kohli – He must be feeling at home after returning back to his "Mujhse Dosti Karoge" roots! All the textbooks on direction were flung out of the window after intermission. What was the reason to stretch the movie beyond the comfort levels and worse, adding songs at the wrong places and time to kill the remaining patience? I wont say that the first half was great (barring a few scenes) with a very "filmy" touch given to the proceedings, nevertheless enjoyable.
The transition from a fun movie to a serious one was done in a very sketchy way, with Aamir Khan asked to do everything from a
2.confused guy stuck between love and duty
3.Ethan Hunt (a la MI:2)
6.and finally, point no: 2 revisited
Talented actors like Satish Shah, Shiney Ahuja and Tabu are totally wasted.
To wrap it up:
Fanaa could have been a "watchable" film with some crisp editing and a smoother flow. It banks heavily on the performances of the lead pair thus exposing its weakness with content, script and direction. Take the stars, the glitter and the hype out and this is "fun-naa".