Thursday, October 14, 2004

Bride & Prejudice and other movies

I am not doing a movie review this time. It’s been a few weeks since I watched any movies. I am sure I may not have the time to watch one for the next few months. But I have a feeling most readers are like me. They see these posters, reviews and some odd clippings of a movie and form a quick impression of the movie. So writing about these quick impressions should be a cool idea.

Now…

Bride & Prejudice: The title is tries to refer to Jane Austen's classic. I read Pride and Prejudice middle of 2003. Some chapters kept me awake in Chennai- Bangalore mail until midnight when some really annoyed passengers asked me to switch off the light. Some chapters (especially in the beginning) just didn’t move for days together. I'd sleep before I turned one page. But in all it was a good book. Reflecting Jane Austen's adroitness with the English language (ya.. its her mother tongue). I liked the way she bought out the thought process of Liz Bennet. But such a story is locked in time. Women don’t feel that way about marriage now (at least not that desperate). Will Darcy was a well developed character and cheekily enough I could identify with him.

Now what’s this story got to do with Bride and Prejudice? I don’t know! I haven't seen the movie yet. However, I have seen Aishwarya Rai's interview in MTV. I have seen a few clipping and read some reviews. All this really hasn't provoked me to buy a ticket. But something I caught in Aishwarya Rai's interview irked me a lot. She drew a parallel between Jane Austen's book and the movie. Let me tell you this; I like Aishwarya Rai. She is an incarnation of a goddess and is probably the most beautiful woman to appear on Television. But that’s where it stops. She blabbers like an idiot. And is really more suited for an Austin Powers movie than and Jane Austen character. She has not read the book and I can vouch for that.

Now about what she actually said: The book essentially tried to bring about the difference of opinion between how women perceived the world and how men did. It brought out class differences. It showed the kind of people the sisters approved and whom they did not, their purpose when attending balls and dances. The conflict between Darcy and Liz is not so much about idealism as much as their opinion of society structures. There are english majors writing thesis on this book. Now little Aishwarya comes and says the conflict between Lalita (her character) and Darcy is about Indian idealism Vs American Indifference and arrogance. Seriously man.. I quote somebody when I say " Bollocks mate". I think these movie people are feeding on the India public's mentality to feel good about them. Everybody wants to hear "India is right on ethics and every body else is wrong". If you have a movie that preaches poor westerners on ethics values morals and what not (DDLJ crapped me out on this concept). You have a hit. I call this hypocrisy because I seriously think we are just as bad as everybody else. We are as good as everybody else but we really need to think twice before giving a lecture an any sort of values. I am watching drunken husbands beatup wives in their neighborhood. There are adulterous people in India. There is corruption, deception and any other 'tion' that exists anywhere else in the world. Bottomline , we may not so special as Bollywood claims us to be.

The righteousness and smugness with which Aishwarya was generally dismissive about all other cultures irritated me. With her travels to all parts of the world; She should seriously be more matured than this. Is this what her diversity has taught her ? A few of the naval showing dance clippings I saw on TV made me think. Is this a Jane Austen character? Jane must be turning in her grave.

I have come to the conclusion that Indian patriotism is defined more by chest beating shouts by people with Indian flag paint on their faces than any other sensible approach. Bollywood is a main contributor towards such trash. Stop spitting on the read, clean your trash and learn to drive cars properly. Stop talking about how bad other cultures are. Don’t distract the public from internal problems by quoting other countries. Do the right thing and clean your own house. For example Aishwarya Rai can’t do a belly dance to woo Darcy and then talk about idealism and other things in the same 30 minute interview. It goes against Austen’s theme. I may not see the movie unless in some weak moment Aish comes in my dreams and begs me to do so.

Around the world in Eighty days: Now this could be a Jackie Chan cartoon. Yet another spoof of an old classic. I saw 30 minutes of the movie on a VCD and I didn't hate it. I think the children will love it. The movie is self-referential. makes fun of itself and probably feauteres Arnie's last appearance in movies.

Terminal: I didn't like the story. I may still watch the movie. But I have constantly felt Spielberg is too caught by this feel-good bug that he may lose touch of reality. I still like him and all that but he doesn’t spin the fantasy as he used to. It will do him good if he changed his cast and crew. Just hold on to Jamnuz Kaminski and ditch everybody else. Especially Tom Hanks!

Bose: Now god old Srikanth has kept chugging at it, making medium budget movies for the mega serial audience. He has attempted to move up big time with Bose. I heard its a technically stunning movie. The graphic content is good etc. I just have one comment about Tamil movies. Ya! some techniques are good. There are visionaries with innovative minds. But Stop this intermix of slow-mo and fast forward. Ever since Shankar introduced this slow motion interlaced with fast forward scenes technique in Mudhalvan, everybody is following it. You have a fast forward clip of people doing things fast and then the image rate slows down to regular speed when the hero walks in. This constant altering of movie frame rate was interesting initially but irritating to the eye now. Stop it.

Catwoman: Now seriously people! This is a cleavage show. I am big batman fan! I criticize Bruce Wayne’s negative moods often but I like the setup and the Gotham City charm. But Catwoman is stretching the batman market too far. I have seen a thousand interviews and clippings from this movie and frankly I think people just go to watch Catwoman. Not the movie but just the woman. And that’s a sad way to sell a movie.

7 comments:

Saurabh said...

Hey ...
Adding to that topic ... about Around the World in 80 days ...

I read that book ... got it from Project Guttenburg ... and actually the book was pretty good ... worth its time ...

And I also saw the trailer ... and I think the movie will be a good watch ... but ... it deviates tonnes from the original book ...

I didn't like it ... but then it wouldn't be a children's film if it didn't ... The original story also had the content and punch, but it wasn't so comic ( like the flying off the ship and stuff ) that the movie is made out to be ...

Anonymous said...

ok....ash is beautiful and all agreed....but from where did she pick up that @#$@#$@#$ irritating accent of hers.....my god!!!....even in the movie.

She is supposed to be an INDIAN punjabi girl.At least to make her character more aunthentic,she shud fake her fake accent to make it sound like her real accent(i know....that made absolutely no sense!!!:)).

Also...terminal is mind-blowing....i too wasnt impressed with the story when i heard of it. But spielberg spins a yarn like no other. The HUGE plus point of this movie is tom hanks..he can pull off just about any goddamn role there is.
He is the top contender so far for me for the next oscars.
As for catwoman..well...the less said the better...has halle berre done 1 decent role after winnin the oscar???

Suresh Ramani said...

I agree 100% about the patriotism comment .. seriously, the wrong sense of patriotism is being taught and nurtured in the schools .. for ex:- India has the second highest population in the World .. now is this anything to be proud about .. but, this filled the geography books of the 80s; the one that really threw me off was the 7 Wonders of the World .. damn, I am still mad about this one.

I honestly don't understand the need to project one's culture as superior to another. The more important thing is to understand the strength and weakness of each and every culture and leave it at that.

--Suresh

Suresh Ramani said...

The Indian movies use special effects because they can and not because they have to. Its a cheap selling point which the stupid audience buy into.

So much bloody crap was written about the special effects in the movie "Boys", only for me to find out that it was more an aberration in the movie than anything else.

--Suresh

Hawkeye said...

Boys was a 2 Mega Byte core dump. shankar seg faulted :-)

Kogi Kaishakunin said...

If you really want to find out the depths of Ash's lack of talent, check out Choker Bali. It's a real ball choker my friends. The woman can't act to save her life. She should have stuck to being a model.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you that miss rai did not read the book AT ALL and that jane austen was turning in her grave from chadha's tasteless interpretation (i believe she was turning in her grave even more so when miss rai gave her interview). rai really has not learned much from her travel because any intellectual thought is too much for her to bear; after all, a pin-head has only so much capacity. i am in agreement with you on all this. however, i have to say that while you may think aishwarya is a goddess incarnate and the most beautiful woman to appear on t.v., i really can't stand her face. she looks like a botox-laden michael jackson more and more everyday. i find her looks to be vulgar and her behaviour to be obscene. all this said, you are entitled to your opinion as am i. thankfully, beauty is ONLY a matter of opinion and not of fact. good day.