Monday, April 25, 2005

The Flop Pile

Indian film reviewers have begun to develop a special kind of reviewers' idiom. As they are responsible for coming up with copy for a large volume of truly atrocious films, they have to continually come up with fresh language with which to hunt their quarry. The kind of meanness that you see about once a season with Hollywood flops is more or less routine at Rediff, where the films are ranked somewhere between "Disaster" (Tango Charlie) and, at the high end "Above Average" (Lucky: No Time For Love). I seem to remember that some films used to actually be "hits" and even "super-hits" in Bollywood, but that era is either over, or Rediff reviewers are so bitter they refuse to certify "hits" out of spite.

The reviewer for a film called C U @ 9 voices her outrage openly: "Did the writer suffer from hallucinations/illusions while writing fragments that he dared call a story?" And after about 200 words of contemptuous sarcasm, she tries to muster up just a little bit of a plot summary:

But if you insist, here's the jist: Some 'steamy' scenes with Isaiah aka Romeo and Shweta aka Kim, with the latter exposing and doing a shoddy job of it. Blood dripping between frames. A display of all the tools a carpenter would ever use. Predictable sound effects. [. . .]

Blood, blood and more blood.

To top it all, a pathetically inferior attempt at explaining the waste of your three hours.

Well, so much for a plot summary.

And the reviewer for Laila -- A Mystery is so pissed she verges on losing her cool entirely:

As far as the actors in the movie are concerned, I have seen people chopping vegetables come up with more expressions than they did! Apart from dropping her clothes every 3.2 seconds and arching her eyebrows, Payal Rohtagi does nothing. Ditto Chesz Shetty.

Let's not even talk about the actors, Farid Amiri and Rohit Chopra... or the jarring music... or the pathetic editing...

In fact, the movie is really not worth writing about.

Well, that's one way to end a review!
[Here's a previous post on Rediff's Bollywood reporting]


Ms. World said...

Maybe Aamir Khan can save Bollywood with some quality product in the coming months! I think the screenwriters have run out of steam. They either need to get Kajol & SRK to do another movie together or finance some interesting stories that don`t involve Bipasha or another starlet showing some skin. I think Abhishek or Vivek should show more skin- I`ll happily pay for that!

9:52 PM  
Varun Singh said...

Rediff reviews are worst of the lots! They've actually *praised* Lucky, which was utterly pathetic movie! Too bad for Ms.World that the movie was shot in Russia. Sallu bhai didn't get any chance to show any skin!

I dont' agree with Ms.World above. Recently Bollywood has gathered enough guts to venture into fresh scripts. I guess, she hasn't bothered to spend her money on films like Black, Hazaron Khwahishein Aisi, My Brother Nikhil, etc.

2:42 AM  
Ms. World said...

I live in the rice paddyfields of Japan. I get old DVDs from my friends in the U.S. I haven't seen "Black" or "My Brother Nikhil" but I'd like to. I know that Bollywood is making some interesting films but they also keep making the same ole sh*t. That is my 500 yen on the topic.

8:08 AM  
Amardeep said...

I'm generally with Ms. World on this one. You have to look hard to avoid the crap...

On the other hand, Varun is right that movies like "My Brother Nikhil" (with a homosexual, HIV positive protagonist) were never made in Bollywood even 10 years ago. And if they were made, they weren't "popular." Now a certain class of people go to see such movies pretty regularly.

People need a "cool Bollywood" report.

8:17 AM  
Varun Singh said...

My point is, "My Brother Nikhil" isn't just one flash in the pan. Bollywood has been producing such kind of "offbeat" movies for last 2-3 years now. Here they are known as "multiplex" kinda movies. Anyway, they've finally found some kind of audiance for themselves.

Ms.World, I didn't mean any offence, but isn't it a pity that after such an effort to get the DVDs you still choose to watch the crap more often :)

7:49 AM  
shaun said...

Reviewing the reviewers. Important exercise! Thanks.

8:54 PM  

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