Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Annoyisha" vs "Peepli" of India

First of all, Peepli [live] is simply beautiful. I haven't seen satire so well executed in India, and that too without someone taking offence to it. Drop all your plans for this weekend and go watch it. It's hilariously depressing. Journalists may not particularly like this one, especially the TV journos. Watch out for the take on Deepak Chaurasia. The best part of the film is that the characters are well-sketched. None of them seem to have more or less screen time than necessary, and the plot moves at a consistent pace - never too fast or slow.

Anusha Rizvi has pulled off a stunner of a black comedy. Tt is probably the best film you will get to see in a long time. Upcoming attractions include We Are Family (Karan Johar productions), Action Replay (Vipul Shah, who made Singh is Kinng) and Lafangey Parindey (YRF, with the gorgeous Deepika trying a mawali accent). I just realised that it's got an 'A' certificate for a few cuss words. Thank you censors, for not allowing those below 18 to be aware of the issue, and that too in an entertaining way. Why couldn't you have just censored the cuss words? Like this, you i****s. B******s.

Anyway, I caught Aisha last week, and it was exactly how I thought it would be. Bitchy and annoying. Someone on Twitter had said that Aisha is for girls what Dil Chahta Hai was for boys. To be fair, it is, to a certain extent (girls, please add on if it isn't). The boys in DCH talked more about friendship, love, life, death, and the girls here (Sonam to be precise) talk ONLY about weddings. It's basically an adaptation of Emma, which I now have a good mind to read to find out if the protagonist was as annoying as Sonam. 

The film is basically about Aisha Kapoor, a rich spoilt Delhi girl, who thinks she has been born to make people fall in love and get them married. She supports animal rights, but eats meat. She judges people by the brands they wear, and almost prevents her 'friend' from marrying someone (who obviously loves her) because he's too middle-class for Aisha's taste. In short, it's her business to nose around in other people's affairs and 'help them out'. Well, that's how the character is, and if I hate it so much, I guess Sonam has succeeded to an extent. 

But as compared to DCH (which was also about rich kids, mind you) Aisha comes across as superficial and shallow. The plot progresses shakily and seems like a patchy assortment of scenes. And it is too long. Someone forgot to edit out a song or two. And don't take my word for it. Everyone in the hall was waiting for it to end. When you have the most emotional scene of the movie laughed at by your audience, you know there is something wrong with your film. 

Most of all, Sonam completely butchers her lines. She also has an accent, but rich Delhi girls somehow have them. I swear they do. Weird but true. Debutante Amrita Puri is loveable as the Haryanvi behenji Shefali, and so is Ira Dubey (who sounds just like her mother Lilette, and whom we had spotted at IIT-Chennai). But the life saver of the film is Abhay Deol. Cool as a cat, he walks through the film stylishly and with utmost panache. As most would say, "woh to DUDE hai." Sonam Kapoor gives competition to Miss "My Teeth are for Advertising" during most scenes. Amit Trivedi's music is peppy and nice. Especially the last track. 

On the other hand, I've been reading quite a lot. Here are some books you should read. Yeah, maybe they are old, but I'm sure you haven't read all of them.

The Great Indian Novel: This one by Mr. Shashi Tharoor is a cracker of a novel. It's the story of the great country of India (get it?). Okay, it's basically the Mahabharata set in the context of the Indian independence movement. It's an absolute treat to discover how Mr Tharoor gradually draws parallels between the epic and our own epic struggle for freedom. Forget his Twitter feed, read this one. Especially those of you who liked Raajneeti.

I promise you won't be disappointed. 
Animal's People: An extremely funny take on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The book is a must-read, for its writing style. It is written in the voice of a boy who has been mutilated due to the gas leak, and has been walking on all fours since 'that night'. I know it sounds really depressing, but the book is very funny. I read it during my train travels, and people thought I had gone mad when I used to burst out laughing at short intervals.
It's written by a former copywriter Indra Sinha, whose writing carries the force to move mountains. I still have to get over the cliches. :)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: It's a mystery crime novel based in Sweden. Pretty fast, and nicely written. It also deals with violence against women in Sweden, which was new to me. Sweden is one of the most advanced societies in the world (from what I've heard). Obviously not advanced enough. It's a brilliant read though, and it's a trilogy. See if you can get your hands on a copy, or borrow one from me. 

I've decided to buy a book a month. My dream of owning a library of my favourite books has started materializing 

Image courtesy: Google. I don't own the images.


lil' b... said...

The Great Indian Novel is kickass....I also managed to read another book of his called 'Showtime', which was bad.....try getting your hands on 'Once Was Mumbai' by Pinki Virani- non fiction, good stuff

Nikita Banerjee said...

You went to see Aisha? Okay so you were warned. Saw the promos na? It is a chick flick and women can be highly shallow...if they think matchmaking is equal to social service! Lol.

Peepli Live...watching it soon!

Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel is of course brilliant and will try out the others you mentioned here.

About your personal library - suggest you buy books from Matunga stalls as well.

SSD said...

@Lil B Thanks for the book. I'll see if I can get my hands on Pinki Virani.

@Nikita Yeah, but I had nothing else to do. So I went. Matunga, I will surely go to.

Vivek Kumar said...


Aggie M said...

Oh, you're getting spam.
The Girl with the dragon tattoo is brilliant. really like the way Stieg Larson wraps up the whole series.

fatbaby said...

I actually hated the character of aisha.........big time bitch.......peepli dekhna baaki company dost.....want to come back

fatbaby said...

ira dubey was very good in the movie (girl with dragon tatoo i think)

Anonymous said...

keep update, please..bless you!!............................................................