Jai Arjun Singh on Aks & Delhi-6

Something I happened to read today. It’s not a very comprehensive piece, which is a pity, but it does tie in with my own estimation of the two films…

 

When a director helms a film that grows into a phenomenon, he can become so closely associated with it – especially if it came relatively early in his career – that his other movies might get downgraded or overlooked as a result. But in the long run, enthusiastic movie buffs might revisit those less popular works and find unexpected points of interest in them. This sometimes leads to critical reassessment; there are numerous examples through film history of a lower-profile work by a director eventually rising to supplant his acknowledged “masterpiece”.

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96 Responses to “Jai Arjun Singh on Aks & Delhi-6”

  1. This is a terrific set of thoughts that really does beg for a more expansive piece from its author. Thanks for sharing it Saket. Certainly do agree that even with the flaws, these two films, (especially D6) are probably more interesting and more actively engaging for a viewer than RDB.

  2. I second everything GF says here Saket. Thanks a great deal. And truly one wishes the author had done more with the films.

    On that note the director’s cut of D6 played in a few festivals last year or something. I believe it even had a limited re-release in London. But in any case there’s been no DVD on this. Mehra has said many times that he shouldn’t have compromised on the ending. I too think that if ever there was a time when Mehra had the kind of influence to persuade his producers it was after RDB. Anyway he somehow succumbed (I am told Abhishek himself wanted the original ending). Months later he kept saying that this was a beautiful Abhishek performance that hadn’t been appreciated because he had changed the ending and the film in his favored cut was really a dead man’s narration. Which accounted for why Abhishek had such a ‘quiet’ performance in the film.

    On Aks you know of course that I share your passion for this film. I’ve wanted to revisit it for a number of years but the problem is that the existing DVD on this is simply atrocious. It is very dark and it’s even hard to follow some of the scenes. There hasn’t been a better release since and I doubt there will be.

    But yes Aks loses it’s way somewhat towards the end and D6 too resorts to a tone and a set of issues that don’t easily follow from the earlier portions.

    On D6 note how Bachchan shows up as the presiding deity even here! we see this in a number of films and in directors very far apart in their concerns that there is quite often the temptation to create this linkage in a very overt way.

    • BTW- ‘lineage’ is not something that I give much thought to- and I haven’t seen Aks so I cannot tell if there is any truth to this- but it struck me as pretty significant that Mehra claims that D6 was his attempt to remake Aks- and that he cast the son of his Aks lead as the lead in D6…

      • but this is one of the things that was so atrocious about Kashyap’s claim. I think one can hate someone and everything about them without reordering the facts as well. Mehra is one of those who’s always liked Abhishek. Wanted to do a political satire early on with him called Samjhauta Express, then wanted to do RDB with him (offering him both Aamir’s and Siddharth’s role.. said this explicitly in an interview.. Abhishek likes all kinds of weird stuff but bizarrely wasn’t convinced of this script!), then of course D6 came along (where Abhishek was the first choice and the eventual one though in between there were some issues.. this is a complicated story), even after D6 there were at least a couple of ideas he had where Abhishek was a part of the deal. Will also say this here — Abhishek could have been part of his current film.

        Take Rohit shetty — did his first with Devgan and Abhishek. Kept working with Devgan. Now it’s Abhishek and Devgan again with Devgan saying in his most recent interview that Shetty wanted to bring the two together a few times after Zameen but he either didn’t have the right part and/or Abhishek couldn’t do it.

        Rathnam did three films in a row with Abhishek. Since doing a film with Abhishek he hasn’t done one in Hindi with anyone else. That wasn’t the case with SRK for example!

        Gowariker said that when Lagaan was going back and forth between SRK and Aamir the only other actor he thought was a possibility here if both didn’t do it was Abhishek.

        RGV wanted Abhishek in Company for one of the parts (Abhishek has said before he felt he wasn’t ready for it at that point in his career), he wanted Abhishek for Bhoot, that too didn’t work out. But since Sarkar there have been tons of times quite literally. SR is the only film Abhishek has done.

        I could multiply these examples and in fact there are others where projects didn’t materialize because Abhishek didn’t want to do them. people would be shocked at some of the names here. But in any case the point is that on the stuff I’ve quoted Kashyap knows this. In at least one instance he intimately knows what’s going on. But when you chalk up say Ratnam’s investment in Abhishek as the that of someone who doesn’t know Hindi you know what’s going on! Kashyap has some massive psychological issue with Abhishek. Which is why he had to resort to completely ridiculous explanations in every case. Are all those directors making up stuff? Is Abhishek their last choice in every single case? It simply doesn’t pass the most common sense test of the term. And my point otherwise has been that one can hold any opinion on him one likes but those directors, many of them prestige names are not idiots either. Sure good directors will sometimes cast mediocre actors for various reasons but not in such important parts and/or key films. So Rathnam works with Arvind Swamy when the latter has to play more or less a regular guy in certain subjects. He doesn’t give Nayagan or Iruvar or Guru to the likes of Swamy!

        But leaving this aside there’s a simple rule of thumb in these matters. If you need an extraordinary ‘special’ theory to explain everything in a case study there’s something wrong with the latter! One must adopt another approach!

    • Yeah the Aks DVD is a terrible transfer. Way too contrasty which really kills things because this film has a lot of night sequences…Eros has been and continues to be among the greatest offenders on home transfers. They really should be ashamed of this stuff they put out.

      • Actually along these lines one of the things that really gets to me is the complete silence from directors on this score. I’ve never come across a single interview from a director who has been unhappy with the negligent practices of some of these DVD manufacturers. The hatchet jobs some of these guys get away with is ridiculous. Recently DMD had a shoddy release from Moserbaer (whom I otherwise give credit to for releasing some older Malayalam works on half-decent transfers) but Fox Studios luckily took it upon themselves to release their own transfer which is light-years ahead of the Moser print.

        One really wishes filmmakers cared enough about this stuff to take a stand on it.

        • +1 on this and repeat offender here is Kamal. I don’t know why he doesn’t care for film restoration/archive. A lot of prominent filmmakers don’t. There isn’t a proper DVD release of Thevar Magan I believe. Is there a moserbaer version of Kuruthi Punal? No idea. And Hey Ram? Apparently there is no copy of the film in the world apart from the Kalaingnar TV version that they have for TV. Virumandi DVD has not been released. Pathetic, really.

          • I don’t think he doesn’t care given the entirety of his interests and goals for his film industry. But this is also a much harder thing to get done without the right institutional support.

          • But the thing is he talks a lot about these things! He talks about how releasing good transfer DVDs on time would help the films make profit, how producers and distributors are just scared of this prospect without evaluating the reality of DVDs and so on. And then he doesn’t do it for his own films. That’s the reason why the absence of his films is conspicuous.

            Hindi films have got a lot better in the recent years (Aks after all came in 2001 and is not a well remembered film). But even within Tamil cinema, Mani Ratnam is a good example. His productions are all available in DVDs by AP International (whose DVDs are easily the best in Tamil DVD circuit).

          • True on those AP International DVDs though sadly they haven’t done all the titles. There isn’t a new transfer on Nayagan for example or some of his other older films the last time I checked. I’m certainly glad that Iruvar got an upgrade but would really like to see on some of the older stuff as well.

          • Oh that’s because they were (Nayagan is) not produced by Mani Ratnam (i.e. not by Aalayam or Madras Talkies).

          • ah ok.. still wish someone would do something on this..

          • Yeah, true. With Kamal’s films, it’s sad because some films have no DVD transfer at all. Thevar Magan is one film I’ve been hunting for years no. It is superbly shot and deserves a better transfer than the old VHS transfer that keeps getting circulated in the Internet. One reason why this is one film I can’t stop watching when I stumble upon on TV (Sun TV has a great print of it) anytime. There’s just no other way to watch it. Sad considering the times we’re living in.

          • On Thevar Magan yeah tell me about it! Amazed this isn’t available at all on DVD!

            The thing is you should tape it on TV and then have it transferred to a DVD-R.

          • Gradwolf I believe Virumaandi has definitely been released on DVD. I think it might have been Ayngaran and if memory serves me the transfer was pretty solid…

          • yes I think it is Ayngaran and the DVD is fine.

          • “Hindi films have got a lot better in the recent years (Aks after all came in 2001 and is not a well remembered film)”

            True, but leaving aside the terrible transfer quality of even some very recent works, it’s older films that suffer most. These days films are shot and digital transfers are easier to make given how movies are edited. The problem remains with movies that haven’t even been digitized yet.

            And I agree on AP International. They along with UTV might be the best in terms of DVD quality in all of India.

          • Yes, Virumaandi is distributed by Ayngaran, but that’s outside India. The DVD transfer is very good, but like I said, it’s not available in India unless you scout shops that sell pirated DVDs. I’ve such a bootleg copy with me. :)

  3. Thanks so much Saket, i am a huge fan of Aks- “Na koi Marta hai, na koi maarta hai”.Imo Aks is still one of the most technically polished film in bwood history and was ahead of it time. Bachchan’s ‘jump over the waterfall’ remains a spell-binding sequence. there were enough inspiration from Denzel Washington’s “Fallen” (the ‘immortal spirit’ stuff) yet Aks had enough originality. And the song ‘yeh raat’ is filmed so brilliantly

  4. Great piece- Jai Arjun Singh writes wonderfully- I wish he would write regular reviews.

    I agree that D6 is a richer, more engaging film than RDB- and I haven’t seen Aks so I cannot comment on it.

  5. Thanks guys…it’s just that after yesterday’s debate with Anurag Kashyap, I was kind of determined to find out – literally seek – quality film criticism on Hindi films.

    Rangan is an obvious choice and the reviews here too are enlightening, but there’s a need for more voices.

    I remember when I started first discovering “world cinema” the pure joy of watching “classics” was sometimes even superseded by the joy of reading quality reviews, written by experts and often very witty people. There’s a critical need for someone to at least explain a film like Andrei Rublev for a neophyte. Otherwise, it’s all a big waste.

    That was then and this is now…I’m no longer a student with oodles of time to waste, but I still crave for my dose of expert opinions. Is there any other way to approach cinema?

    • On that note, Jai Arjun Singh’s critical pieces are quite good. He even has a piece on the use of “gaalis” in hindi cinema!

      This is the kind of writing that builds or at least enables the birth of a proper film culture. The one thing that hindi film audiences need the most!

    • “I remember when I started first discovering “world cinema” the pure joy of watching “classics” was sometimes even superseded by the joy of reading quality reviews, written by experts and often very witty people. There’s a critical need for someone to at least explain a film like Andrei Rublev for a neophyte. ”

      Completely agree. One of my favorite things here (though I haven’t done as much in recent years) is listening to some of the extraordinary commentary tracks on great films. It’s way better than reading a book (even one with pictures) because here you’re really going to school with an important critic or scholar with the film unfolding in front of you. Scene by scene. One learns enormously this way.

      And this was the point I was making yesterday (among others). When Kashyap says Shanghai is a fantastic film or the best or whatever leaving aside whether one agrees with that judgment or not the problem is that Bannerjee’s real art here (such as it might be) is not self-evident. One has to learn these things. One doesn’t have to of course but in an important work one misses a lot if one doesn’t. So again this isn’t an elitist argument in the least. people have every right to approach art works the way they wish to. But there is no way to evaluate say Kashyap’s work or others like him without evaluating some of these other things. And once more like yourself I have learned enormously from critics and other writers. One doesn’t have to agree with everything by any means but I don’t know why as a culture we often tend to be so suspicious of learning things or revising our views.

      • How do you access these commentary tracks?

        Completely agree with your second paragraph. There’s definitely harm associated with reading too much…but there’s more harm in not reading enough!

        • Well you have to get DVDs that have them. Usually this means (and unfortunately) buying a US DVD or sometimes a British one. But Criterion is the leading US company for all kinds of serious cinema and they often have incredible commentary tracks. Some others do it too. Masters of Cinema in Britain is a fantastic outfit though they don’t have commentaries as often.

          Of course there’s also the issue of time. To watch Seven Samurai once with the commentary track and once without means one has to reserve 7 hrs or something for it! By the occasionally the DVDs have two commentary tracks!

          The newer releases often have the same with the director and/or the actors but these I’m generally not interested in.

  6. Satyam,Saket,Gf,Ami and others- this question has been bugging me since a long time- Why is a pure ‘action film’ looked down upon by experts and critics when compared to other genres? Since harrison ford’s Fugitive in 1994, no ‘action thriller’ has been nominated for Best Film at Oscars. Can an action film not be a great film- isn’t it possible that it meets all criteria of excellent filmmaking like direction,acting and technical aspects. how is an actioner any less than films of other genres?

    • I pretty much like everything that James Cameron’s ever directed…and speaking of action films, I still haven’t gotten over the superbly crafted True Lies.

      • Agreed on True Lies. loved the humorous tone and Jamie Lee Curtis there. my fav Cameron film has to be Abyss.and my absolute fav action films r the 1st Die Hard, Mad Max 2 and Total Recall (bourne ultimatum is a worthy mention)

        • The Graduate Says:

          Ajay so smartly copied that “getting out of the car and shooting” done by Bruce Willis in Singham ;-)

      • I am with you on this..

    • there are many reasons for this but it’s partly a history where action once used to be a much more campy genre. Much as most of the noir films were often B grade efforts. In more contemporary times a lot of the action stuff is rather lowbrow. But even where it isn’t you’re right in that a bias persists. On certain other subjects incredibly mediocre films win Oscars. But this is true even in the foreign film category. they have their favored subjects. Only rarely does the most deserving film(s) win. We criticize Indian awards and it’s true that they’re terrible but if you leave aside the glitz and glamor and obviously extraordinary shows Hollywood puts on the results are otherwise either banal or worse. very rarely does one agree whole-heartedly with the choices. Even the critic play this game every years with articles about the industry’s cynicism. Most of their ‘best’ films don’t really win.

      • Any movie having ‘holocaust’ as theme or backdrop has highest probability of winning the oscars …. and lobbying also plays big part and Studio power and money.

      • Thanks Satyam for explaining it (esp abt action being campy in olen days). But i wish u could be more comprehensive on it.

      • The Graduate Says:

        Strangely the word action suddenly gains a bit of respect as soon as “western” is prefixed.Thanks to some great westerns,maybe! My fav western action is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid followed by TGTBTU.Like Mackenna’s Gold too.Eastwood’s For a Few Dollars more is also good.

        • The Western though is really a pastoral genre and not principally about action. This might seem paradoxical given all the action sequences in Westerns!

          • The Graduate Says:

            Agreed! But the same paradox brings it more accolades than the routine action!

            BTW,I believe that the action genre is not handled well.It gets reduced to fights galore without the pursuance of an objective or an ideology.The metaphorical tones are also not prominent!

  7. alex adams Says:

    know this wont be the prevalent view, but have a soft corner for rakysh mehra..
    the best film (pending execution issues) he has /will ever make (most probably) is AKS
    Rank the first half and bits of the second half quite highly..
    Rang de basanti is/will be his biggest success …
    Delhi 6 is a film which a textbook of how to kill and destroy an ace rehamn soundtrack…

    have said this before…
    no further discussion
    when u film a song as ethereally tender and borderting on genius like rehna tu on an obese, tummy touching the ground leaning ova a pool table giving ample glmilpses of his hairy ass—-mehra should be banned from rehman music for a film as a punishment (which i think he has got in milkha)—though he films rehman well, but here he went too too far…..

    • This is a point I have always conceded that Mehra handled Rehman extraordinarily well on RDB and did the opposite on D6 barring that great video (which is one of the greatest in Hindi to my mind). partly because I think the documentary-like tone of D6 was simply not suited for that sort of soundtrack. The film just didn’t have the right cues for this.

    • The Graduate Says:

      In my other comment regards D6,I had iterated that it could have been a classic had Abhishek just thought over the role sitting in his room for a few days.I will explain my points.

      1. D6 basically is an attempt to explore the cultural and social divides in Indian society by allowing the entry of a neutral observer[played by Abhishek] in the arena.If such an entry is used a tool to decipher the intrinsic textures of society then the tool must be allowed a sequence where he actually gets intrigued by the culture.None such prominent sequence ever existed in D6.Instead more was devoted to a song on the roof that basically captured Delhi and its congested ambiance but never reflected on it through the eyes of the protagonist. I sincerely felt Abhishek never looked excited to be back home or even showed any emotion that was symbolic of his inner anxiety at having to meet new people.He played it softly with a similar texture on face everywhere.That allowed for some good parts and more worse parts. Like the moment when Abhishek is standing beneath the window and the partner of the young girl married to an ageing man jumps off and runs away and Abhi is mistaken for the same,I felt Abhi should have shown more bemusement at seeing a guy jump off a window and run away.If the excuse of him coming from an “open” culture is used then also his expressions were weird.He was casual about it.Just looked upward and a smile.Why are you smiling?A man jumping off a window and you are looking up and smiling!!There is utter disharmony in his act and the script.

      2. I also have a problem with its pre-climax parts.It tries to accommodate everything:

      A. Social Divide

      B. Caste Divide

      C. Intellectual Divide

      D.Misuse of Power

      E. Religious Intolerance

      F. Ambitions

      G. Panoramic View of the city and thus a reflection of the divide therein

      H. Fear driven public opinion and the repercussions

      When you are trying so many things to meet at the end,you are taking up a gigantic task.And in the very same process,you need your script to be taut and hard hitting,something RDB boasted of . Sadly ROM meanders into useless metaphorical tones and bases upon them his own imaginations that get carried away and the truth is left alone.Delhi 6 was a promising start and at the end the Ram-Leela just looked as a parallel story without it and Kaala Bandar ever meeting.It became just about Kaala Bandar.Infact it assumed such importance that the theme of the movie to interview the city just got focussed on a Black Monkey and it also got projected as the story of the film.Ask anyone in B and C centres or even some A centres–They will say,D6 was based on that Kaala-Bandar incident in Delhi.They won’t say it is about good and bad within us.Not that they aren’t that intelligent for the very same crowd of A and B centre praised RDB and could see through it.Attempts to send out the message was more prominent than RDB but the approach was highly dismal.

      A combination of some casual act and some vague direction leads us to a product of colossal disappointment called D6.Sparks of brilliance are there in many films,so you won;t miss that in D6 but it is too little to be talked about.Reading one frame and exaggerating it never helps deciphering the canvas!

      • Rakeysh Mehra once called it Abhishek’s best performance. All directors do that with their films but he has insisted even after release that it’s a beautiful performance. His point here is that being a dead man’s narration he wanted that tone to the performance throughout the film. anyway he’s kept saying that people didn’t understand the performance. Here’s one such piece:

        http://www.masala.com/13845-abhishek-dies-in-new-version-of-delhi-6

        • When someone lays the blame for a film like Delhi 6′s failure entirely at the doorsteps of Abhishek Bachchan, I wouldn’t even dignify that person with a comment. Seriously…if Delhi 6 is not a director’s personal love-letter to cinema, I don’t know what is. When one identifies that context, grapples with it and finally accepts it, it’s easy to see that any miss-step, (and there can be many, for this is Mehra’s 3rd feature film) should be attributed to the director…or in this case, the auteur!

          • The Graduate Says:

            “When someone lays the blame for a film like Delhi 6′s failure entirely at the doorsteps of Abhishek Bachchan, I wouldn’t even dignify that person with a comment.”

            You have a bad habit of attempting to take a high stand thinking you somehow deserve so! Anyways your hard language is as weak as the theorem that Romans were not swayed by strong speeches.

            I have attributed the responsibility equally on actor’s and directors shoulder.Read the second para where I definitely accuse ROM of being vague.Yes,I stand by my statement that Abhishek was not at par with the intentions of the script and if you think that does not deserve an answer,you can very well keep any retort to yourself!

            it’s easy to see that any miss-step, (and there can be many, for this is Mehra’s 3rd feature film) should be attributed to the director…or in this case, the auteur!

            When did Mehra become an auteur?I should rather say that statement does not deserve an answer but I would not be as dismissive of you still as I see hope of recovery. Same ROM handled a far more complex screenplay in RDB beautifully but he loses steam in D6 and then he should render his chest to shoulder all responsibilities for shortcomings leaving Abhishek.Wowww…what a theory!!! You want to watch a director’s personal love letter to Cinema..you can watch Satyricon by Fellini..it is weird,absurd in parts but he takes us into a world of bizzare without apprehension! Here ROM is apprehensive making it seem he wanted to say more but he couldn’t!!

          • “Anyways your hard language is as weak as the theorem that Romans were not swayed by strong speeches.”

            LOL, what does this mean?!

            On the rest of your comment though don’t you think there’s a contradiction here? On the one hand you claim that there’s a problem with the film, Mehra doesn’t handle the film well unlike RDB, it’s not a good or complex screenplay like RDB.. so on and so forth.. and then you also claim that Abhishek wasn’t in line with a failed script and poor directorial handling? So by a simple logic process one could arrive at the conclusion that Abhishek was good here because he wasn’t aligned with a bad script or bad directorial handling or whatever! Leaving this aside though how can both conclusions be true? That Abhishek is responsible even though the film and director otherwise exhibit these problems?!

            This is where less honesty comes into play. I don’t like SRK for a lot of reasons but I don’t say Paheli failed because he didn’t act well! Now one could find him a poor actor otherwise but not then lay it at the doorstep of a failure. Similarly one can think as a universal matter that Abhishek is a weak actor but even then it doesn’t necessarily follow that D6 failed for this reason.

            On your Fellini reference this is the part that I always dislike. The example ripped out of thin air! First off Satyricon was itself panned by many critics and there is still great critical disagreement over late Felling barring Amarcord. But the larger point here is that you use entirely subjective categories with a different slant in each case. So you tell us that the ‘weird’ or ‘absurd’ works in Satyricon but not in D6. Why? You’re response? Satyricon is ‘bizarre without apprehension’. I must confess I don’t know what this means! Then with Mehra you just flip this double. He is therefore ‘bizarre with apprehension’. But what if in his case there is ‘apprehension without bizarre’? Or alternatively ‘apprehension with bizarre’? Might have missed some permutations here!

          • The real reason why Mehra was “apprehensive” was that he knew if he indulged himself even a fraction more, people like ‘The Graduate’ would bullshit even more…can’t blame him!

          • The Graduate Says:

            I do not know why do you try to create points that I never make.

            “Anyways your hard language is as weak as the theorem that Romans were not swayed by strong speeches”

            The reference was to the fact that Roman commoner was considered to be well-informed and thus could not easily influenced but given what Anthony did with them in a span of few minutes makes the strength of that theorem weak!

            ” On the one hand you claim that there’s a problem with the film, Mehra doesn’t handle the film well unlike RDB, it’s not a good or complex screenplay like RDB.. so on and so forth.. and then you also claim that Abhishek wasn’t in line with a failed script and poor directorial handling? So by a simple logic process one could arrive at the conclusion that Abhishek was good here because he wasn’t aligned with a bad script or bad directorial handling or whatever! Leaving this aside though how can both conclusions be true? That Abhishek is responsible even though the film and director otherwise exhibit these problems?!”

            Why interpret that suits you best Satyam.I meant that if Mehra could handle a complex screenplay where two different eras run parallel culminating into one then it is absurd to claim that the miss-steps in D6 were out and out only the director’s fault as it was his third film as Saket pointed out! Where have I passed this notion that D6 failed due to a non-complex screenplay.I have infact tried saying that D6 was more easy for ROM to handle but somewhere his vision compounded by a unsatisfactory performance by Abhishek hit the movie hard!You mix stuffs to suit your purpose.

            Here is what I had said before:

            “A combination of some casual act and some vague direction leads us to a product of colossal disappointment called D6″

            Saket attributed me of singly pointing Abhishek of D6 failure–Here is what he said–”When someone lays the blame for a film like Delhi 6′s failure entirely at the doorsteps of Abhishek Bachchan,”–Then you do not find the misreading of my commentary.I was so specific about a sequence in the film that I mentioned it and exactly what I felt about it rather than try mixing things up!

            Infact my whole second para of my first response is about the vaggue direction,not a scriptless film that ROM gave.Atleast a well-read man like you can get it that “vague” is approach that can marr even the strongest scripts.

            “This is where less honesty comes into play. I don’t like SRK for a lot of reasons but I don’t say Paheli failed because he didn’t act well! ”

            Why is there a habit of people in this forum trying to take a high moral ground,a high intellectual ground! I think I have deconstructed your argument about my intentions in my aforementioned thoughts.

            “The example ripped out of thin air! First off Satyricon was itself panned by many critics and there is still great critical disagreement over late Felling barring Amarcord.”

            A director’s personal love letter is independent of how it is received! And where had i mentioned that D6 is not a director’s personal love letter to cinema because it was poorly reviewed.I have clearly mentioned that ROM seemed apprehensive in his approach.When you make a love letter to Cinema you write without inhibitions!! I see far too many inhibitions in D6. Moreover I never termed D6 not a “personal love poem” because it was not bizzare.Why cook things up?I just said that Satyricon was bizzare,weird and still attracted with its fearless approach.Had D6 been a personal love saga it would have been drafted on similar approach,not necessarily on similar attributes or specifics like bizzare or weird!

            “.it is weird,absurd in parts but he takes us into a world of bizzare without apprehension”

            It is abusrd you cannot read a simple thought.It is so simple to understand that I meant Fellini’s personal love letter is less about the exterior reactions but more about his inner desire to paint the canvas without inhibition. Where does permutation and combination come here.Please do not follow the adage here–If you cannot convince,confuse instead!

            Thanks.It would be better if you will stop pretending or thinking that since you weigh your knowledge of cinema superior to anyone else,others pull out references from thin air!!!!!!

          • The Graduate Says:

            Your views are Ebert-esque..mine are Adarsh-esque! If that is how you hold yourself in high opinion,I am happy I met you.You allow an interesting case study.

      • I should say this as a general matter.. and this isn’t about D6 or any other specific film either. What dismays me very often is that I never quite come across views where people don’t really like a film at a personal level but concede that it is otherwise a strong film. One cannot like everything that’s worthwhile out there. In any art form. Similarly there’s a lot one will like where not many will agree with one. One might be ahead of the times or one might be part of a permanent minority. The problem is that in the absence of all this I see by and large people questioning films that have not worked at the box office, specially so if they’ve been panned by critics. Not talking about your comment here incidentally. By the same token there’s always the sense that a film that worked did something right. Because it appealed to the audience. But this logic is entirely circular! In any case my point here is really the earlier one. Is one comfortable accepting that there are ‘good’ films not to one’s taste? I can think of tons of directors and films around the world that have been much celebrated but that I don’t like without thinking the films are worthless. Alternatively I also don’t subscribe to the idea that just because most critics (or even all) panned a film something worthwhile cannot be said about it. It’s all about the case being made.

        By the way one must also separate films which were generally panned but which had important critical voices supporting them in a minority and those that no one supported. for example on D6 Nikhat Kazmi had a rather fair review, positive on the whole but she made some of the points that Jai Arjun Singh did as well. She obviously liked Abhishek’s performance here as well. Along the same lines Frank Lovece had a wonderful piece on Raavan that he called Abhishek’s best performance ever. On both those films there were such minorities of critical opinion. Certain other films get universally panned.

        So once again the point I’m trying to make is that one must have an openness about these things. One’s final opinion is not as important nor does it matter what one’s preferences are in terms of films, stars or politics or whatever. But can one be open, truly open, to a different view? Here again let me repeat ad nauseam that on my favorite non-Indian filmmaker, Kurosawa, my favorite critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum, is more or less a naysayer. And not just a qualified naysayer but so on some of his most iconic films. But I nonetheless prefer him here than most others. Or to put it differently he enlightens me even when I disagree with him as opposed to many others when I agree with them.

  8. Good stuff here.
    I think ROM needs to be injected to some Hirani DNA and he would come up with even better stuff. If Hirani were to make D6, he would make a vastly improved film without losing its essence.

  9. alex adams Says:

    to be honest, mehra has the potential of being a ‘genius’ like maker..
    but he simply lacks ‘discipline’
    has anyone here tried making even a home video or a spoof or maybe a short film–ive done!!
    the person suddenly becomes a fellini or kurosawa (atleast thinks that wrongly) –now when theres no financial responsibility etc,

    this is a hamrless ego trip
    but what was mehra doing in delhi 6…
    except dil gira dafatan (due to which he somewhat escaped slaughter!!) what was going on…
    why did it suddenly become a pseudo-documentary etc..
    and was he getting bloody hallucinations in between–with the monkey-man bit…untouchability
    reckless screenplay
    had loads of potential
    perhaps im harsh since i expected more from this man, subject and music….
    ps–he needs an adept actor like aamir or an adept ghost director/producer to keep his ‘creative juinced’ in check..
    but mark my words…
    one day–ro mehra might suddenly make a gem—since he HAS it in him (which 95% dont)

  10. Here’s a great essay by Pauline Kael called Trash, Art and the Movies

    http://www.paulrossen.com/paulinekael/trashartandthemovies.html

    For people not willing to read it in whole (I think it’s great to read Kael, line by line), here’s an excerpt that I identify with the most:

    When you’re young the odds are very good that you’ll find something to enjoy in almost any movie. But as you grow more experienced, the odds change. I saw a picture a few years ago that was the sixth version of material that wasn’t much to start with. Unless you’re feebleminded, the odds get worse and worse. We don’t go on reading the same kind of manufactured novels—pulp Westerns or detective thrillers, say—all of our lives, and we don’t want to go on and on looking at movies about cute heists by comically assorted gangs.

    The problem with a popular art form is that those who want something more are in a hopeless minority compared with the millions who are always seeing it for the first time, or for the reassurance and gratification of seeing the conventions fulfilled again.

    Probably a large part of the older audience gives up movies for this reason—simply that they’ve seen it before. And probably this is why so many of the best movie critics quit. They’re wrong when they blame it on the movies going bad; it’s the odds becoming so bad, and they can no longer bear the many tedious movies for the few good moments and the tiny shocks of recognition. Some become too tired, too frozen in fatigue, to respond to what is new. Others who do stay awake may become too demanding for the young who are seeing it all for the first hundred times.

    The critical task is necessarily comparative, and younger people do not truly know what is new. And despite all the chatter about the media and how smart the young are, they’re incredibly naïve about mass culture—perhaps more naïve than earlier generations (though I don’t know why). Maybe watching all that television hasn’t done so much for them as they seem to think; and when I read a young intellectual’s appreciation of “Rachel, Rachel” and come to “the mother’s passion for chocolate bars is a superb symbol for the second coming of childhood,” I know the writer is still in his first childhood, and I wonder if he’s going to come out of it.

    One’s moviegoing tastes and habits change—I still like in movies what I always liked but now, for example, I really want documentaries. After all the years of stale stupid acted-out stories, with less and less for me in them, I am desperate to know something, desperate for facts, for information, for faces of non-actors and for knowledge of how people live—for revelations, not for the little bits of show-business detail worked up for us by show-business minds who got them from the same movies we’re tired of.

    But the big change is in our habits. If we make any kind of decent, useful life for ourselves we have less need to run from it to those diminishing pleasures of the movies. When we go to the movies we want something good, something sustained, we don’t want to settle for just a bit of something, because we have other things to do. If life at home is more interesting, why go to the movies? And the theatres frequented by true moviegoers—those perennial displaced persons in each city, the loners and the losers—depress us. Listening to them—and they are often more audible than the sound track—as they cheer the cons and jeer the cops, we may still share their disaffection, but it’s not enough to keep us interested in cops and robbers.

    A little nose-thumbing isn’t enough. If we’ve grown up at the movies we know that good work is continuous not with the academic, respectable tradition but with the glimpses of something good in trash, but we want the subversive gesture carried to the domain of discovery. Trash has given us an appetite for art.

    • When did you become a Paullete?

      • When was I not one? I remember reading Ebert before having read Kael and for a while he seemed like a perfect critic (I still have great respect for him, by the way, especially since his surgery!) but having read Kael I was blown away.

        I don’t necessarily agree with her, all the time. Kubrick, for instance, is one of my favorite directors and PK ripped him and his movies apart to shreds. But even those pieces are quite informative…and dare I say, educational.

        • Yes and for an Antonioni fan like me her reviews on the latter are often brutal too! She loved Ray though and once called Devi the most devastating critique of an upper class anywhere in cinema.

          One really wishes so much for such figures in India. So many of the leading film critics in the US, specially from that generations, were cultural icons.

    • Useful essay..

  11. Another great insight, courtesy, Pauline Kael (from the essay referenced above):

    A good movie can take you out of your dull funk and the hopelessness that so often goes with slipping into a theatre; a good movie can make you feel alive again, in contact, not just lost in another city.

    Good movies make you care, make you believe in possibilities again. If somewhere in the Hollywood-entertainment world someone has managed to break through with something that speaks to you, then it isn’t all corruption.

    The movie doesn’t have to be great; it can be stupid and empty and you can still have the joy of a good performance, or the joy in just a good line. An actor’s scowl, a small subversive gesture, a dirty remark that someone tosses off with a mock-innocent face, and the world makes a little bit of sense.

    Sitting there alone or painfully alone because those with you do not react as you do, you know there must be others perhaps in this very theatre or in this city, surely in other theatres in other cities, now, in the past or future, who react as you do. And because movies are the most total and encompassing art form we have, these reactions can seem the most personal and, maybe the most important, imaginable.

    The romance of movies is not just in those stories and those people on the screen but in the adolescent dream of meeting others who feel as you do about what you’ve seen. You do meet them, of course, and you know each other at once because you talk less about good movies than about what you love in bad movies.

  12. Another one (this is the kind of pure joy that great writing evokes):

    Let’s clear away a few misconceptions. Movies make hash of the schoolmarm’s approach of how well the artist fulfilled his intentions.

    Whatever the original intention of the writers and director, it is usually supplanted, as the production gets under way, by the intention to make money—and the industry judges the film by how well it fulfills that intention.

    But if you could see the “artist’s intentions” you’d probably wish you couldn’t anyway. Nothing is so deathly to enjoyment as the relentless march of a movie to fulfill its obvious purpose. This is, indeed, almost a defining characteristic of the hack director, as distinguished from an artist.

  13. The Graduate Says:

    On an unrelated topic.. Arnab Goswami royally played down by Swamy and Jethmalani.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_jGfvifZRg&w=315&h=315%5D

  14. Saket, thanks for posting the two pieces. the last para of the above piece is especially sublime- the writer is spot-on when she says when we find another guy who has a similar taste in films, we instantly connect. on that note, in india it’s just not lack of film culture but similar thing is present regarding cricket too. u will hardly find comprehensive essays and records on players/matches. there is no other option than reading the Wisden Almanack- i have one (quite a prized possession)

    • Saurabh- you should read more of Kael if you liked these pieces- she is such an intelligent, incisive, unpretentious and witty writer.

  15. Surely Ami, i loved the pieces posted by Saket. actually to be true i don’t know abt such writers and film culture and so on. i am a bit ashamed to say this that even today i end up liking only those films which keep me engrossed/entertained( i never liked Charulata for instance) . And one of the things i am trying to learn from people like Satyam, Gf, saket and u, is how to appreciate a film as more than a source of entertainment

    • It should entertain! What is point of eating a gourmet meal if it doesn’t taste good and doesn’t fill your belly! I would rather go with dal/roti which tastes good and fills your tummy and also nutritious.

      • LOL! Saurabh I don’t know anywhere near as much about film as Satyam/ GF. I’m pretty clueless about all this stuff as well.

    • even today i end up liking only those films which keep me engrossed/entertained( i never liked Charulata for instance)

      There is no shame in liking entertaining films. Why would you watch films otherwise? But at the same time, one needs to know the difference between an entertaining film and a film that strives for something more than entertainment.

      It’s one thing to like a film like Dabangg and I quite like the film — saw it twice, which is a rarity for me — but I would not dare to call it a better film than say Dhobi Ghat and certainly would not argue insanely about the merits of a film like MNIK.

      • Saket, u r right. i believe a better for ‘entertaining’ is ‘engrossing’. Shatranj ke khiladi kept me engrossed, charulata did not. The Last Lear kept me engrossed but Raincoat could not. I found Annie Hall riveting, cannot say the same abt Vicky Christina Barcelona

  16. C’mon Ami, no need to be modest. i have seen enough of ur comments to know that u know quite a lot. u watch and understand surrealism and french cinema and what not. (whereas my appetite is limited to watching a man get piked in various ways)- not trying to praise u, just stating the truth. The fact that ur arguements almost always force Satyam to come out of his comfort zone, speakes volumes abt ur knowledge. And ask anyone here, they will have the same opinion of u

  17. I have often felt that the word ‘entertainment’ is sometimes used as a sham, especially when we use it to describe things and aspects of arts and other fields which usually depend on our visual experiences and skills and our cultural and historical information – these are films/serials, books, paintings, plays, stage acts and dances. Actually when we like any film we don’t necessarily get interested in it; what happens here is that work/film holds our attention.

    • “entertainment” or the notion of being entertained, is perhaps attached to the audience’s “fixed” expectations. In Bollywood terms, it’s about a well picturized song, some neat action scenes, some seeti-maar dialogues etc. Give most people all of these and you’ve bagged the title of the ‘entertainer of the year’…until a better exponent of the “formula” comes along.

      It’s also possible to be creative given these constraints, but as long as you don’t unsettle the set expectations, you’re fine. The problem arises when directors go beyond the audience’s fixed notions…A ‘Dil Gira Dafatan’ for instance, or God forbid, introduce heavy symbolism, allegorical tales/sub-plots or the worst offence — surreal sequences, you (the director) end up signing your own death wish. This happens every single time.

      People are willing to be challenged, but not beyond a certain point. A great majority of the audience are not just unsettled, but outright offended by things that are out of their comfort zone. It’s not as if it’s impossible to see or understand things that are not obvious, but most people are too busy to even try…

  18. A better word here is that the film ‘engrosses’ us, it may not be entertaining or recreational in the real sense but it hooks us (in clichéd terms). Once we have seen and enjoyed the film, with all our senses satiated we declare that it was ‘entertaining’.
    Again how much we end up liking something depends how our brain has been conditioned in these terms. Here I want to say is that let’s say a film which a certain person enjoyed greatly for certain aspects – for ex. J. P. Dutta’s Border.

  19. Now let’s assume what he liked the most about the film was it preachings of patriotism which shoved into the viewers throat or a single hero going against the entire army, armed only with a ‘mortar launcher’/ ‘BAZOOKA’ . Now this sameman ends up seeing “Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se’- again a film which talks about patriotism but does not decide to make a mountain of this oft-abused word, and where this patriotic spirit flows gently like a balmy breeze.

  20. Now that person would have been subconsciously looking for those ‘big bazooka moments’ which never happen here- so even though he may been engrossed while watching the film, at the end of it the eureka moment will occur that “you know what, this was a good film but not ‘entertaining’ enough”- Now when someone comes with kind of a statement, no one can argue against him.

  21. what is escapism? It is again slightly misunderstood. In strict definitional terms escapism means a mental diversion by means of recreation, as an “escape” from the perceived unpleasant or banal aspects of daily life. So even going by this definition one gets a very different picture than the usual one- so if aperson who has been bored of ‘slapstick comedies’, suddenly starts watching films of Satayajit Ray, will these films of Ray should also be called escapists fare.

  22. But even leaving these aside there is much more here than what meets the eye-Tolkien said “that escapism had an element of ‘emancipation’ in its attempt to figure a ‘different reality.’ Marx commented that ‘religion is the escapism of people’. Even ‘utopia and dystopia’ is a part of escapism. So those who are said to be enjoying these ‘escapist films’ can be considered more than just men with mediocre tastes- they can actually be an impetus for a radical social change just like Kafka and Philip. K. Dick.

  23. Again I often see people patronizing the ‘mindless entertainers’ as ‘escapist fares’.These people often make an argument that such fares are for ‘aam aadmi’(one of the most abused words in this country) and should not be compared with the ‘artistic works’ unfavourably. lemme deal with this ‘aam aadmi’- when people start defending such films on grounds of being for the aam aadmi, are they actually admitting their intellectual capacity or intelligence is not up to the ‘others’ who enjoy high-brow stuff

  24. Again veering away a bit away from the topic- let me compare this situation with the topic of cricket- a person who swears by ‘test cricket’ (like me) and considers 20-20 as ‘pajama cricket’ is your cinematic equivalent of the ‘patron of artistic cinema’. But let’s say this person’s taste in cinema is completely inclined towards the slap-stick comedies like Housefull. So now I ask all these ‘aam aadmis’, in which category will you put this guy- aam aadmi or khaas aadmi?

  25. I’m an ardent fan of Van Damme ‘s action films and John Woo’s ‘bloodshed films’- what I love the most about these films are exactly what they promise-violent,blood-soaked action scenes.Now here I, in common terms,I must be getting ‘entertained’ by this ‘violence’.But isn’t this situation bit of a catch?If‘entertainment’ is equivalent to ‘fun’ and ‘recreation’, are we assuming that ‘violence’ is actually a part of a ‘fun exercise.’ So fun has become perverse, is that we are trying to say?

  26. If this is entertainment then entertainment certainly cannot be mistaken for ‘fun’. All I am trying to say here is that when something satiates a certain sense of ours, in retrospection we declare it as ‘entertaining’.

  27. I remember really looking forward to watching Aks. The film looked so slick, Bachchan and Bajpai, and so on. And I enjoyed watching it then. The mood and tone of the film pretty much made it (and Bachchan was great, probably the first old Bachchan performance that made me a fan). But in retrospect, it is otherwise a pretty vacuous film. Very stylish, yes, but also a little stupid.

    • This was my overall sense of it too, at least initially. Have been meaning to revisit it.

      • Actually, I shouldn’t have said “in retrospect,” as I’ve also not revisited it subsequently. It’s just that I enjoyed watching it but also retained a feeling that it wasn’t a particularly intelligent film.

    • i still like “aks” today. sure, its about 25 minutes longer than it should be and a little too “hollywood”, but for the most part, a reasonably effective thriller. bachchan’s legendary performance(one of the top 10 best he’s ever given, IMO) alone elevates the film to watchable status. bajpai was also excellent, i thought.

  28. When you make a love letter to Cinema you write without inhibitions!! I

    now people who like to namedrop are going to tell the world how to write a cinematic love letter! Hilarious…

    I’ve always thought of humility as a great virtue, but when it comes to tackling pseudos, it’s better to take a stand, people. How I wish the idiot savant character from Delhi 6 could come to life and show some people the mirror!

    As for the English constructs, I wonder why people even laugh at dialogues like “My chest has become blouse”…on second thoughts, there seems to be a certain weakness among Indians to acquire a mastery over the language; to show off one’s wares, gaudy as they may be… and that makes the reality behind such lines rather grim. Certainly not very funny.

    • The Graduate Says:

      “now people who like to namedrop are going to tell the world how to write a cinematic love letter”

      No self proclaimed intellectuals like you who believe that their exposure to world cinema will tell me what is a personal love letter to cinema.Just learning the phrase never helps.Guess the “pseudo” attribute should have been by me but I rather not dismiss anyone so easily.It does not reflect of a good outlook!

      Responsibility could have been on shoulders too but using chest was to over-emphasize how your thought of only accusing ROM was akin to suffocating him and asphyxiating him.Teach about English to someone else here if that be the point you are trying to make.And then you have the audacity to talk as if you are Pauline Kael or Siskel or Ebert!! Despicable habit of trying to show that how intellectual one is!

      Half of the time your arguments are to dismiss someone rather than a well-constructed thought.Improve on that first!! You just cannot intimidate me with that sort of attack.

      • The Graduate Says:

        believe that their exposure to world cinema is the best*

      • You just cannot intimidate me with that sort of attack

        That’s why it’s useless arguing with you. The attempt was not to intimidate you, rather to expose you.

        I’ve had many exchanges with quite a few people here; even heated ones at times, but I’ve never harbored any ill feelings towards them. The one thing that I admire in people, in all people, is sincerity of opinion. It’s not hard to gauge. The language used is immaterial; sincerity and clarity of thought always shines through.

        Having said that, some people like to pretend; they throw up random names, they tend to use highfalutin words (often incongruous with the logic of the sentence) to impress an audience. In your case, I suspect you’re suffering from a massive Satyam complex. You admire him so much, you are willing to go to any lengths to just imitate him.

        I don’t have anything against your opinion. It has everything to do with the way you present it. My sincere advice would be to be yourself. Don’t try to impress people; concentrate on making a strong and lucid argument. More importantly, keep things simple. Perhaps then you’d find that my condescending attitude isn’t real…

        • The Graduate Says:

          “That’s why it’s useless arguing with you. The attempt was not to intimidate you, rather to expose you.”

          Woahh! You think you are exposing me! Why do you think so that you can expose me or anyone?Your credentials to do that.just having read a few Kael write-ups and devoutred a few Ebert pieces does not give you any extra points.I question your ability and credential in even attempting to expose me!!And I repeat You cannot intimidate me.

          “The one thing that I admire in people, in all people, is sincerity of opinion. It’s not hard to gauge. The language used is immaterial; sincerity and clarity of thought always shines through.”

          In similar vein it is not hard to judge from where are you coming. A pre-determined school of thought where what you know is automatically the best and putting up oneself as a pseudo-kael-lite becomes a delusional attempt to showcase one’s love for world cinema!! I do not see any patterns in your thought for more than half of the time ypou carry an attitude that speaks volumes about you.But I do not proclaim my judgments on this forum.As you are deft in being William James Dies,you love judging from the word go and passing verdicts and reveling in the idea of having exposed people. Please stop this tirade that is starting to look like a desperate attempt to suppress my views,which sadly you wont be able to!!

          ” some people like to pretend; they throw up random names, they tend to use highfalutin words (often incongruous with the logic of the sentence) to impress an audience. In your case, I suspect you’re suffering from a massive Satyam complex. You admire him so much, you are willing to go to any lengths to just imitate him.”

          Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself how have you been fashioning your arguments on this blog.Fashioned on the lines of the owner of this blog!! Right! My views atre radically different from Satyam on many issues and approach too.now the “politics” and the “seminal” are just not Satyam’s patents or are they!! You have a problem with my highfalutin words when you yourself could have used the word “pretentious”??? Isn’t that hypocrisy of first order?Or does it intimidate you that I am using so called highfalutin words that will catapult me to being a so-called intellectual,much in the same way you or many guys here have elevated themselves.[I am leaving Satyam out of this particular argument]. So basically you have modelled yourself admiring Satyam and it is not a bad thing.But why accuse me of it?? And why be so judgmental?? Based on what!!!! Am I talking to some Ebert here or Rosenbaum!!!

          “Don’t try to impress people; concentrate on making a strong and lucid argument. More importantly, keep things simple. Perhaps then you’d find that my condescending attitude isn’t real…”

          As long as I have seen you here,your half business is to sermon people,specially me here and pretend to be a World Cinema lover,show how you are an avid sucker for such flicks,how you read and devour articles and love the metaphorical intonations therein!! My advice to you in response will be– Come out of the phantasmagorical world,lean to respect others opinion,be less judgmental,stop attempting to intimidate,expose,whatever,assemble your arguments,don’t misread responses and then read Kael and Siskel!

          I have still no ill-will towards you but your attitude is despicable and highly unworthy of a man who boasts of having watched World Cinema.

          • Woahh! You think you are exposing me! Why do you think so that you can expose me or anyone?Your credentials to do that.just having read a few Kael write-ups and devoutred a few Ebert pieces does not give you any extra points.I question your ability and credential in even attempting to expose me!!And I repeat You cannot intimidate me.

            This is getting really silly. Not to mention, it’s taken the whole thread into a different direction. But just for the sake of argument, if I can’t intimidate you, why do you keep on repeating that I can’t? Are you trying to reassure yourself? Or do you really feel intimidated and wish to portray a different image?

            In similar vein it is not hard to judge from where are you coming. A pre-determined school of thought where what you know is automatically the best and putting up oneself as a pseudo-kael-lite becomes a delusional attempt to showcase one’s love for world cinema!! I do not see any patterns in your thought for more than half of the time ypou carry an attitude that speaks volumes about you.But I do not proclaim my judgments on this forum.As you are deft in being William James Dies,you love judging from the word go and passing verdicts and reveling in the idea of having exposed people. Please stop this tirade that is starting to look like a desperate attempt to suppress my views,which sadly you wont be able to!!

            Again, if I can’t suppress your views, why do you have to highlight that again and again? Why the anxiety? And to be honest, what you think of me is hardly going to bother me. Ever!

            now the “politics” and the “seminal” are just not Satyam’s patents or are they!! You have a problem with my highfalutin words when you yourself could have used the word “pretentious”??? Isn’t that hypocrisy of first order?Or does it intimidate you that I am using so called highfalutin words that will catapult me to being a so-called intellectual,much in the same way you or many guys here have elevated themselves.[I am leaving Satyam out of this particular argument]. So basically you have modelled yourself admiring Satyam and it is not a bad thing.But why accuse me of it?? And why be so judgmental?? Based on what!!!! Am I talking to some Ebert here or Rosenbaum!!!

            Do you even understand the meaning of the word ‘seminal’? Its usage? It’s not a noun; it’s an adjective! That’s exactly what I was trying to tell you. Don’t use words out of context. Doing so has the opposite effect of what you desire. You wish to “catapult” yourself into the hallowed league of intellectuals (for the record, I don’t consider myself one…and no, I don’t even pretend that I’m one!) but you end up looking like a show-off; a blowhard. The joke is on you and the sad thing is, you don’t even realize it…

            As long as I have seen you here,your half business is to sermon people,specially me here and pretend to be a World Cinema lover,show how you are an avid sucker for such flicks,how you read and devour articles and love the metaphorical intonations therein!! My advice to you in response will be– Come out of the phantasmagorical world,lean to respect others opinion,be less judgmental,stop attempting to intimidate,expose,whatever,assemble your arguments,don’t misread responses and then read Kael and Siskel!

            It’s my business to spot fakes. It’s also an irritant that probably runs deep in my DNA – I can’t stand grandiose language that amounts to nothing! I’ve had a problem with that since time immemorial. And yeah, your advice is duly noted…and discarded. If I had a problem with more than 50% of the people here, I’d seriously rethink my options. Until that happens, I’m happy with the current state of affairs.

            I have still no ill-will towards you but your attitude is despicable and highly unworthy of a man who boasts of having watched World Cinema.

            My attitude is despicable because I choose to attack you? On the grounds that you are an exhibitionist? On the grounds that half of the time, you don’t even make sense, owing to your own predilection for being called an “intellectual?” For the simple reason that I’ve called you out when everyone else is too polite to do so?”

            Forget world cinema, forget any cinema, there’s a good enough reason to openly criticize someone who’s trying to fake it. I could have had no exposure to any cinema and I’d still see through your ruse. And that’s that.

        • The Graduate Says:

          “But just for the sake of argument, if I can’t intimidate you, why do you keep on repeating that I can’t? Are you trying to reassure yourself? Or do you really feel intimidated and wish to portray a different image?”

          Why do you keep answering to my claim,just because you feel at loss to do that?Or are you trying to build an image of all-know bully.Sorry Mister,looking at your credentials and quality of debate,I guess it will be enough that you first understand yourself!!

          “Again, if I can’t suppress your views, why do you have to highlight that again and again? Why the anxiety? And to be honest, what you think of me is hardly going to bother me. Ever!”

          So that I can see you re-attempting it! When you ready to be played,what is the harm in playing you!! Seems you are much more influenced by my comments on on your “intellectual character’ than me!! Unsure about yourself now or still arrogant!!

          “Do you even understand the meaning of the word ‘seminal’? Its usage? It’s not a noun; it’s an adjective! That’s exactly what I was trying to tell you. Don’t use words out of context. ”

          I am frankly asking– “Are you well versed with English language or should I impart a discourse?” You are looking like a desperate obstinate man who is creating responses and rebuttals out of thin air! You are going to teach me about English!! Stop having so high opinion about yourself and settle down on the planet Earth! The word “seminal” here was used a reference to the oft evoked concern regarding a feature by Satyam and the analysis therein.It infact stood as a symbol of his approach towards analysis.When that be the usage of the word–It can be perfectly used as the way I have! I do not need rookies like you to teach me english! One can easily say– The “beautiful” in this imagery is a reflection of the artist’s vivid imagination! Need more discourse.I am available to do that. Please do not stoop down to such levels and try forming a debate first! Pointless argument abounds in your rebuttals that seems begging for logic!

          ” but you end up looking like a show-off; a blowhard. The joke is on you and the sad thing is, you don’t even realize it…”

          In my strictest opinion,you end up looking a lot inferior to that but do i sermon you?No!! Ask me why?Because I am not a man with a high brow attitude who will go on thinking he is carrying a special lens to spot fakes and pseudos! And that he is the best! Stop using such adjectives without substantiation and also evolve from some old tactics of retort like–”The joke is on you” and etc…. pathetic 6th grader retort!!

          “It’s my business to spot fakes. It’s also an irritant that probably runs deep in my DNA – I can’t stand grandiose language that amounts to nothing! I’ve had a problem with that since time immemorial. And yeah, your advice is duly noted…and discarded. If I had a problem with more than 50% of the people here, I’d seriously rethink my options. Until that happens, I’m happy with the current state of affairs.”

          So get your DNA’S checked that have undergone some base substitutions and useless mutations! Go under gene therapy,improve your genes and then we shall talk! Do not tell me what is running in your DNA and what is out of it–I am least interested.I pity such arrogant line of attack that is self-reflective of a megalomaniac attitude! I am not having problem with Alex,oldgold,saurabh..infact not much with Satyam too! And i interact with a select few! I duly respond,I duly post my thoughts unlike you who comes here with a baggage to be able to start spotting pesudos. Mistah,get up and smell the coffee! You no saint,you no less a pseudo! Should I have a Gene Analysis done for you that will show you that it is you whom your genes point to but you mistake it for mortals likes us!!

          “My attitude is despicable because I choose to attack you? On the grounds that you are an exhibitionist? On the grounds that half of the time, you don’t even make sense, owing to your own predilection for being called an “intellectual?” For the simple reason that I’ve called you out when everyone else is too polite to do so?””

          No your attack is deplorable because of the manner in which it is done.Who has told you that you have a knowledge of cinema so much that you can engage others calling them pseudos. From where I am seeing you are just a product of net-reading rather than having actually watched cinema! So much for exposure to world cinema.And see the arrogance that costs not even ten cents!

          Improve your attitude.It is like a baloon inflated with ego.You are seeing how it is getting deflated once someone shows you the mirror!

          Next time if you wish to deserve a response,put up some intelligent comment.Till then be content psych-analysing people out there and boasting of your faulty DNA!! I chose not to reply to rookies like you!

          Thanks.

          • “all-know bully”

            “Stop having so high opinion about yourself and settle down on the planet Earth”

            “The word “seminal” here was used a reference to the oft evoked concern regarding a feature by Satyam and the analysis therein.It infact stood as a symbol of his approach towards analysis.When that be the usage of the word–It can be perfectly used as the way I have!”

            “Stop using such adjectives without substantiation and also evolve from some old tactics of retort”

            “So get your DNA’S checked that have undergone some base substitutions and useless mutations”

            “From where I am seeing you are just a product of net-reading rather than having actually watched cinema”

            “And see the arrogance that costs not even ten cents!”

            LOL! I rest my case…

  29. Alex adams Says:

    The legend of bachchan
    Just saw this song again today.
    This song answers the following questions–
    A) why is there only ONE Bacchan
    B) NOBODY else could ve carried off this over the top outlandish loud costume
    Instead bachchan lends it character
    C) this makes kings cross bollywoodised like never before
    A location with personal resonance!!
    D) why I rate Shankar ehsaan loy so high
    E) why shankar is the most apt singer for bachchan after kishore kr (other than bachchan himself)
    They both rise to the iconicity of the setting and the song-pity the film just falls short somewhat…
    Enjoy

  30. Alex adams Says:

    Trivia-A blonde in the front row of dancers with Bacchan in a shot is a friends sister!!…and does a good job lol

  31. Alex adams Says:

    Hail gulzar
    He’s made me a poet here–courtesy google

    O Kab Lage, Kahaan Rabb Jaane
    Jab Lage, Jahaan Sab Jaane, Rabba… Rabba
    Har Chot, Mazaa Deti Hai
    Jeene Ki Sazaa Deti Hai, Rabba… Rabba

    Jhooti Mooti, Baatein Sunn Ke
    Gungunaati, Aankhein Sunn Ke
    Jalaave, Bujhaave, Bujhaave, Jalaave
    Oy Mom Battiyaan

    O Yeh Ishq Puraana Paapi
    Har Baar Khata Karta Hai, Rabba…
    Har Baar Bachaataa Hoon Main
    Har Baar Yeh Jaa Marta Hai, Rabba…

    Check out the rhythm, guitar, dhols
    groove folks….

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