Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mohra - The Story Of Two People Fighting A Bad Guy And Winning

I saw this movie a few days back. I didnt get to see the whole thing, which I was very eager to do, but only a part. It must have been about half an hour of the movie. And its left an [i love this word] indelible impact on me.

Cinema is a reflection of a nation's ideas, thoughts, beliefs, judgments. It is a gauge of the sensitivity of a mass of people. It is a measure of their enlightenment. It depicts the prevalent social values. It shows that what follows the following of such ideals and values. All this stuff is, well, technically true. But it doesnt always stand for Indian cinema.

Our cinema is escapist, and quite eyebrow-raising most of the times. Our cinema has often showed that what we would normally condemn, and taken it to the peaks of righteousness. Concepts of regular love, inter-class marriages type of love, running-away-from-family-and-marrying-and-dying-in-each-others'-arms sort of love, college romances, guy-guy love, girl-girl love (albeit only in soft porn) and so on. It may sound like we only work on love themes. But that wouldnt be fair. I can distinctly recall 2 to 3, even 4, movies that werent centred around love. Its like a lot of other things too, that I would normally want to go on talking about, but shall have to skip over, since it has nothing on earth to do with my subject today. Sorry for drifting, people. Think of it as an item song, or an Uday Chopra comic scene.

So...cinema is this and that. But Mohra, surely, has an entirely different class. My watching of it began at the point where a guy escorts Sunil Shetty's sister to a dance, an act which alone should get him a R&W Bravery Award. She has selected a nice white frock for the occasion, the kind a girl might be repulsed by once past her 7th birthday. As obviously always happens at such occasions, she drinks a spiked drink prepared by bad boys. As obviously happens at such occasions, her date is snorting cocaine in another room, and is oblivious to the matter. Of course, he's an angel otherwise. Now, as would obviously follow such a setting, she gets raped. As is far too obvious now, Sunil Shetty, with girlfriend in tow, enters her hospital room just as the doctor gets round to covering her face with a white cloth. The white chaddar which is a sign, since time immemorial, of someone passing away. The doctor looks regretfully at Sunil Shetty's, thinks about offering words of solace, but chooses to scurry off to safety somewhere instead. For even he knows what will obviously happen next. For what happens next is too obvious for me to even bother to re-iterate. I shall simply take for granted that you already know that Shetty kills the bad boys one by one, just as loudly screamingly, as if he were the one being knifed himself. Err..I mean, kills them all in an abandoned amusement park, where the gang usually chills out by the carousel ride.

Included in the film for her subtle acting skills and unmatcheable abilities to convey so much without a word or a look or a scene or even a freakin' clue for God's sake, is Raveena Tandon. She, journalist, wants information about blah-blah case from Akshay Kumar, playing inspector-cum-stuntman. In true Amar Akbar Anthony style, in which Shashi Kapoor suffers the same from his leading lady, she next day lands up at his house, already on chitchatting terms with his bhabhi. And that is a role, you must know, which has only one identity. So I shall not deem it necessary to specify the bhabhi's widowhood. 'Tis obvious. One follows the other. Not only does she (Raveena) plant herself there, but also convinces her (bhabhi) of Akshay and her being an item. She (bhabhi) does not mind, as is so obviously noted in the fabulous lives of Bollywood middle-class families, living only part time on actual food, and usually just on love and faith and pyar ke yeh atoot bandhan. Akshay Kumar, quite obviously, looks nonplussed, wtf-ed throughout the scene, partly because he was naturally taken aback and partly because thats his other well-practised expression.

So are laid the seeds of a great Bollywood romance. Oh, and what an epic it is! They had shared just two scenes. Both involving smouldering looks from Raveena Tandon, and the good-cop-sneers-at-beautiful-distraction looks from Akshay Kumar. We, who are grown cold to the pangs of love and the affairs of the heart, scarcely understand that two such scenes are enough. Especially when followed by such a third. And so, naturally obviously, after a couple of wasted scenes of actual dialogue, follows a wooing song the likes of which can never be equalled again. Its not easy to get your man, when he is so dedicated to his job. Its not easy at all. It needs patience, and it needs stamina. It needs acts of bravery and audacity. It needs serious hip-thrusts. After four gruelling minutes of gyrating in the rain in (obviously) a slippery sari in an abandoned construction site, Raveena Tandon finds her true love and admiration returned by her leading man. I was choked. I was gushing and I was blushing. I felt so good for them! It was too much for me to handle. I almost cried out in joy. We read about in books, we see it in other movies. But never with such perfection is it depicted as in this masterpiece. The start of an eternal romance and ethereal love based on trust, understanding and lapdancing against a spiral iron staircase. Everyone wants one such.

Or two.

It was only a few minutes after Akshay Kumar had begun reciprocatively embarrassing himself in the rain, that the lights went off. They came back on soon enough, but cable was still out. I screamed (silently) and ranted, but to no avail. I begged. I pleaded. I cajoled. I even stroked my television set gently. I wanted to see the seemingly blind villain I remembered from long ago, when I didnt understand the marvellousness and sheer epicness of this marvellous epic. I wanted to see how police officers go to the extent of wearing red turbans with black goggles and dancing with 50 overweight women to nab blind, evil people. I wanted to hear Sunil Shetty's roar another time.

It didnt happen. I would recommend this movie to all students of great cinema, to all devotees of the item number, and to all worshippers of whichever God it is Sunil Shetty cries out to all the time. Yeh cheez badi hai must.


Jayashree Bhat said...

I haven't read it yet but thank God, finally a post on a topic instead of yourself.

kyra said...

*sniggers after reading jayashree's comment*

you write excellent reviews, by the way.

Jayashree Bhat said...

You talented, self-adulating idiot! This was excellent. Oh, please continue writing like this.

Confused & Baffled said...

you think so? i was very skeptical. thought i'd lost the touch. hmm ... hidden in your flurry of excited compliments, i seem to notice some points for improvement. i always notice such things. the pointer-outer need not worry, of course, of being revealed and publicly stoned for raising his or her voice. you shall be kept anonymous. your point, meanwhile, is noted. gracias.

speaking of which, does anyone know how to bring the dash above the 'a'? to give it that foreign word feel?

meninweb said...

Great review and Nice blog. Looking more posts

esperante said...

Ahahaha! Random lurker here. Just wanted to say - heehee, now I feel like watching Mohra. The cool spotlighty effects in the tu cheez song! Awesomeness twas.

esperante said...

Apart from, of course, the masterful performances, bombastic dialogue delivery etc etc that you talked about in the post.