Sunday, August 13, 2006

Never Say Goodbye


Last night I watched this movie Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, and it made me do three things which I haven't done for a very long while. First, I watched this movie at a 11:45 PM show. Second, I stood in the queue for over an hour to enter the cinema hall. And Third, I posted a blog.

To set expectations straight, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (Lets refer it as KANK in short, for obvious reasons) is not a great movie. It didn't have a very strong storyline. It hovered around the theme love, between a husband and a wife of a couple of couples. And by the way, before I forget, love between someone's husband and someone else's wife. Off late, Indian movie scriptwriters have been listening to viewers complaints that our movies are of the typical formula. A sizeable percentage of Indian movies these days have been themed around infidelity, adultery, unfaithfulness etc., Whatever happened to the good old days of hero meets heroine-falls in love-villain rapes hero's sister-stunts and family emotion-hero's mother or second heroine dies-hero&herione marry kind of movies ?Agreed that they were monotonous, boring and stereotypes, but they were still watchable with families without having to squirm in the seats.

A bold topic as this, thankfully, was set on the banks of Brooklyn river. Two American Desi families tread along rough marital lives. And by matter of chance their lives seem to cross each other, until one of the spouses of either families decides not to leave this crossing purely to chance. They decide that the love in their marriages has become irrecoverable and finally find love in the arms of each other. They take this adulterous love forward. When they decide to give their marriages one more shot by forgoing this feeling it may just be too late.

Let me be honest. I went to KANK to watch the bubbly ShahRukh and the gorgeous Rani. Of course, Rani was flawless and didn't disappoint me. Her smile, charm, attire and tone were all worth the dough I shelled for this. ShahRukh however was on a different role. It was not the charm-boy Rahul or Raj on the screen who is always energetic, cheerful, Iam Cool kinda guy dancing his way through. Instead one could see a serious and snobbish Shah Rukh, getting angry at every frame on the screen.. Surprisingly wonderful was the performance of Abhishek Bachchan, who is these days away from the shadow of his dad. Preity hooked on to a busy-working mom role. Amitabh as usual is there just to increase the star-cast value and pretty much nothing more. In Hindi movies, one can release a movie without story, dialogue, hero or heroines, but definitely not without Amitabh.

Anyways, is Karan Johar justified in his bold experiment ? Perhaps yes.. for these subjects, no matter what anyone says, are still a taboo to Indian culture. And perhaps that's why Karan took the story to a American Desi backdrop - for with Desis- it is easy to question their culture, value, traditions, lifestyle - and show them in whatever bad light inside India.. Desis have found themselves searching for identities, trying to lead a traditional Indian life in the midst of a foreign land, and before they find one, the Indian directors can milk all their taboo stories with a desi backdrop. I strongly believe that Karan went too far when he showed the adulterous couple booking a hotel room and sleeping with each other. And by the way Karan, since when did a SEPTA train start going to Toronto, Canada ?

So, my friends, one more movie on adultery with all the big stars is out there. And Indians can now boast of catching up with the western culture - atleast in fooling around with another's spouse.