Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
As they sit sipping coffee at a roadside café in London, Radha (Priyanka Chopra) tells Krissh (Shahid Kapur) “sometimes life is a suitcase but you feel like it’s a lunch-box” (or was it the opposite?), and if you are sitting in the audience, you might be forgiven for going “Huh? Did she really say that?”
Be prepared for many such moments during this two-and-a-half-hour film that claims to be an epic love story spanning three eras. Director Kunal Kohli is obviously trying to tell you that love does not change, whether in pre-independence India or London in 2012. If only you didn’t have to watch this film to find out.
Instead, you have to sit through three love stories, and except for the first one, between an aspiring musician and a coy actress, none of them manage to touch a chord. The second, between two Indian students in London uses Facebook as the main plot in their love story, while the third, a long-winded, at times inane tale of two lovers in pre-Independence India is the most taxing of all.
When Kapur’s character, who has been jailed for attacking a British officer, locks the jailor out of the prison and starts dancing and wooing his lady love, you are ready to throw your hands up.
If director Pankaj Kapur hadn’t gone to pains to establish that “Mausam” plays out between the mid-90s and the early years of this century, you’d be forgiven for thinking this film takes place in the 20s — when there was no internet, no phones and no technology. Why else would two, reasonably well-off, intelligent people who obviously have access to technology be unable to trace each other? It makes no sense, and instead of feeling sad for them, you feel frustrated.
That, in a nutshell, is how you feel about “Mausam” anyway. The promos describe the film as an “epic” love story, but the only thing epic here is the running time. The film runs for almost three hours, during which Kapur plays out the same meet-separate-meet-separate theme till you tire of it.
Watching “Milenge Milenge” is like finishing an entire bottle of tomato ketchup. Ketchup that was manufactured a decade or two earlier. So eating it/watching this movie will ensure that a) you won’t enjoy it and b) it will be harmful to your health because the product is long past its expiry date.
This is one of those films that didn’t get released at a time when it should have — that is when Kareena Kapoor’s peroxide hair was in vogue, landlines were more in use than mobiles and sequined dresses were considered fashionable.
If any real-life kids went to the school shown in Milind Ukey’s “Paathshaala”, you can be sure they would hardly get any studying done. Instead they would be busy dancing, singing, ogling at teachers, romancing and participating in reality TV shows.
The teachers in this school aren’t any better — they also sing, dance, wear inappropriate clothes and generally do everything but the things you are expected to do in a school.
Ken Ghosh’s “Chance Pe Dance” is not what you would call an original
film, choosing to tell the age-old tale of a struggling actor looking
for a chance to make it in Bollywood. From the first scene, you can
predict exactly how the story is going to go.
That said, a lot of films do tell oft-repeated tales. But many of them
do it with such panache and imagination that you are hooked all the
same. Like last week’s “Pyaar Impossible”, “Chance Pe Dance” doesn’t
pass this test.
When director Anurag Singh set out to make “Dil Bole Hadippa”, he must have stumbled upon a book called ‘The Big Punjabi Book of Bollywood Clichés’ and decided to put in each one in this film.
As if that wasn’t enough, he has taken elements from every successful Yash Raj film and added that to the film. So you have glimpses of “DDLJ”, “Chak De India”, “Bunty Aur Babli”, “Veer Zaara” and “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”.
“Is it like ‘Omkara’? Because I didn’t like that movie at all at first, but now that I think about it, I think it’s a great film,” she said.