Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
You cannot help but compare the last film of 2011 with the first film of 2012. Both have a lot in common — “Don 2″ and “Players” are both heist films, both borrow heavily from Hollywood movies and have their share of over-the-top cheesy moments. There is just one thing that sets “Players” apart — there’s a lot more action in this one.
Director duo Abbas-Mustan make sure there’s plenty to keep you on the edge of your seat, and even though the film drags on longer than it should, you are still not looking to bolt from the hall.
Borrowing from the premise of “The Italian Job”, “Players” tells the story of Charlie Fernandes (Abhishek Bachchan), who plans to rob gold bars worth billions of dollars while it is being transferred from one country to another by train.
He enlists the help of hardened criminal Victor Braganza (Vinod Khanna), who helps him put together a team of a hacker, illusionist, make-up artist and Riya (Bipasha Basu), Charlie’s trusted partner in earlier crimes.
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.
I’m going to keep this one short because there’s really not much I can say about Anees Bazmee’s “Thank You” that I haven’t already said about films of this genre – in other words, the “leave your brains at home” films that we seem to churn out with alarming regularity.
This one seems to be a re-hash of Bazmee’s earlier “No Entry”, which at least had a couple of nice songs and some funny moments. This one has nothing but offensive dialogue, bad jokes and even worse acting.
As the end credits rolled in “Aisha”, I noticed that the credits for stylists/designers and clothes sponsors never seemed to end. That should tell you something.
This is a film that is a lot like the characters in it – very very pretty, but, as a character in the film says “very shallow”.
At one point in Punit Malhotra’s “I Hate Luv Storys” one of the characters tells another to just follow all the clichés and go for it. That could well have been Malhotra’s motto while making this run-of-the-mill love story that drags on for what seems like forever.
Malhotra seems to take every single cliché you can think of and insert that into his film – while pretending that this is a different love story. Boy who is commitment phobic – check; girl who has an overdose of pink in her bedroom and believes in love at first sight – check; Hate turns to love – check; Boring boyfriend – check. IHLS is definitely not big on the originality factor and you know how it is going to end. You just wish the journey to the end was pleasanter.