Monday, 26 July 2010

Liquor = Madeira

If you are looking for any connection to the Portuguese lowland, famous for its wines, in 3 Idiots (Rajkumar Hirani, 2009) you can forget it.

In the opening scenes of the movie, when 2 of the 3 idiots meet for their reunion on 5 September one of them ask what would they like to drink. Out of the blue ‘Liquor = Madeira’ flashes on his mobile phone.

3 Idiots is like amaranth. It puts you into a drowsy weepy slumber from which you wake up with a feeling of having wasted (some of) your precious time. We sat down to watch the movie Sunday night on Sony TV at 8 p.m. and wound up – after the incessant ads – by 12. Two crucial weekend tasks lay undone. I went to sleep ‘like a guilty thing surprised.’

The plot lines meander, though the humour is good. After a while you begin to lose interest until you are jerked back into the movie after the floods. The ensuing aided childbirth with a vacuum cleaner had us gasping, though it did prove that bookish (read rote) knowledge was no match for a practical crisis.

Two social issues which 3I gets full marks for exposing – 1) peeing in public and 2) ragging in colleges. I strongly urge Sheila to get the MCD to install low voltage charges on all sidewalks prone to being peed upon. This will ensure that the pee-er has an electrifying experience! I tell you, this will bring more results than slapping a Rs 500 fine for doing it in public.

This one move will do more for social and nasal amelioration than all those contraptions Aamir is pottering about with, on the roof of the world. Even so, all is not lost, as kids from Ladakh - acolytes of Aamir – learn to use the current trick to devastating effect towards the end of the film, viz. when Mr suit-walla decides to take a leak against the monastery wall. Finally, it will dissuade beer tipplers even more than the hike for mild to Rs 60.

Reporting on the World Toilet Summit in Delhi in 2007, Radio Netherlands reported that less than 20% of Indians have access to good clean toilets. Let me put it this way – more than 80% of Indians have no place to pee. So 400 crore for the Commonwealth Games come September in Delhi seems way out of line.

Pressure leads to suicide. Pressure from parents, teachers, friends. When a college friend swings from the fan, Professor Virus is accused of ‘murder’ by Aamir in the Catholic cemetery (why Catholic?). Madhavan is in the same predicament. Almost. But his confrontation with his parents (egged on by Aamir) to face his own demons and theirs leads to a most satisfactory denouement. He gets to go click-click—something that he really loves. Though I wish he had stayed a wildlife photographer.

The camera returns to ECU’s of Sharman Joshi as he looks good weeping and is good for the overall effect. But beyond the sentiment, what?

Wasn’t this the second time Aamir had done this since RDB Rang De Basanti (Om Prakash Mehra ,2006) which also starred Madhavan as the dashing (read, crashing) IAF pilot?

In RDB I couldn’t see why they had to hijack the studios of AIR, Delhi to prove a point, and end up shot full of holes in the process. If this was a considered response to the corruption and nepotism in babudom India, it was futile. And ineffective. Is this the example we set for our youth?

RDB celebrated the season of Basant (Spring) and all its colours. We saw 3I in Sawan (Monsoon). What could be the link between the two?

Despite its obvious disconnect between the other two films above – being cult films for the Indian youth - I preferred Fanaa (Kunal Kohli, 2006) also starring Aamir. At least here he is a likely terrorist.

Aamir is good kid. He always seems t be out to change the world. For better. Or for worse. And if he sashays with Shakira for the World Cup finals in Jo’burg 2010, that too the world must know, as he burbles through his tweets.

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (Sudhir Mishra, 2005), set in Bihar starkly sets out in an idiom of violence the imperatives of naxalism – as a more or less viable option. Here too the onus is on college-going youth at Delhi University. Its dismal lighting, dutiful to the needs of the script and its shady characters desperately tried to come to terms with an India that is disintegrating. I liked the film because it had none of the gloss of the later films discussed and called a spade a spade. It was believable.
ECU – Extreme Closeup shot; Pix source; naklinews(dot)com

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