Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bollywood, Tollywood, Don, Bile and Pontification

There are times when the urge to pontificate overtakes one. To be truthful, the urge does overtake be rather frequently. This is one such time. Therefore, without much ado, I proceed to pontificate.

There was once a nice, quaint commercial Bengali movie industry. I do not use the was qualifier because the industry has disappeared. I do so because the sad fact is that it is no longer nice, quaint and entertaining. Also, I do not intend to express the view that all fare produced by this erstwhile entity was stupendous. Even during the its better days, Tollywood, (as it was called during those days) would produce its share of horrendous, tolerable, nice and lovely movies. Now they are just cheesy and embarrassing. The reason why they are so is rather simple. From being a original and Bengali affair, it went on to become a poor man's Bollywood -- a pathetic wannabe for the consumption of the tough eggs who craved for some Bollywood action the Bengali way. They are very bad Hindi movies made in Bengali. That is all I have to say about the Bollywood Tollywood thingy.

I just happened to watch Don a few days back, and am sorry to say that I found the movie to be rather horrible. I can envisage the Nike heeled, lovers-of-Anurag-Mathur hissing in anger at such an unfair judgement, but let me assure you that it truly is a bad movie. You just do not realize it is bad because you are the target audience -- the semi-literate tough eggs who speak in bad and broken english and who want some of that Hollywood action the Bollywood way. For you, it is a good movie and so you may calmly un-hiss.

Now I shall proceed to unship some advice for the benefit of the nitwit who is the scriptwriter for the cinematic abomination that is Don.
Dear Scriptwriter,
When you proceed to write the script of a movie in a particular language, you are assumed to posses a fair command over the language. Thinking up witty lines in English and then, mindlessly translating them to Urdu or Hindi does not make a witty line in Hindi or Urdu. For example, the direct translation of "You forgot to say please..." in Hindi does not make a witty line, it makes a tardy one. The same could be said about "I might just change my mind about you." I could have cited numerous other examples but I really did not think the movie was worth paying attention to. If you cannot think in Hindi or Urdu, I would advise you to write scripts in English. Please do not burden us with your pidgin Hindi. It is jarring.
Yours faithfully
A Lover of Hindi Movies

There are and will be paeans sung in praise of Don the movie -- on the high production values and how cool it looks. The truth however is much sadder. The movie is what it is --- It is a cheap, cheesy, outlandish and laughably bad Hollywood movie. The only difference is that the characters happen to speak in very bad Hindi, very much like the bad Tollywood Hindi movie in Bengali.


Aparna said...

You are really disturbed...:)
I ahven't seen it yet...Jimut warned I feel I should just go in with zilch expectations...maybe i'll enjoy it...

Dinesh said...

Despite all the warning I watched Don and I was made to watch Dhoom-II. I have discovered marriage cuts down the choices you can make. I would have no problems with SRK and others if we could co-exist peacefully in separate worlds. But when their lives threaten to disturb serenity of my life, backlash is inevitable. And I promise it will be delivered unadulterated.

Tanushree said...

I was made to watch an SRK movie recently with the lure of free tickets (KANK!) But this time even that lure could not make me go to the theatre to watch. Am glad I didn't go, judging by this review and all others I have got about it. Thanks!