Tees Maar Khan; Main Aurr Mrs Khanna; Dhobi Ghat; & fim awards



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Ab dil karta hai haule haule se mein toh khud ko gale lagaoon
Kisi aur ki mujhko zaroorat kya mein toh khud se hi pyaar jataoon

Now my heart feels that I should hug myself very gently
why do I need anyone, I can [make] love [to] myself

(from the song “Sheila ki Jawani” or Sheila’s Youth in Hindi/Urdu & English.)

I have written favorably about Farah Khan’s film, “Om Shanti Om,” as compared with the Arbaaz Khan production “Dabaang.” However, Farah’s third film “Tees Maar Khan” left much to be desired. It was bad.

On the TV program Koffee with Karan, she was asked how she would rate her intimate life, and her reply was that with the triplets and the time directing the film (Tees Maar Khan), there was no time for such indulgence. Devoting time to her children is understandable, but time spent directing the movie was a bit tough to accept as the film gives an impression that it is an orphan, with no director. How can a person, who previously gave two good masala movies (the other film was, Main Hoon Na), come up with such a disaster? Two possible reasons may be:

Both her previous films were produced by Shah Rukh Khan, who was also the main actor in the films. Shah Rukh is a very meticulous professional and takes great care with his films and so he may have kept a critical eye on all aspects of the films.

Or the other reason could be that she thought she didn’t have to check thoroughly the dialogues and the script of Tees Maar Khan as they were written by her husband and his brother and she trusted them implicitly.

The only positive contribution the movie has made is through the above song that seems to suggest that it is not only acceptable but desirable for a woman to seek romantic satisfaction from herself without the need of a man. The song sung by the versatile Sunidhi Chauhan and performed by the extraordinarily charming and beautiful Katrina Kaif made the message have an even greater impact as she openly glorified her self-sufficiency in the bedroom. This will no doubt encourage to lot of women to do the same and not rely on, or wait for, a man: a truly revolutionary and liberating message for some of its South Asian audience!

Main Aurr Mrs Khanna
From left to right: Kareena Kapoor, Sohail Khan, and Salman Khan. Wikipedia

Recently when my internet connection was down, and with no new reading material around, I decided to view a DVD of the 2009 film “Main Aurr Mrs Khanna,” which had been highly recommended. Sohail Khan co-produced and acted in the movie. His brother Salman Khan plays the male lead. Watching it, however, was a very painful experience because the film was utter nonsense. It was particularly agonizing because their father Salim Khan used to co-write stories, screenplays and dialogues with Javed Akhtar, and has contributed to some highly memorable films. Although the Salim-Javed written films were not art/new wave/parallel/independent cinema, but they were enjoyable nevertheless, with witty dialogues and great entertainment value, and so I had expected a much better film.

The Khan family is a very close knit family and so naturally I wonder why there was a gap in quality; was it due to the sons not showing the script to their father for review and guidance, or that the father didn’t want to interfere with his grownup children’s business. Whatever the case, in the future, for the audience’s sake, it would be recommended that they get together and discuss the entertainment value of the story, script, and dialogues before embarking on their next film adventure.

Dhobi Ghat

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This is a movie people interested in good films should find time to patronize. “Dhobi Ghat” is a low budget, high quality movie directed by a first timer, Kiran Rao. Her superb direction, aided by Gustavo Santaolalla’s pleasant music, beautiful photography, and fine acting by actors, particularly, Monica Dogra (Shai), Kriti Malhotra (Yasmin), and Prateik Babbar (Munna) make this 90-minute film a memorable experience. Malhotra’s video diaries are touching and heart rending without unnecessary melodrama. The characters look and act real and the entire shooting for the film was done at locations in Mumbai that, according to Rao, forms the “fifth character” in the film.

“Dhobi” means a washer-person and “dhobi ghat” means the place where the clothes are washed. In South Asia, dhobi ghats are still common. The dhobi ghat shown in the film is in Mumbai and is considered to be the world’s largest outdoor laundry.

Film awards

The awards and recognition for brilliance in any field is a good thing, but when too many institutions, film magazines, and TV channels start churning out awards, then the whole exercise turns into a commercial spectacle in the already overly commercialized world. In India, the first film awards were introduced in 1954 by the Indian government and the Filmfare magazine as The National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards, respectively. The Filmfare awards are the Indian equivalent of the US Oscar Awards. But since the 1990s, so many new awards have cropped up in India that it now looks like a cottage industry.

Recently, the Stardust magazine held its annual awards ceremony. Its nomination list was very interesting because it had tried to include as many people as possible. Just in the acting department, they had altogether nominated 48 actors and 43 actresses under eight different categories:

Superstar Of Tomorrow – Male/Female (6)(6)
Breakthrough Performance – Male/Female (6)(6)
Stardust Searchlight Awards – Male/Female (5)(5)
Readers’ Choice Awards Comedy/Romance – Male/Female (5) (6)
Drama – Male/Female (6) (5)
Thriller Action – Male/Female (7) (5)
Star of the year – Male/Female (5) (5)
Best Actor/Actress In An Ensemble Cast (8) (5),

It seems like all the actors and actresses, except the retired and the dead ones, working in the Hindi/Urdu film industry had been nominated. This is one category related to the acting department. For other departments too, they had nominated too many people.

Maybe, they don’t want to displease anyone. In addition, keeping good relations has its benefits too–you can always approach the film fraternity members for photos and interviews, to fill up the magazine pages, which, as the award recipients, they’ll be hesitant to refuse.

B. R. Gowani can be reached at brgowani@hotmail.com

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