Thursday, December 29, 2005

Annoyed and Pissed Off

I don't know if it is just the end of the year blues or something more serious, I have been feeling extremely annoyed, angry and pissed off with everything for the past few weeks. I am trying to "inhale positive energy"* wherever I can but I think they are in short supply these days or perhaps I send out too many negative vibes to people who spread positive energy all around, which might well be the case.

So imagine my anger and the depth of my helplessness when I read something like this. The first atrocity (now, I am all for freedom of thought and choice, even for the stupid people but...), Richard Corliss, the film critic for Time selects Bhansali's Black as one of the best films of the year. Next comes another, far more mind-numbingly tragic atrocity. A stupid asshole of a journalist goes to Bhansali and asks him, "sanjay, kaisa lag reha hai?" to which our Sanjay modestly replies, "main kya kahoon"! I felt so sick, I almost puked on my keyboard.

Corliss had earlier selected Devdas as his number one film of the year expressing particular fondness for the "fabulous frocks and the people who fill them" while adding the fact that when it played at the Cannes film festival earlier that year, he was the only international critic who stayed till the last minute, many of whom were masochistic enough to sit through the nine-minute rape scene and worse acts of violence in the French shock-merchant Gaspar Noe's Irrerversible (which is, by the way, as abominable as anything Bhansali has ever made, but far more inventive). Derek Malcolm saw through all this at the same festival and pronounced it to be "a pretty silly three hours worth of romance, song and dance, and utterly tasteless - if luxuriant - production design. Not fit to lick the boots of Lagaan."

My problems with Black are simple enough. It uses the plight of a blind-mute girl and an ailing old man to tug at viewer's heart-strings and extract cheap emotional response from its viewer without enlightening him about human condition, about love, about bonds that keep two people together or makes one dependent on another human being or even how should disabled and terminally ill people be treated. It was kind of an unreal special-effect movie meant for audiences who like to shed a few tears to clear their lachrymal tract and then feel-good about having got their money's worth (paisa-wasool movie). Anthony Lane in his New Yorker review of 2046 called Wong Kar-wai's style, "visual dictatorship". I wonder what he would have to say of Bhansali's style. Wong's dictatorial style at least forces you to see things from a new perspective, although it remains strictly his perspective (to which I don't have any problem) not like Bhansali; whose idea of a good visual design is to mug the senses, and not to stimulate them. He has himself admitted to this in an interview. And then he had the gall to say that he was inspired by Kieslowski to make Black. Fucking asshole. Give me the camp and kitsch of the incestuous clan of Chopras and Johars anytime than these mindless fucks of these phony bastards who call themselves artists.

A few readers have complained that I never write about Indian movies here. Well, here is my token bollywood post. Happy now?

*Over to Anurag who will explain everything about positive and negative energies.


P.S. I have never used swear words in any of my posts, that is until today. But then, I have never written about Bollywood before.

13 comments:

Richard Gibson said...

'Irreversable' - that was a pretty tough to watch. This director is new to me.

I loved '2046', I think it's one of my favourites of 2005, if not the favourite. Actually I don't think it has been a great year for cinema.

Alok said...

Actually in the sheer quantity and variety of good films that came this year, I think it has been quite a good one. Although there were not many stand-out masterpieces which you will remember in a few years from now...

I liked 2046 a lot too. It should be somewhere at the top of my list!

Anonymous said...

Well Alok this might sound as effrontory but in my opinion you seem to be a hopeless snob!!!!
who is unnecessarily arrogant for all these hackneyed comments copied from here and there . I have never seen any trace of originality in whatever you write here.You seem to be full of negative and hopeless thoughts which are due to wrong interpretations of whatever you read or whosoever you seem to follow..... you don't believe in God because you read Richard Dawkins , you don't read popular books because common people also read it (hey man you might have had best of education or you might be a genius but as far as a mortal like me can think of , any sane person knows his insignificance in this universe , isn't this what even Kafka meant in your favourite story 'Metamorphosis') any person who is happy or smiling makes you mock at him or her because according to Kafka life is a journey full of hopelessness and helplessness ......
The only reason i prefer spending my time at this blog is because it definitely has some good references to some really genuine stuff!!! Because you might be an arrogant person but you definitely read some really beautiful literature.

kuffir said...

aapne mere muh ki baat cheenlee.. bhansali is the worst thing to have happened to hindi films since..joginder..
and yes, a happy new year to you !

kuffir said...

hey, i didn't notice what anonymous said until after i posted my comment.. but i'd like to know what anything he says has got to do with an incisive and realistic, in my view, opinion about bhansali's crap..

Madhur said...

dear anonymous, why dont you use those lit references to your advantage, instead of leaving silly rants on a good blog? you are merely projecting all your negativity onto this blog and its owner, i'd suggest you read all that 'beautiful' literature referenced here, and it may in good time come to pass, that there is nothing 'original' in this world. (read the post on nabokov's pale fire on this blog).

The moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.
--Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

p.s - and life is hopeless and absurd, when you don't confront it you give birth to evil but obviously you can continue to exist in denial and watch the schlock-kitsch-schmaltz of brand bhansali.

Alok said...

Anonymous: Thanks for the long comment. I have never claimed to be a "critic" with "original" views of my own or had any illusions about my "place in the universe". I am on firmer grounds here than you imagine! btw, do you like the film Black? You didn't say anything about it in your comment!

Madhur, Kuffir: Thanks for leaving comments and Happy New Year to you All!!

Alok said...

Madhur:That Pale Fire reference was interesting but don't take me for Nabokov or Kinbote ;)

I am just a lazy hyper-linker with a fast internet connection!!

Anonymous said...

Alok , wish you a very happy new year , hope you grow up and gain a little more maturity to appreciate other people's (common and ignorant people , from you and your friends' perspective)....
to be very honest , i myself did not like Black , but what really annoys me is your total disrespect for other people's tastes and interests.....
Anyways thanks for replying to my stupid comments , i will never again pollute this useful blog with my comments......

Satish said...

I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes.

You are well on your way to personify these lines. While you may be correct in your self righteousness, to think what you know is correct as you know it is supported by the greats of literature. But the swear words do not emphasize your meaning, they only shows yourself at a loss of words. Your inability to express and channelize your disrespect/anger.

A happy New Year

Alok said...

Bhaya:My friends forsake me like a memory lost
How did you bring this in here? Man, you get me even more depressed now :(

Anon: Thanks. Will Try.

bhaya said...

Those lines will become relevant when you will pursue your self righteousness too far... remember youdhistir in Mahabharata.
I think it is your self righteousness (self knowledge that u r correct in criticising Bhansali) by which you can justify to urself the use of swear words.
I support your saying that black wasn't a masterpiece but not the expression to convey it.

Alok said...

I support your saying that black wasn't a masterpiece but not the expression to convey it.

I was in a bad mood. sorry. ;)