Sunday, March 14, 2010

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? After-thoughts

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? alleviated my fears which were seeded in me by My Name Is Khan. My Name is Khan was more than just a movie. It restored the belief that India is still a secular democracy where, by and large, people have freedom of expression. It could not cowed down by the extremist groups. My Name Is Khan also marked the beginning of a change in the content of Bollywood movies - or so i thought. I thought that if mainstream masala movie directors like KJo have started making movies touching serious issues like disabilities, human rights, discrimination on the bases of race/religion, then who would make the all important tree-hugging, loud-farting, eye-dripping, hand-pump-pulling and short-term-selective-memory-loss movies? I was silently prepared for extinction of this great art. I even planned to start save-our-movies campaign on the lines of save-our-1411-tigers.

But, then, I watched Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge. And my doubts about the extinction of 'Bollywood' were nullified.

The trailer, or even the poster, is so apt that it tells you the story in such details that after watching the movie you will not find anything which you didn't predict. However, i was deceived by the star cast. With formidable Paresh Rawal, Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen Sharma in the movie, i was hoping against my intuition that the movie would be 'different'. But the movie was not.

The movie, as you can make out from the poster, is about the 'adjustments' the Mumbaikars, Puneet (Ajay Devgan) and Munmun (Konkona Sen Sharma) and the villager Chachaji (Paresh Rawal) make when he comes to Mumbai to stay with them. As expected, the initial resentment by the city-dwellers is converted to affection by the 'idiosyncrasies' of chachaji. The clash between the city life and the village life which we are all very well aware of was the theme of the movie. Chachaji's reciting of bhajans instead of playing recorded beats, bringing anyone and everyone to house for snacks, demanding 4 course meals and interfering too much in the matters of family members brought out the features of villagers. However, his pure-at-heart and helping attitude win heart of everyone.

The movie is decently paced. The comedy, though predictable, would make one laugh out loud. Like characters in typical Bollywood movies, Chachaji had some 'trademarks'. Chachaji gurgles out loud in the morning (by village standards - which is equivalent to mid night for most city dwellers and time to go to bed for some call center executives). Chachaji doesn't believe in 'sursuri praan ghatak'; he patronages 'uttamam dhadhdhadhaat paadam' [If you didn't get this, you may want to revise the 3 Idiots shloka]. This leads Munmum to run around in the house with room freshener.

The music is decent - neither outstanding nor torturous. The acting by all the actors was apt and is the best part of the movie. The innocent and light-hearted comedy is good - in case you like such comedies and not the sarcastic, situational comedy.

Overall, it's a very average, very predictable, shallow-laugh-eliciting Bollywood movie. And am happy for it.

Bollywood is still alive!


Nalini Hebbar March 14, 2010 at 6:34 AM  

should keep it for some mundane Sunday afternoon...thanks

Anonymous March 14, 2010 at 10:02 AM  

lol!! i liked the part where u thought bollywood is no more alive especially with movies on syndromes etc.

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