Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sarkar-Raj, and unforgettable dialogues

I drove an hour and forty minutes last Saturday to watch Sarkar-Raj. The gently swaying Minnesota prairie, fed by recent rains, was lush and beautiful, and it was just as well that I enjoyed the drive. For the movie, while it had some drama and a decent plot, was disappointing. I have to agree with Namrata Joshi’s stinging critique in Outlook India:
The support cast is nothing more than a gallery of caricatures complete with a gloved hand killer straight from the Hollywood slasher films. What was the need to have him there? It’s such gimmickry that irritates. Specially in Verma’s stylistic and technical flourishes. Extreme close-ups, angular shots, monochromatic palette, loud background score, deliberately smart lines, wordplay, the constant confrontations and tension—he goes on an overkill with it all. A lovely Mumbai slang that aptly describes the film—thakeli. It’s deadbeat, dull and dreary.
The villains are pretty hackneyed in the movie. They contort their faces, smirk, act idiosyncratically, and generally try very hard to convince us they are very, very bad people. One of them – and this might well be the funniest bit of the movie, though unintentional – says something along these lines:

Omlette banane ke liye anda phodna padta hai.” (To make an omlette one has to first break the egg.)

This profound, cryptic and richly metaphorical remark refers to Abhishek Bachchan (in the movie the son of the powerful Mumbai politician, Sarkar). Abhishek is apparently is the egg. Later the same villain makes a further remark that that bad guys will become the masala (spices) in the omlette.

What are we to make of this?

But dialogues like this are a delight too – they are so ridiculous they become the very reason one watches certain Bollywood movies. I have to confess that I regret – because of the excessive travel I’ve been doing this year – not seeing Race, which had this gem:

Zindagi ki race me insaan ko ek saathi ki zaroorat hai.” (In the race that is life, one needs a companion.)

Oh, I’d give anything to hear this uttered on the big screen!

1 comment:

vinayak shetake said...

Sarkar......only amitabhji