Saturday, February 21, 2009

Crazy and Beautiful

Dev Dhillon is a spoilt punjabi kaka. His dad owns a sugar mill and is loaded. Parminder Kaur (alias Paro alias Chammak Challo) is the manager's daughter. The duo is madly in love and have every intent to get it on, marry, have children and continue to live on the sugar mill campus for ever. But destiny has other plans. As in the original, Paro and Dev never get together and Dev goes off on a drinking spree. He goes on his psycheldic way to perdition, doing bootleg drinks and drugs. He is thrown into the room of Chanda by Chunnilal who is her - as she succiently calls him - 'bhadva'.

The movie begins by delineating the stories of Paro, Dev and Chanda and then leaves us to follow Dev until he is done sowing his wild oats. The movie bows to the new generation (finally) and lets us know that they all experiement with sex, hot chatting, nude pics, porn. This does not mean they are depraved. It just means they are learning about life and how to cope with it. While parents just want the kids to discover life via the route they did, parents deciding the career graphs (what to take in 11th - Med, Non-med or Arts), pointing them to a career (doctor, engr, papa ka business, yaa phir nalayak bachchon ke liye Call Centre) , finding a girl/boy for them (Savita aunty ki beti, Puran uncle ka ladka), a lavish wedding, two cute kids (hopefully boys or atleast one boy one girl) and the kids are on a giddy spree through a life of their own, plotting things for their own children.

But Paro, Dev and Chanda have taken life into their own hands. They are spirited and can think for themselves. They are clear about their own sexuality and look bemused at the term - virginity - which is such a prize for the older generation. They are not interested in being 'Good'. Hence they turn into interesting characters, even if they are careening about, clueless about what to do next. They stop being characters and become metaphors of all that is restless within the human soul. Because, without this restlessness, we would never have seen progess and would still be living in caves.

The performances of all the three leads is superlative. Mahi Gill is perhaps way ahead of the rest with her uninhibited act as Paro. At one time, she is on the verge of tears and fighting to control herself. She presses her palms against her face, and the veins on her forehead stand out. It was a magnificent act. Even the glimpse of her taking off her bra to cater to her boyfriend's wish for a nude pic. Sadly, despite her fire, she is the first of the trio to go under, kowtow to tradition and marry an older man for security, love and money, even if it is to spite Dev.

Kalki looks perfect as a schoolgirl whose life spins out of control because her boyfriend was a such a creep. She is suddenly put in a tight spot and spends some time trying to get the situation in hand. Funnily enough, she finds security and identity as Chanda in a brothel. Here she can earn her keep during the night and study during the day.

Abhay is the hero and the quintessential questless man of this saga. He is content to drift and let things happen to him. I dont know if I can label him as a good actor, but he doesnt make any jarring moves, so I guess I can say he melts into the character. All Dev knows is that he needs more daru and more daru and wont say no to drugs either. It is Chanda who jolts him out of his self absorption. That and an epiphanic moment when he is this close to death.

The movie kicks away the model of heros and heroines as perfect characters. These are three normal people who make their own decisions and come back from the brink of sure perdition.

Despite the criticism meted out to it, I loved the music and wanted to pick up a cd right away. I want ALL the songs, not just 'emosonal atyachar'. They are all played out in the background, almost substituting the background music entirely.

A friend of mine said that if Anurag Kashyap took the same team and tried to re-do the movie he wont be able to make the same kind of thing. It is so unique that it just cannot be replicated. Here is a no-holds barred look at life.


  1. Ava, You too take a bow. Not cuz that U loved the movie but for a different approach to the review. I mean, the gist was that only; making your own decision. And I had missed that part totally. Everyone relates some way to the movie.

    I remember that scene of Mahie. She reminds me of Tabu... Check her mujra song in upcoming Gulaal. I have that in my delhi-6 review link in the end.

    Music criticized? when? where? I do not know anyone criticizing the music. Either they have not heard any apart from 'attyachaar' or if they have heard then they absolutely loved it. Anyways, like you I want all. And my favs are Nayan Tarse and Pardesi. I get almost weak in knees when the guy says, 'Laage Meetha Meetha Chadeya Bukhaar Hun'. Divine.

    It cannot be replicated. Not by the genius himself.

  2. Oh!!! so loved it...hmmmm

    Am still watching it though :D no reason per se...

  3. Vee, the girl is great. Not than anyone was un-great. Whether it was Kalki or ajay or any of the sideys.

    I flipped totally over music, but forgot to get a cd. i was in a hurry then. kal jaa kar le ke aaongi. but if i get a cd i dont know how to convert it to mp3 n play on my player.

    I was reading Bombay Bitch and she had critisized the music.. saying emosonal was the only good number. She was soooooooo wrong.. i have stopped reading her.

  4. Oh yes Smita. It was an honest movie. Still watching it??? Dont get that

  5. heya Avz

    The movie sounds like a good idea ...
    I remeber when i first heard the emotional atyachar song .. i was travelling some place .. heard it on the car radio .... couldnt stop laffing ...

    Great revu ...

    Still gotta watch the movie

  6. The songs are picturised like a dream, Pirate.. you should see it

  7. Vee.. I also wanted to say something about DevD's goggles. agar common blog banta hai to wahan discuss karenge

  8. Have not got to see the movie yet...recession has made a cynic out of me :-) but Ya, heard the music (other than emotional atyachar and I just love it (incidentally the Band is known as Patna Prisley so my in-laws are kind-a worried about the image beating Patna is going to take on account of the song!)

    Nice review. Kind of gets me in the mood to watch the movie.

  9. Prabhash, Thanks.. the songs are really stupendous. the way they are used is sooo good.

    I totally flipped over the movie.

    Yes even I thought Tauba tera jalwa was more bihari than punjabi.. but chaloo. a magnificent song.

  10. Fir se Ajay... (in comments)... Hehehe koi na..

    That wont be a problem.. I will tell ya..

    I stopped reading Bombay Bitch the day she ridiculed Zoya for LBC..

  11. superb review ava .... a lot of reviews i've read have been so ambivalent ...... so many movies to watch, none being screened here booohooo

  12. cp, we face the same fate with hollywood movies :) only the action stuff comes by. hum sirf revu padhte reh jaate hain.

    vee.. cant edit the comments you know.. let it be known ajay=abhay. dunno itni bhayankar galatphemi kyon ho gayi..

  13. I tagged you here-


  14. Abhay is the Bollywood version of Johny Depp.
    Awesome review of a milestone movie, though you did not mention few other aspects like the twisted dark humour, sets, typical Anurag Kashyap elements etc.


  15. uhhhhh good to see you here !

    Thanks for the visit. I know I lack a lot in my writing :( If I were any good, I would be published in some good newspaper.

    Sometimes I feel we bloggers are just a bunch of losers.

  16. nice review.. havent seen the movie yet, but u r review makes me want to c the movie !!

  17. Ava, I loved your commentary about choosing kids choosing career path. I identify with your comments.

    I have told my parents several times, let me make my own mistakes, dnt stop me, just be there to hold me if I fall. This simple statement, even though I had no plans of debauchery, was a source of great distress to my parents.

    My family surely loathes the movie, but I liked it. It takes courage to portray your lead character as a loser, responsible for his actions, and yet manage to make him seem as human as us. Given a hitch or chance or a quirk of fate, anyone could end up like Dev.

  18. Daz- You should see this. I am quite a fan of Anurag Kashyap now :)

    Poonam - So true. Anyhow, I have observed that children will go and have their own experiences anyhow. Isika naam life hai .. :)

  19. I adored the soundtrack as well!