{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Not so bad !

I saw KANK yesterday and I must write about it asap because it is one of those movies which you forget soon, and with all honesty that I can gather, I must say it is not a bad movie that I thought it would be, given the big constraints it has, it has Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee - together, its directed by Karan Johar. As in one of the interviews, I heard SRK saying that it is Karan's most mature effort. Actually it is, and the most honest too. This honesty at times tips the movie to the other side which Karan Johar may not have even desired. Those of us who have seen Karan Johar movies (or its types) know that they are shot with excesses, everything is much more than required, the great Indian family throbs in every frame, love is too pure to handle, movie runs for hours, SRK overacts, every frames is lush green or blood red - color coded, excesses everywhere, and when it come to what we call substance, they have passionate confessions of love to parents or lovers and excessively choreographed songs. There is no denying that KANK has it all. We also know that a Karan Johar film is a cliché extended for hours. Given all that the question may become how well rounded the cliché is, but it is also not the case. So when I say KANK is not bad, what I want to say.

First of all, KANK has some decent performances, mainly Preity and Abhishek, it may not make the film any good but balance the Rani Mukherjee tear tub drill. I stopped hating (that doesn't mean that there is any love) SRK after Swades and here too amidst all the mandatory overacting, he gives moments, and more than that he is not a god here, he is ordinary man, a bit abnormal too and people may say (as the girls sitting behind me said), he is a loser, and he remains so till that supposedly happy ending. And here comes that honesty bit I was talking to before, to show his lover such a loser, bad tempered soul, KJ shows great courage. Perpetually irritated SRK is an opposite to his good old charms that irrirated us for years. KJ does suffer from Substance Syndrome, but at times he delivers too on a commercial scale. There is another bit about this honesty part, the spouses are not only shown loving their partners but their sides are presented equally, if not well. Actually when Preity Zinta slaps SRK (yes, she do), the whole theatre burst into clapping, this might not be the response KJ expected. Actually KANK puts Abhishek and Priety's arguments against the monumental Chopra's hogwash of love, reason against emotions, and in an unintentional, almost self destructive way, puts that evertrusted love in despair of disbelief, even KJ's reel romance looks anti-romantic, although in the later part of the movie, director tries to undo the damage but fortunately it was too late by then.

Apart from some good jokes that go to Abhishek, the humor is KJ types, lot of butt jokes and toilet sort of humor, its cheap but it works for me. At one point SRK's character even says something like "cheap is good', I totally loved the scene following it, it's cheap and done is bad taste, but it works for me. Actually, these are not the things that pain me in KJ type movies, its their smugness on paper-thin wisdom that kills me. 2/3rd of KANK is manageable in that respect; it has its paper thin wisdom but not so much of smugness. Its the last third where Rani Mukherjee starts to cry to dehydration and director starts giving her every filmic toy to console, the film drags and drags and at last SRK and Rani weep together (Rani's cry is inducive) and the film eventually ends. Is this film really a mature film, yes, for KJ, its really so. It is naive if one says that it shows honest efforts of saving marriages, but it does work to some extent if one says that it shows such efforts fail, surprisingly so.

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