26 Jun 2005

Oka manchi coffee lanti cinema!

Posted by Just a little unwell in Movies | 12:21pm

Let me start by saying that i'm very particular about the taste of my coffee - it should have the right amount of milk, sugar and the coffee extract of right strength / concentration, and the right aroma from the coffee beans used. I'm not so choosy about tea, and i'm more open to accepting it in all its forms - with / without masala, light / dark, less / more sugar, with / without milk...... you got the picture. Having said the above, I had the opportunity to watch this movie which claims to be the equivalent of a good coffee. I know i'm terribly late, as the movie was probably released a few centuries ago. But still - i reserve the right to let the world know what I think of the movie. So, here goes......

The movie auspiciously starts off with a fatal accident as a result of which the leading lady Rupa is orphaned. The purpose of this accident seems to be to drag on the movie for a few more reels in the end. Otherwise, how will they give us a few more moments of suspense? While we sit on the edge of our seats wondering if the girl is going to accept or reject her lover, she is presented with the sorry state of an insane old man, but for which, the 'independent woman' might have as well rejected her lover, despite all the humiliation he went through to win her love. Some 'independence', that!

The orphaned girl grows up into a multi-talented (music, gardening......), pretty, sensuous, charitable and more importantly, an 'independent' woman. And promptly falls in love with a mama's boy, learns that he's one, cancels her wedding with him in the nick of the moment, and breaks into a rain dance. Before that, our hero had already made the entry. He happens to be the son of the drunken driver who caused the initial accident and who then turned insane out of excessive guilt. For some inexplicable reason, the girl's aunt thinks this offender's presence is required at the wedding (which gets cancelled) and sends him an invitation. So the insane old man turns up for the wedding along with his son, who witnesses the cancellation of the wedding. At this, he decides that the girl is his perfect match, wants to go all out to woo her and comes to stay in the girl's out-house with the help of her aunt (who again for some inexplicable reason, wants to help him in his quest). Then starts the story of his constant humiliation at the hands of the 'independent' heroine. And he seems to love it.

Something about the man: he's the weakest and most helpless charecterisation of any hero i've ever seen in any movie. He's dumb, he's clumsy, he lacks any notion of self-respect........ and always has this look of a school boy who hasn't done his homework and fearing his teacher's retribution. He has a penchant for waiting outdoors all night for his lady love, who is preoccupied indoors either with her former lover or with herself.
He'll absent-mindedly soil her duppatta or caress her cheeks or comment to his friend about her rear-end, only to be scolded and intimidated by her in public. About his scooter driving skills, the less said the better. An important role he plays in her life: shooing off stray dogs (includes former lovers - but in this case, his efforts go unappreciated) while she walks about. And who's he? A business magnate pursuing higher education abroad. Nice mix of qualities and qualifications!

I would also like to point out certain visuals that reinforce the image of how things should be (in a feel-good world). The hero steps on her feet by mistake in a dance hall, and they return to their table. Then the sensitive and considerate being in him prompts him to go down on his knees, and take her feet and massage them, in public, if I may mention. And the hero was supposed to be cross with her at that moment. Likewise, the hero has to pillion ride behind his lady on her scooter. But she wouldn't allow him to sit like everyone does. He has to sit sideways, like how lady pillion riders used to sit in the olden days (and even now when they're in a sari). He's heckled by everyone on the road for travelling with her like this. But heck, he gets to travel with her, and is there anything better than that?

Then the important scene where the lady proposes to him (yeah, you read it right). I personally have no objection as to who does it, but the manner in which it is done. She raves on and on about her feelings towards him(till your ears cant take it anymore), and so, he has to be with her (whether you like it or not, dear). Hurray! The plot is coming to an end! I guess what would have mattered (to the movie, it's loyal audience etc.) is her articulation of her feelings towards the guy, more than once (once to him, and once to his mom). Apparently his feelings aren't that important and need no explicit statement. An apt celebration of her independence indeed.

Some positives: music, the dialogues are easy to follow (for someone who's not 'into' telugu movies), and some welcome deviations from movie-making traditions like absense of fights, dramatizing, hero-worship (well, here it would've defeated the objective) etc. It's a sad day for women when their emancipation / independence has to come at the cost of their men's intelligence and self-respect. The coffee's yucky!

(In case you are wondering, the title of this movie is 'Anand', which was released sometime ago)

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