Friday, October 2, 2009

Wake Up Sid - the movie review and other things

Theater: Cinemax Eternity Mall
Show: 10:35 (I guess, it was first day first show)

I loved this movie. I thought I had seen it all with coming of age movies but this movie is "different" - yup. Ranbir Kapoor's character, Sid, has been seen in different Bollywood variants before. He also retains the familiar themes of being a rich spoilt brat, making a mistake only to realize it later, newfound individualism, finding love, etc but yet you don't get that sense of deja vu. The story is predictable yet engaging. The second half drags on a bit with all the love plots around the main characters but everything besides that is just right ... and it's fresh, yeah that's the word that describes this movie perfectly.

After watching this movie, Ranbir Kapoor has made it to my list of favourite actors - I have only watched Saawariya before this and loved his work in both movies. Being good and being consistently good is all it takes to make the cut.
Konkona Sen Sharma looks ugly throughout this movie, she looks even worse in the scenes where she has make up on. That doesn't matter though because that's her role - the old ugly woman, and she fits in perfectly. She can act but I liked everyone else's work better.
Anupam Kher is brilliant throughout and very convincing in all his scenes. I think Supriya Pathak was doing a Kiron Kher in the first few scenes but then lends her own personality to the role.
Sid's friends, Rishi and Laxmi are just like the friends you and me have and I am pretty sure those young at heart will identify with their on screen camaraderie.

Let me warn you that there is very little by way of conventional comedy in the movie, but you can't help not having a smile on your face regularly. The scenes and dialogs are very realistic - kudos to the dialog writer.
Warning #2: A few scenes do poke hard at your tear glands.

The movie starts and ends with the title song and I can remember two other songs in the movie - the soundtrack is brilliant. Amit Trivedi's Iktaara clearly the winner - there are two different versions of this song in the movie but only one is available on the album.

I won't watch the movie again in theater but I think it can be watched again and again when the rights are released for television.

Getting there (A tale of two Theaters)

The original plan was to see the 10 AM show at R Mall. PVR Cinemas used to be my standard morning joint but then they scrapped the 70/- shows two weeks back.

I reached the theater 10 minutes before the show and saw a huge crowd of at least a 100 people crowding around the box office. Finally, when I was third in queue, a couple of cute 8-9 year old girls flashed their broken-tooth smiles at the guy in front of me... and he just let them in :-|
I remembered how fiercely I had defended the sanctity and discipline of "the line" at the University just a couple of weeks back. I had turned away a couple of attractive looking girls and a woman old enough to be my mom, among others. Today, however, I was not sure I would get support in my fight against these two - kids can get away with anything.
And they are incredibly lucky too - the last tickets were snatched up by them.
Not being the one to give up so easily, I called up dad and found out the show timings at all nearby theaters and headed to Eternity for the 10:25 show. We were already 10 minutes late when we got the tickets, some running ensued but when we got in the national anthem had just got over - just in time and good riddance!

Problems at the theater

Ranbir and Konkona and sitting on the terrace and he tells her that he is going to get a job. Suddenly, kaput - a blank screen. There was no announcements from the theater management and we sat in the darkness for at least 15 minutes. This gave me the impression that we would be driven out without a refund. The rest of the (mostly collegian) crowd was surprisingly understanding and there were no catcalls or stone throwing :P
Then the screen came to life but it wasn't where the movie had stopped, it was the previous scene and we saw a recap of what got Ranbir to think of getting a job and then again, kaput at the exact same place! There was a second, much longer delay (maybe 20 minutes).

Irritatingly, the Cinemax theater management did not even care to inform us of what was happening and if/by when they expected the problem to be sorted out. They got the scene right the second time but then there were issues with the sound system, some scenes had a terribly high treble sound that added a nails-scratching-the-blackboard component to the already loud sound. This is not the Dolby experience I had paid for.

Problems outside the theater

I came home and the new channels were flashing news that the MNS had agitated against the use of Bombay in the movie instead of Mumbai. Raj Thackeray says that I should be offended and my sentiments are hurt. The producer, Karan Johar, dropped in at Raj Thackeray's place to submit his personally apologies and promised that the offending references would be replaced with the right word.

Perhaps we, the Marathi manoos, should also be offended that Raj Thackeray's kids study at the Bombay Scottish School. So what's the plan Marathi mansano? Wake up!