Discussions over Tea (Of course, cutting maar ke)

Monday, February 23, 2004

PERSONAL : Movie Bonanza



It's a rare occasion that you get to see two really, really good Hindi movies in a day. And it's been some time coming. So "Ek Hasina Thi" (EHT) and "Khakee" were, in my opinion, a breath of fresh air for Bollywood.
And the credit for that goes to two brothers making their respective debuts. Though the link isn't apparent, EHT was directed by Sriram Raghavan, while the screenplay for Khakee was written by Sridhar Raghavan, his brother.

As someone recently said, there's an urban crowd in India who prefer the slick, no-frills movie a la Hollywood ishtyle. Ek Hasina thi caters to exactly this crowd. In recent discussions with friends, someone had pointed out that Tamil cinema is turning to this concise form of film-making... doling out to-the-point stories with awesome plots and themes. And it's perhaps that influence which prompted Sriram to come up with a movie as slick as EHT. Urmila has matured into a fine actress, used her Maharashtrian background to great effect, while Saif keeps getting better and better. He's come a long way with DCH and now EHT.

Khakee was great in is own way. It's retained some of that melodrama which has been the appeal of Indian cinema over the years, yet has changed to adapt with the times. Amitabh keeps getting wiser by the day and is taking up good roles which suit his age. Akshay Kumar played his role to perfection wandering in the parts of the comic and slackey to perfection. I loved the twishts in the tale and the soup kept getting thicker and thicker as the plot progressed. Which is something you wouldn't have seen about 10 years ago.

Also, 10 years ago, the bad guy tag wasn't something which would be associated with the heroes of those days. To that some credit could be given to SRK with Baazigar, who led the mini-revolution. Now it's a good resumé point to have that kind of versatility, else you couldn't have seen the performances in the abovementioned movies.
Rajkumar Santhoshi has been instrumental in the coming to age of Indian dramatic cinema and Khakee has been a stellar performance.

It's good to see the number of movies which are being adapted to the Indian social perspective. While serial killers and obsessed lovers have been fodder for Hollywood, corrupt politicians and cops have started emerging as the inspirations behind Indian dramatic fiction.

I'd rate both movies between 4-4.5 on a scale of 5.

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