Sunday, November 19, 2006

Of (Re)Done Dons and Blond Bonds...

I wrote the title, and laughed for two seconds to be precise, and then tried repeating "Blond Bond" six times in my head. Try it out!

These days I am walking down the writer's block. When treading on such a path, I am left with one of the two: either I use bullets or I review. I choose the latter. Not like it matters too much. There are gin-chunke-chaar people who read this blog.

1. Casino Royale (2006)

Much has been said about the new Bond, and it wasn't all good to begin with. The media has a field day everytime there is a change in the accepted image of someone considered a public icon. Com'on media even makes a big deal out of Britney's new hair colour. I think thats what happened to the new Bond. He was analysed endlessly, so much so that even people who are immune to reviews, become quite skeptical when they walk into the theater.

So how does the new Bond compare with the old ones?
To quote good friend S, while Sean Connery was the cold cynic, Roger Moore was intelligent and fun, and Pierce Brosnan was the suave sophisticated variation, this one is the raw smouldering human variety. Different, yes. But then every Bond is.

I personally call Daniel Craig the beach bum version. Daniel Craig has got brawn, he is blonde, and he can act. The wide shoulders are a tad uncomfortable in the tux, but looked quite ok ordering the Vodka Martini. Beer would have suited him better though.

As far as the movie goes, I quite liked it. I didn't miss the double-entendres and the space lasers, which the last few had an excess of. But what I did miss is the gadgety Bond-mobile. Seriously, the car could have been given a little more air-time. This Bond runs, rarely does he drive.

The narrative, I must say, is a little unevenly paced, and there is a little too much romance. Brawny bond hopelessly in love is slightly difficult to digest for me.

With this, we come to the part where I unnecessarily rate:

Plot: 5/5
Action: 10/5 for that freeriding sequence at the beginning. 2.3 for the rest.
Daniel Craig: 3.7/5
Eva Green: 4, I guess. (I love the way she says "This lift is not big enough for me and your ego to fit together)
The other Bond girl: 1/5.
The villian: 2.3/5

Overall: 3.8/5

2. Don(2006)

The premise for my review of Don has been set in the previous review. I think we are merciless when it comes to Indian actors, and Indian icons. Far more protective, far less tolerant, borderline jingoistic. What worked with the reinvention of Bond, did it work with the reinvention of Don? I dont know, you tell me. I personally didnt mind the movie too much. In fact, it was good timepass-paisa-vasool.

Unnecessary ratings, first:

Plot:5/5 (of course - to the original Salim Javed script)
Plot variations: 4/5 (Innovative, takes guts to reinterpret)
Kahani me twist: 4.8/5 (Indeed)
Fights: 4.0/5 (Matrix meet Jet Li meet God-knows-what)
Car chases: 3.5/5 (Niiiice)
Locations: 10/5 (KL, Langkawi, will send you pics if you want. Visit Malaysia 2007. Visit Singy while you are at it)

Don the metrosexual: 3/5 (Nobbad - Don v2.0)
Don the bumpkin: -25/5 (Never seen a more unconvincing Banarasi Babu)
Priyanka chopra: 2.8/5 (Very Lara Croft)
Isha Koppikar: 1/5 (Wasted, no item number either)
Kareena kapoor: 0.002/5 (I believe in giving some marks for effort, would have stretched it to give her a 1, but fat arms. Sigh.)

Overall 2.9/5

Much has been said about Shahrukh Khan for the title role. Of course he would have never fit into Amitabh's shoes- Amitabh is a tall man. In my opinion, the movie didnt need an angsty male actor, it needed a superstar. Moreover, it was time for Don to be reinvented. Farhan Akhtar did the urban metrosexual version, and I don't think he did a bad job of it. So, cut him some slack, wouldja?

The last ten minutes hold the crux of the movie. The end reflects a paradigm shift, perhaps. Seventies were different, in the noughts, the good guy doesnt have to live at the end for you to like the movie, or for the movie to sell..
* end spoiler*

Monday, November 13, 2006


For the angsty writer that I have become, today, I write because I am uncontrollably happy. Unadulturated happiness, this. So much so that I want to record this moment, before I grab the closest box of tissues and start sniffling. I used to be a die-hard romantic, and this is a resurrection.

Today, I came to know that the one that I thought was least likely to do so, and has rescued his fair princess and eloped.

So TG and his missus, yes, the one with the complicated name, congratulations, and here's wishing you a happy-ever-after.

And the lucky few who witnessed it, trust me, I am so jealous of you.

Once again, congratulations to you both.