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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

ET REDUX

Watched ET over the weekend, along with family and the proverbial hearth. Am stupefied at how little I remembered, the last time I watched ET was about twenty years ago. I can say with certainty that some force de jure had struck the epic and shredded it beyond description. I was not aware that ET had more hairpin bends and crevices than the San Marino Grand Prix, and was caught unprepared. It was almost as if this flick had been made after Koi Mil Gaya had been unabashedly devoured by Herr Spielberg , which in itself is a horrifying proposition.

My memory of the film was ET was of a nice story told at a decent clip and comprehensible to kids. Adults wisely played little part in it except when the director felt that some sympathy needed to be whipped up in the theatre by ganging up against the evil clique of robed scientists. At that age, one hardly remembers background scores, and I was no different.

But , ( Gulp ! ) now the whole feel was that of the fugacious appearance of a Messiah with roles for the kids and what not. ET goes from being a dishelleved forlorn waif to a charismatic prima donna and a role to play. The protagonist, who I remember as Alan, is now Elliott and his shyness and reticence is replaced by a machismo that is ill becoming, and has a role to play. His little friend is now all over the place and in most frames. His friends are the Knights of the Round Table and now chivalrous, generous and sensitive. There are endless hospital scenes , miles of wires and tubes and the resemblance to a Bollywood blockbuster is complete.

What happened, is my memory playing tricks? Like the B in B, has Alzheimer’s taken its first wavering step?

And now, I have gone on record saying that I liked Rakesh Roshan’s Koi Mil Gaya. For those who know me well, as my family sure does, this is an ineffable sacrilege.
Which is not difficult to conclude given my avowed lack of warmth towards the Hunk, my refusing to accept that Preity could be attractive to anybody anytime, and my abhorrence for oh-so-cute kids. The music was not my type either, so I was very much the Bill Wright under the cosh of my family’s collective ire as I cowered against an unnecessary barrage of truculent digs bolstered by even more unnecessary innuendoes—all during an elongated film break.

So on the topic is –Why do I like Koi…

Q: Are you very impressed with the storyline ?
A: Not really, as we all know it’s a lift off…

Q: Is the H your kind of actor / male lead ?
A: This rule could have had him using Method Acting, After all, H hammed and moreover….

Q: Preity ….
A: Perish the thought, Vamoose, Scram

Q: Those lovable kids….
A: Should be dunked into the nearest water body

Q: The music was quite decent
A: But I did not like it .

Q: The Jadoo character
A: Was cloying

Q: Rekha was
A: Er, I am getting on but still not that old

Q: Vivek Shauq was spiffy as a sports commentator
A: In your dreams… he was a miscast.

Q: Maybe the subtle turns of plot, interwoven textures..
A: RR is a linear director, hence ruled out

Q: Your innate righteousness, which screamed aloud at watching the heart-rending performance
A: Out of frustration.
( Ed: By Golly, people actually believe that bit on righteousness, is it ? )

Q: So what on earth ??
A:Those pretty mountains, blades of grass, sheep, those sunsets

Q: But that’s what you liked about Kaho Na Pyaar Hai
A: Haan, par woh to Kiwi land tha, yeh to hamara Kasauli hai

So the next time I say I liked a movie, you know those directorial depths I have plumbed, that discerning gaze glossing over nuanced tidbits unseen except to the Trained Eye, the maven perspicacity to intertwine Literature, Philosophy , Melody, Mysticism and ……..

















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