Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The RGV and Bhatt Film Factories

For a long time, RGV has been churning out one competent movie after another (to those miserable souls who watched Mr Ya Miss, I apologize; I am yet to watch that particular monstrosity). Although it is my opinion that the quality of movies produced from this particular 'Factory' has been declining steadliy (Company was a poor man's Satya, while Sarkar was not a patch on Company, despite bravura performances by both the Bachchans; let's not even mention The Godfather here!). However, one has to admit that most movies that come out under his banner are reasonably competent. Darna Zaroori Hai, the heavily publicized sequel to an earlier flop venture under the RGV banner, is competent as well. However, the twists and turns are often predictable.

I would rank the Randeep Honda story (directed by Chakravarthy who starred in and as Satya) the best by a comfortable margin. It boasts of some fine acting by the actors, and a couple of genuinely spooky moments. The Bachchan story, directed by RGV himself, has the big B and Ritesh Deshmukh putting in decent performances (Bachchan managed to startle me thrice, despite me promising myself every time not to be taken in again!). However, I found the ending really abrupt, and as a result, not eerie enough. The whole prelude episode, directed by Sajid Khan, was sorta nice as well, with the RGV protege taking generous digs at his so-called guru.

However, after these stories, thing go terribly wrong. The Rajpal Yadav (who hammed crazily) episode was amaturish and pretty dumb; the fact that it starred Sunil Shetty did not exactly help. The Bipasha Basu episode was predictable; even more so was the Anil Kapoor-Mallika story; believe me, a Murder-ishtyle lovemaking scene with Mallika in her usual skimpy costumes (and Mr. Hairy Kapoor most definitely fully clothed) would have helped that particular tale a lot! The worst of the lot, however, was the story connecting all these pieces together, and that is what screwed up the movie for me. The dadi trying to act scary (rolling up her eyes and all that crap), and the kids trying to act smart (why do kids have to be so damn pesky in all Indian movies!!!!) destroyed the effect completely.

And then we have the Bhatt camp, who have been quietly churning out decent filmi flicks (albeit flicked from Hollywood most of the time) month after month. This team has assembled a crew of low-profile professionals who go about their jobs quietly, without any fuss. As a result, the camp has produced some of the best music in recent times, some halfway decent flicks and a serial-kisser to boot! Emraan Hansini is a shrewd performer alright; he knows enough to underplay his roles, makes sure he gets some great songs and promptly kisses the heroine in most of them - as foolproof a plan to box-office success as you can get! The latest movie from the Bhatt camp is Gangster, and it does beat the RGV release by miles, I have to admit.

Supposedly 'inspired' (I know, I know!) by the Abu Salem-Monica Bedi angle, Gangster narrates an engrossing tale with debutante Kangna, Shiney Ahuja (who makes a complete transformation from the fantastic Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi) and Emran Hansini all putting in fine performances. The music rocks, and so the scripts takes enough twists and turns to hold one's interest.

Verdict: If you can watch only one movie a month, then Gangster is it - enjoyable masala fare.

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