Few snippets that've been lost in the sands of the last few (phew!) weeks -
1. Double deal - I decided to catch up with this fairly well known play. Experience - 4-5 out of 10.
Sandhya Mridul looks very beautiful. But Mahesh Manjrekar acted better. Even if I am the only person to think so - I always got a feeling that both the people are acting at 2 levels - 1. when they are trying to have this continuous conversation in English (I find it normal for Indians to intuitively think in their native tongue and then translate before conversing), and 2. The play itself.
It must be difficult to pull these multi-stor(e)y acts!
Also, its a one-act play split into 2 halves. 2 characters. Talking continuously.
Sense of humor - ok. Sense of drama - average. plot - good. Use of stage - minimal. Use of props - minimal. Characterization - could be better. Background music used- average.
Final comment - Its that one thing you dont want to do for fun when you want to do something for fun.
2. Ghostrider - Again.. Pathetic! Of all the comics turned movies, I have ended up liking X-men and Spiderman. Superman- the older ones. The recent one was not quite there.
Ghostrider is that Ajay Devgan action movie where even if he jumped from the 50th floor to land on 2 bicycles, there would be some B-grade movie watchers hooting for him. And the director would still say - my movie is different. It appeals to a different class of people.
Nicholas Cage, and Eva Mendes disappoint. Cage looks like a doped patient of running-stomach-syndrome. I want to go somewhere but I am too doped to understand where I want to go kinda looks! The devil is useless - does not evoke a laughter, definitely does not scare. Villains are more funny with their frozen white makeup!
Action sequences are basic, stuff that can be seen in every third movie.
High point of the movie - Emraan Hashmi, the serial kisser of Bollywood, was standing next to me in the washroom. And I realized that he is shorter than me (for those who havent seen me, someone has to be extremely extremely short to be shorter than me). God bless Indian Cinema!
3. Chennai - the city deserves a mention. I was in Chennai for 3-4 months in 2003. While talking to Bonnie and Tushar, we all agreed on two things -
a. Anyone who stays here for more than x months, should be a given a certificate of appreciation. X is a function of how far north of chennai the person is from.
b. If you see a beautiful girl in Chennai, then most probably she is a tourist. And its not about them not being good looking. They just dont have the attitude to look good.
In 2006, with probably 60% of educated families having one family member who is/has been abroad, the city is down in the pits with its conservative nature. The autowallahs havent changed in the last 40 years it seems. The roads continue to be messy (though definitely better than Mumbai roads). People on the street still cannot come out of the north-south divide and their biases. Extremely unfriendly. And any johnnie can become a hero down south!
4. Saving the best for the last - Prithvi Theater- Celebrating Poetry. I was there on a saturday when they were showcasing the emergence of progressive poetry. However, the story went back to as far as Bulle Shah, Kabirdas and covered Ghalib, Nirala, and contemporary Nida Fazli sahab as well. Beautiful collection of poetry. Couple of the actors could have done better by memorizing their lines completely.
Final suggestion - The Babbar family kids (Raj Babbar's son and daughter) - they should stay away from theatre. Those who cannot act in movies, will never be able to act on a stage. and especially, if the stage is like Prithvi!