The Bard would have approved…
Omkara. Othello in Uttar Pradesh. Fantastic adaptation. A deep understanding of the characters and an appropriate indianization is the strongest point of the film. Followed by a brilliant background score by bhardwaj himself. Poignant and racy, raunchy and subtle at the same time. The Shakespearean drama, theatrics and larger-than-life scenes lend themselves beautifully to the dialect. The Dog analogies from Othello are brilliantly woven into the script. The names of characters are an intelligent adaptation. Othello is omkara, while Iago is Ishwar (aka langda) tyagi. Desdemona (played decently by kareen kapoor) is dolly mishra and the coup de gras is Emilia (played effortlessly by konkona sensharma). Cassio turns into kesu firangi (veivek oberoi).
Subtle details are what make this a fantastic film. The racial discrimination is tangentially brought in. and so is corruption and the mafia in UP. The dialect is authentic and crass. I personally LOVED the gaalis and have been using them liberally, post the film. Horrible dirty gaalis. My favorite one is Betti-c***. Its sooooo cool.
I could go on and on about what a nice film it was. But it doesn’t make sense. So let me just talk about what I didn’t like about the film. The pace is slack at some points and you are bound to get distracted. Ajay devgan, albeit very good, is a little ‘blah’ in some scenes. A little effort would have helped. Saif has done a great job overall (coming from a saif-hater like me!!) but is a bit too urbane and stylish in parts (like the first scene when he holds the gun like a cowboy from a Western). It takes a while to warm upto him. Bipasha’s costumes are SO WRONG, its not funny. And she is too stylish and hip to pass off as a UP dancer. But the raunchy music manages to overshadow it in most scenes. Oberoi is not victimized enough, like Cassio should have been. Kareena does a decent job in most parts, but is her annoying self in some (like when she is swinging and chiding kesu). But then who else could have played it better?
The songs are superb, though. Authentic UP dance numbers, thumri influence in Namak and beedi is clever. The lyrics are haunting in other numbers. The favorite being Naina. Been listening to it all the time.
But the BESTEST is konkona. Her costumes are brilliant and her body language is unbelievable. The accent is PERFECT and the way she uses her eyes to convey mischief and anger is fabulous!! The scene when she donnes a feminist avatar is a strong and moving scene. So is the naughty remarks she keeps making all through the films. I died everytime she said ‘aye khayn’ in a very vernacular fashion. Loved her to distraction.
Jahan chaar yaar
The shack last night. Two nights of clubbing in a row. Not nice. Friday was chuddi-buddi’s budday. So bogeyed at Poison. Hated the place. Too cheesy for my taste. So made up with 10 pints of beer. *sheepish grin*. I mean come on, they played Fanaa!!! Help me!!! To get the cheesy bit off my head, shack more than made up for it. Decided I will not drink much, and stick to breezers! Got me one, then promptly switched to Bacardi-coke. Hehe. Was to drive back. Worried, but decided what the hell. Did a bad job of it, but got home, what Can I say?
Happy birthday Mr. Aristera
Singing a la Monroe, been a year now since I started blogging. Stopped twice, made a big deal out of it on both counts. Hehe. My bong friend doesn’t call me ‘Naika-posto’ for nothing! Love blogging. Its very addictive for sure. It is incestuous but I have come to terms with it.
Books aur hum
Recently finished reading Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar. Don’t know what all the fuss is about. I found it racy and pulp. No big deal, it was. Hmpf!
Lately learnt the art of reading numerous books at the same time. Am currently reading Nagarkar’s Cuckold (literary snobs also approve of this… one of the few books they think are decent from India… lets see), Memoirs of My Melancholic Whores (Marquez disappoints, sorely), Premchandi ki Kahaniyan (in hindi, hey raam, my vocab has gone to the dogs), the cirous incident of the…. (long title. Forgot! But it’s a fantastic fantastic book), zadie smith’s On Beauty (though I think its just average and a hetro version of Hollingurst’s Line of Beauty… but I may be wrong).
Have decided that I want to read Machiavelli and Arthashastra. God help me.