Infinity in the Palm of My Hand

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

LOC

What is wrong with every reviewer? Why does not even
one of them have the guts to stand up and say the
actual truth? LOC is a below average movie and with
all the hype surrounding it, a complete
disappointment. The brave soldiers who laid their
lives for the country and for whom this movie was
supposed to be a tribute are reduced to absolute
caricatures by J. P. Dutta with sufficient help from
his overbloated, incompetent cast. Including inept
actors like Karan Nath, Himanshu Malik, Puru Raj Kumar
(letting him depict a soldier after what he did in
1993 is a sin on Mr. Dutta's part), Amar Upadhyay,
Bikram Saluja etc. is certainly not my idea of trying
to make a great movie. There is not a single moment in
this movie which makes you feel really proud of our
soldiers. All Mr. Dutta really achieves is giving
every member of his humongous cast some footage and in
the process completely destroys the excellent subject
matter he had at his disposal.

Yes, it is true that every character portrayed in the
movie played an important part in India's victory in
the war, but showing one character die every 5 minutes
with the same “Oh mom, oh, mom", "Oh wife. oh wife",
"Oh girlfriend oh girlfriend" dialogues is ridiculous.
And what is even more ridiculous is that every time
one of the "heroes" is shot, even though five men have
already rushed to his aid and have seen the wound, he
still has to give them the mandatory explanation - "I
have been shot". Also, every time an offer is made to
carry a wounded "hero" down to the base camp, each one
of them comes up with the same dialogue – "No, that
would waste 6-8 men, we can't afford that". Yes, I
agree that this is what might have happened in real
life, but in a movie, these dialogues being repeated
10-15 times just bore the hell out of you and make the
sacrifices of the characters seem so trivial. The
introduction of every new character will be given
through another officer commenting "Oh my god, aap
itne bahadur ho, aapko dar nahin lagta?"...it is as if
every soldier other than the main characters is a
cowardly idiot. Introduction of the wives,
girlfriends, mothers etc. etc. is overly long,
completely cliched and very boring. Tell me this - why
do the wives and girlfriends have to be in
stereotypically precise makeup all the time? Also,
when the soldiers are talking to them, it is as if
they are in a Karan Johar movie, and not in Kargil.

There is not even a hint of any effort having been put
into the narrative. It is completely disjointed and
incoherent. In spite of the powerful material, the
script is loose and amateurish. Whenever interest and
emotion are just about to be generated, discontinuity
brings you back to square one. The level of idiocy is
so high that the director actually devotes 30-45
minutes in the second half (yes, the second, not the
first) to remind us of all the wives, girlfriends etc.
The action is so repetitive it becomes boring and
tiresome by the time the main action in the climax
happens. The dialogues are crap. The effort to give
every hero their share of the usual anti-Pakistan and
"I'm brave...yes, I'm brave...oh I'm so brave"
dialogues results in nothing but ludicrousness. Oh,
and yes, there are also the typically stupid
national-integration dialogues here and there. And
whatever is left for the dialogues is made up by the
grotesque and imbecilic slew of obscenities (which is
probably Mr. Dutta's idea of bold realism) and
regiment slogans every other second. The speeches
given by the commanding officers before each major
battle are wishy-washy and generate no emotion
whatsoever (compare this to Sunny Deol's speech before
the main battle in Border which brought everyone to
their feet, cheering and clapping). The Pakistani
soldiers are shown to be a bunch of complete retards
throughout the movie (as usual) and yet, at the end,
Akshaye Khanna manages to put in one line on how
bravely they fought...inanity reigns supreme.

If all this was not enough, here are some glaring
glitches. Night turns into day and back into night
from one scene to another. Bayonets bend when thrust
into bodies, thereby informing the viewers that they
are made of rubber. And even when they do not bend, so
many of them are thrust without drawing even a dop of
blood. Saif Ali Khan is called Capt. Nayar instead of
Capt. Nayyar at quite a few places (where is that
extensive research that we have been hearing about for
the past 6 months, Mr. Dutta?). And the same Saif
blinks after he has dies.

Is there anything good in the movie? Yes...the duo of
Ashutosh Rana and Manoj Bajpai. Perfect casting...
their camaraderie is the only truly entertaining part
of the movie. Ajay Devgan, Abhishek Bachchan, Akshaye
Khanna and Saif Ali Khan are ok too. Also, J. P. Dutta
has managed to get his hands on some very good
resources. He is able to include actual shots of IAF
helicopters and the Bofors guns which give some amount
(however small it may be) of credibility to the movie
(but the excessive mention of how good the Bofors gun
is does get on your nerves). And most of the
cinematography is good.

Final word: LOC is four hours of excessive boredom, a
shoddy piece of cinema, an insipid, sluggish and very
very mediocre movie that instead of being a tribute to
our soldiers, ends up as a grave injustice to them.

Avoid this one. Watch Border (even if for the nth
time) instead.

From Vijay...

I'm waiting for the day he starts writing for a living...very soon, I'm sure...and he'll be very successful, sure of that too...

ODE TO MY TRENCH COAT

Can I just say
I bought today
the most amazing trench coat
cut in the history of civilisation?

Disregard for a moment the occasional
well-dressed Atilla or well-groomed Viking
or even the 18th century sea-faring British captain
and in your nightmare you will vivdly perceive
the man who doesn't dream in technicolor anymore.

At first it seemed improbable
but you can deny no longer
this intense, mocking chemistry
that triumphant arc
between me and this beautiful thing.

I'm convinced it wasn't simply
a narcissistic romance
concerning me and my head;
or merely her, stalling.

She stood there by the anonymous suits
near Giovanni
and in the dim lights
I could hear her whisper platitudes:
take me, she said.

I held back confused
we spoke of neither this nor that
while our neurons locked warily in a kiss
and sparred in a game of wits
until presently conversation meandered
inexorably once more towards
her hips asking me questions.

We then discarded our theories
and for once there were no complications:
no confusion, no torn loyalties
no pregnant pauses, no c-section deliveries
not even full-stops
like this one.

We stood naked
shorn of our defence mechanisms
our one-liners and aphorisms
a few inches apart
touching the screen.

Her lips curved faintly
when i said i would buy her
for what she was worth.

There is nothing sexier
than a private joke.

She's no whore
but admittedly cynical and idealistic;
so I bought her for 4.5 grand.

Tough bargain that
but my, what colour she has!

She's not the blonde bimbette type
an accessory best reserved for your arm;
she's the sort that looks great
when you get in her skin.

She's the sort you want for a muse
when you crave detachment.

She's the sort that is touched
when you write her love poetry.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Coming back with...what else...a movie

LOC is finally here...after months of delaying the release, J.P. Dutta finally brings this huge (both budget wise and star-cast wise) blockbuster to the screens...hope the long running time at 4 hrs. and the huge cast do not ruin this movie, which has some very excellent material to work with...

Have to get back...

...soon

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Movies I watched today

Duck, You Sucker - Sergio Leone's most political movie...a good spaghetti western, but very different from the Man With No Name trilogy...pretty silly in parts but entertaining nonetheless...

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Eric Idle...

What do I say about him...even at this age, he continues to be so brilliant...getting to watch him live was a dream come true...an awesome experience...