I never thought I would be writing on a movie anytime soon. But watching two movies, in otherwise uneventful day, with contrasting box office records set me to do some analytics. It’s true- we Indians sometimes perplex ourselves.
‘Namasthey London’ was the one which type proclaimed Akshay-Katrina as the ‘working’ pair in Hindi industry. But in this one it has been difficult to make out what really worked for the film. The movie takes liberal digs at the ‘firangis’. Akshay takes a study class for them in Hindi on our glorious culture. Then comes India v/s Britain rugby match where Akshay makes a run like Theo Walcott and wins us the trophy and saves our honour. As if these are not enough to make you sink deep into the sofa there is a dialogue in the very end ‘I know English better than you. But don’t get confused I am a Punjabi at heart’.
Have you noticed, we have been casting pathetic, homeless, wreaks of Englishmen as the British aristocracy. The hooker women dress themselves in basic lingerie to do a dance at pubs while our Indian heroines seem to have a superior fashion sense. In the end the wayward, Uppen Patel, learns a leasson on culture and religion from Akshay and he returns home. Katrina takes some longer time to come into senses. In the end all is well. Bottom line: We haven’t got over the East India Company attitude.
But what baffled me was- why did this work while Delhi 6 didn’t? What went wrong fundamentally?
Rakeysh Mehra has a problem in conceptualizing his films. The flaw was there in RDB and became all the more evident in Delhi 6. In RDB liberal dozes of patriotism and anti-institution feeling bailed him out. ‘Monkey man’ is too light subject to connect with mindless religious fanaticism. Cinematography failed him miserably in the movie. Some sequences looked worse than kiddie flicks. I think the producer saved a lot of money as the movie didn’t move out much from the same lane and same house. Delhi was shown very briefly when Bachan goes for a quick tour. Was this shot in Delhi at all?
Both in RDB and D-6 Rakeysh has shown that his main strength is the strong, unique and to an extent eccentric characters. In D-6, they turn out to be witty and simple minded. But at times, I felt they were painted a few decades back and seemed to have stepped straight out of 80’s movie. To makes matters worse towards the end, Rakeysh made the movie (which was running in a unique track) too B-woodish.
I still don’t think these are reasons enough for the movie to bomb. These would have been the flaws no one would have bothered if it had been a hit. The script was very strong. The characters were introduced at right time thus turning the ebb and flow of the story. Then there were powerhouse performances from the cast. When the music was released, I had an apprehension that it would drag the pace of film, which didn’t happen at all. Altogether it had a message and I was glued to the sofa till the end. This should have worked.
Still we humans are a mystery.