Naksha

Turns out that pesky inner voice was right – for soon after, there’s a noisy dance number with Ms. Reddy in what looks like a sequined langot, as Mr. Oberoi goads from the sidelines: “Shake what your mama gave you!” Oh, the horror, the horror. And the scene that follows is worse. This performance was apparently for someone’s bachelor party; Sameera is revealed to be a friend of the fiancée, and she shook what her mama gave her simply to expose the groom-to-be as a skirt chaser. And when Viveik comments that she’s a strip dancer, she retorts, “Main yahaan strip karne aayi thi. Lekin mere kapde nahin. Sirf tumhare is plan ko.” With spectacle like this and with dialogue like that, I didn’t know whether to cover my eyes or my ears as the first hour went about its apparent task of desecrating every single movie memory of mine.

Times like these, I pity the professional movie reviewer’s job. He heh!

Munnabhai

IFRang De Basanti were to become a whimsical, fairy-dusted comedy, I guess it would look like Lage Raho Munnabhai. The Aamir Khan blockbuster told us that we’ve forgotten those who fought for our freedom, and this one zooms in on one particular man who fought for our freedom – it tells us that Gandhi-ism is such a thing of the past that adhering to his ideals today will get you branded a crackpot.

The similarities don’t end there. In both Rang De Basanti and Lage Raho Munnabhai, a key sequence involves the commandeering of a radio station, both films depict a reenactment of phases of our struggle for Independence (here, it’s satyagraha), and both coast along the messagey undercurrent that there is a way to draw today’s generation out of its cynical apathy. Only, Rang De Basanti went about it through shock treatment, while Lage Raho Munnabhai advocates a cuddly equivalent of the jadoo ki jhappi, this time rather cheekily labelled Gandhigiri.