whats your problem, mr. gowarikar?

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You used to be able to make interesting entertaining movies. Lets refresh. It won’t take too long. You’ve only made 7 movies. And managed to hit the slippery slope pretty well. But we’ll get to that. At least, unlike Kunaal Kohliiiii, every single one of your movies doesn’t make me want to kill you. Its all changed now though. We’ll get to that too.

The curse of falling in love with your own overtly long movie has been rearing its head since ‘Swades’. A classic signature that the story was not thought through – a last half-hour added on almost as an afterthought (heh!) to make the story go full circle. Of course, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’. By my count a sweet 100 minutes could have been trimmed to make the movie more about Jodha & Akbar, and less about Hrithik getting to replay fight scenes from Troy. And now. ‘Whats Your Raashee?’ 2 minutes shorter than ‘Jodhaa Akbar’. 200 times more painful.

It plays out with the worst of movie-dom. Bad, stupid characters. Bad, stupid motivations. Bad, stupid reasoning to bring 12 zodiac signs into the why your movie?picture (literally!). Bad, stupid timeline. Bad, stupid narrative dialogue, which doesn’t even rhyme (unlike the greatest movie of all time). Bad, stupid jokes which serve to irritate me to no end. Bad, stupid writing making things happen co-incidentally all the time (even Gunda followed logic). Bad, stupid and pointless finale which basically negates the underlying idea of the movie. For e.g. the guy meets with 12 raashees so that he can figure on his ideal one – and finally doesn’t even choose her himself. That was the best you could come up with?

Poor Ms. Priyanka Chopra. Woman-fully trying her level best to infuse distinct lives into 12 characters (why all 12 look the same is actually inventively explained too). And succeeds, to some extent. Some of her characters actually breathe a whiff of fresh air into the proceedings. I couldn’t help but appreciate her quips, her jokes, her accents, her possible acting chops. All of which you, Mr. Gowarikar, manage to completely negate…every singly f*cking one of them. I was never quite sure which Ms. Chopra is talking at any point of time. And of course: Stupid, pointless unneeded songs – I was only enthused by the fact that each one means 5 minutes can be saved by skipping forward.

As far as Mr. Baweja goes, it would be interesting to see him in a movie with Hrithik about clones. Very interesting. I’m not going to say much more. He’s so bland and so useless that he might as well have not been there at all.

I have no idea how some reviewers felt that awesome TV talent was in this movie. Most of them don’t really seem to care that they are there. In fact, even you, Mr. Gowarikar, seem not to care that they exist. Its almost like your thought process ran thus: each character must turn up on screen every 15-20 minutes. And you follow this adage like clockwork. Literally. I timed you. Not much else to do for 3-odd hours. This then takes the form of Harman’s mom first waking him up and then telling him to go back to sleep 4 (four!) times in the movie. Bad things would have happened if my mom had done something like this to me even once.

I read something about you espouse idealism too, Mr. Gowarikar. Really? Your characters espouse being irresponsible ‘coz the family will bail you out – no matter who/what/how. They glorify the NRI culture of post-grads coming to India just for an arranged marriage, marrying someone pretty enough and with a good enough English accent. Every woman in the movie (including the Ms. Chopras) do nothing at all to show they are really smart or independent – they are all in it because they were “forced” (or even fooled) into it or because they want to “protect” the family. Hell, even parents appear to have no other agenda than marry off somewhat-of-age sons and daughters so they don’t have to worry about them anymore. Fuck that, it is a matter of pride for fathers that they have not let their daughters study – but have forced them to learn housework by cloistering them at home.

Time for my rhetorical questions now. Why did you make me want to tear my hair out within the first 4 scenes of the movie? Why was I unable to see any real ‘raashee’ characteristics in any of the goddamn raashees? Why must this movie be 3-odd hours long? Why did you pander to every cliched hackneyed impression of women/spouses from the last 50 years of Indian cinema? Why must songs actually be sung and danced to? Why couldn’t you use some smart cameos? Why are your side stories so pointless and eventually just utterly predictable unfunny gags? Why are you forcing your editor to forgo every single rule about editing a movie? Why are you directing like a 3rd grade kid who must repeat everything in the script out loud? Why did you make me feel I was watching a very ancient socially backward movie-sitcom?

To reiterate: What the fuck is your problem, Mr. Gowarikar?

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14 thoughts on “whats your problem, mr. gowarikar?

  1. Hmmm! Nice review. I’m just wondering what would have happened if I wrote the same review, considering the stereoptypical behaviour I’ve become associated with.

    Dude, whatever happened to Disqus on your blog?

    • SEV

      Re: Disqus – I’m debating whether it is still necessary given that I figured this inline reply thing. Maybe I’ll add a ‘Subscribe to responses’ as well. Read some not so nice things about Disqus too, so haven’t put it in.

  2. kanchan

    Hehehehehhe.. before you strangle me, I want to clarify that I am not laughing at you, just at the review…”Bad things would have happened if my mom..” among others.

    You know what.. “NRI culture of post-grads coming to India just for an arranged marriage..” actually happens quite a lot.

    Ofcourse, I am left wondering – why and how do you end up watching these movies anyway? πŸ˜€

    • SEV

      Why do I watch these movies? So I can write these reviews πŸ˜› Its a vicious circle, I tell you.
      The NRI culture that I referred to is slowly being dissed. People are becoming smarter about it. Except in this goddamn movie.

  3. Rahul

    Good review Satish! I have really not been impressed with Gowariker post Swades either. I agtee with Kanchan though wondering how you manage to watch these movies πŸ™‚

    Btw, do you know how is “wake up sid”?

    • SEV

      ‘Wake Up Sid!’ is actually not too bad – I didn’t feel like killing myself at the end of it anyway πŸ™‚ Its not life-changing or eye-opening in any way, but is light and fluffy enough that you’ll enjoy it. I guess its a retread of DCH, but without the depth.

  4. Thanks for the review, I haven’t watched anything since Swades and Lagaan from Ashutosh Gowarikar and prob it’ll stay that way now.
    I have seen the greatest movie ever made though and will be hunting for a dvd of it on my trip to india next month. πŸ˜€

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