Sunday, October 15, 2006

Back to the future - Remakes ka Zamana hai

"Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin na mumkin hai" Shahrukh hams these immortal lines the front benchers in Sangeet theatre show their consent by a loud round of sonic whistles.Nope this is not a scene from a shady CD theatre in the by lanes of the old city but the reactions to King Khan's latest venture's promos being screened in a popular Hyderabadi theatre.Remakes,like item numbers, have become an integral part of Indian cinema.Ever since Shahrukh stammered and hammered his way to box office success in Devdas ,Bollywood directors have been flocking to the classics to remake them.So we have Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay,Farhan Akhtar's Don and very recently Jai Santoshi Maa. Waiting in the wings is the ice maiden(you will agree once you see her acting) Aishwariya Rai giving us her version of Umrao Jaaan.The Khan brothers,Sallu,Sohail and Arbaz are planning to make Amar Akbar Anthony,Anil Kapoor is trying to reincarnate Mr. India and Subhah Ghai is remaking Karz.
I am not against remakes but what I am definitely against is an excess of them.I already shudder at the prospect of Mithun Da re making all his movies.Bollywood like everything else in India always tries to take the easiest way out.If a love story is a hit we have a deluge of love stories ,if an action film is a hit we have bare torsoed heroes chasing rowdies ,if a sequel is a hit we have sequels galore and the list continues.What avid movie lovers like me want are good movies like Dor,Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Rang de Basanti.It was an Herculean effort to grow out of the eighties nineties' formula movies ...making an entire generation endure the pain all over again is not only unfair but down right cruel.As I type this my roomie tells me that Dev Saab is planning to re make The Jewel thief with himself in the lead....what next Rajnikanth remaking all his Tamil movies in Hindi?God save Bollywood.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Numbers Game

Nature has an affinity for certain numbers and unknowingly they become a part of our life. There are two numbers which play a prominent part in our life and rarely do we think twice about them. One of them is three.From the holy trinity to the third umpire; three is a number which is as frequent as the strikes in Bengal.
Christianity swears by the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Hinduism has its Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and the "Three Lokas".Lord Brahma has three faces whereas Lord Shiva has three eyes. There are the three Musketeers and the three stooges, there’s the Good the Bad and the Ugly. Baseball has three strikes whereas basketball has a three pointer, cricketing decisions are referred to the "Third umpire" .Even Charlie's Angels are three in number. We have three dimensions. Newton postulated three Laws of Motion (even Asimov postulated three laws of robotics).Even the greatest epic of the 20th Century, Lord of the Rings was in three parts. Our national flag is the Tri color. Counting to three is common in situations where a group of people wish to perform an action in synchrony: Now, on the count of three, everybody pull! Have you heard of a three piece suit and what about the third finger gesture? India is a third World country, S.O.S is also in three. The most glaring example of "three" is our planet Earth; it’s the third planet from the sun. The three blind mice, the three men in a boat, the three wise men,land-water-air,examination durations are of three hours, any Tom,Dick or Harry the list is endless. So three cheers for "three".
The other number is seven. We have the seven seas, there are seven colors in the rainboow)remeber VIBGYOR) and seven musical notes. We are in seventh heaven when we are happy. A week has seven days and who hasn’t heard of lucky seven? There’s the seven year itch and what about the seven deadly sins. There are seven continents on planet earth and according to Shakespeare Seven Ages of man. The Harry Potter Series has seven books, Lord Voldemort has split his life in seven horcruxes and we have the Magnificent Seven. The greatest of them all James Bond zero-zero- seven. The number of openings into the human head are seven(mouth, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils).In Hindu weddings the bride and groom take Seven "Pheras"(rounds) around the fire and if you are an amateur astronomer all you have to do is gaze at the sky and you will spot the seven sisters. The world has threes and sevens galore, so dear friends give these numbers a second or should I say a third thought .Life indeed is a numbers game.