Written December 2014
Yes, there I admit it! I went and saw MAMR that too at a movie hall– how could I not? My life changed after IPK, I owed it to anyone and anything related to IPK – err well, to be honest still have to dredge up guts to watch anything by Four Lions 😛
Coming back to MAMR – watching it seemed doomed riight from the start – BS went on 40 days leave leaving us free to tear our hair out (upon which I blame all my hair loss) but on the other hand – Khulasa was born and so was Dahlia)
Then the movie wasn’t releasing, phir it kept getting postponed, then the teasers, the cringe-worthy ‘Yaar bina chain kahan re’ dance of BS, the orange ASR with the focus on his face expressing emotions as only he can – the roller coaster days of IPK was back and I couldn’t wait to see MAMR on the big screen.
But company was in short supply but I finally managed to tie up with a fellow IPK fan, her three-year-old toddler and babysitter (who had never ever seen a movie in a hall!)
The count down began and I began scouring the net for halls screening MAMR – to our utter dismay, none of the nearby halls were screening it! Or they were late night shows, which didn’t suit us.
But dekhna toh tha hi na?!
We scanned the list of movie halls screening it and finally with great trepidation zeroed in on a hall and booked tickets online (btw the transaction failed after the money was deducted! But then thankfully the booking guys called back instantly and helped book the tickets).
D-Day dawned, grey, gloomy, overcast, drizzling and freezing but we the intrepid inured IPK viewers wouldn’t let something like that get us down would we? No siree – not even when I discovered that my dear friend was driving (on the right lane) with the petrol tank on reserve for the past two days, speaking in soothing tones exhorting me not be such a worry-wart with her hands off the steering wheel while one after another petrol pump passed us by.
Heart in my mouth, eye on the murderous Delhi traffic, a snap on my lips to stick to the left lane, our luck finally took a turn for the better – I spotted the turn for our elusive hitherto unknown mall and a petrol pump alongside –without any mishap and 20 minutes before time!
Thank you O merciful Devi Maiyya!
Giggling and squealing we rushed through the milling crowd, dust and drizzle into the safety of the mall. Ahh there was the ticket counter!
Could we have the tickets please and an extra ticket as well for the baby sitter? We requested excitedly and out of breath.
The helpful girl scanned my mobile, “Please go upstairs and check if the show is still running,” she dismissed us.
“Check if show is still running?” we looked blankly at each other.
“Yes, possibly the show has been cancelled,” came the indifferent response.
“What!” we looked at each other in consternation and dismay – did she have any idea hum kitne papad belkar yahan tak pahunche hain? (Trust me – what I have described above is just the tip of the iceberg – the rest of the behind the scenes saas-bahu drama to grab a day of freedom under the cloudy skies has been brutally censored in deference to the weak-hearted and lily-livered).
“Nahiii aisa nahi ho sakta,” we screamed in unison and dashed upstairs jostling for space at the crowded security check at the mall entrance.
But there were more hurdles – the lift decided to take us everywhere except the fourth floor (mostly to the basement – probably trying to give us a gentle hint) repeatedly. Undeterred we got off at the third floor and negotiated our way to the top floor through the unfamiliar deserted fourth floor.
There was a repeat performance at the counter where the ticket guy sent us further inside to check if the show was running. One guy spoke very crisply into his walkie-talkie asking us to repeat the name of the movie and then mumbled vaguely unhelpfully, “Maybe let’s see, may run a little late, may be cancelled, we will compensate – watch Action Jackson (eekss).”
“But why!” we moaned.
“There should be at least 10 people watching the show,” was their bombshell.
We looked at each other in horror our hearts sinking – not even 10 takers for MAMR.
A steely determined glint came into my companion’s eye even as her daughter tugged insistently to go to the play area for toddlers – agnipariksha dekar hazaar bandhan thod kar aayi hai itni aasaani se haar nahi manne wali thi woh – she would buy 7 more tickets, she whispered triumphantly, BS ke liye itna toh kar hi sakti hoon!
Impressed by the fanatic gleam in her eye, another Bond boss spoke into his walkie-talkie and then nodded reassuringly, “It’s running.”
But by then being the eldest of the group, I was having second thoughts about being the only viewers in a hall – kuch gadbad ho gaya toh! Was it worth the risk? Prudence warred with fanomania – but then what if?
We hung around our Audi waiting for more audience but in vain. Twenty minutes later than the scheduled time for the movie, the hall opened for viewers of MAMR – three of us (not counting the little one), one man with a huge tub of popcorn and another couple – oh and the usher was a female – Yayyy the number of females outnumbered the males.
We rushed to occupy our seats and almost instantly, after a brief commercial on No smoking, we were off into the much-awaited world of MAMR!
Now onto MAMR – The good, the bad and the ugly
Without a doubt – Barun Sobti aur kya? Need I say more and I will stick to only good because, he was seriously under-utilized in the first half and hardly present in the second half.
Now, having said that, I am free to rant, am I not?
Everything from start to finish
I wont bore you with the storyline, many others and betters have described it in great details here and elsewhere – I will just focus on the bits that completely put me off.
The movie starts with a monologue and a self-introduction by the accented, polished and for the most part, expressionless Aliya – Aila!
Worse, the endless movie ends with another long lecture – I forget about what.
Isn’t that like against the very basic tenet of storytelling – show don’t tell?
And as Sukhi himself lets the cat out of the bag – Aliya and her friends are the most boring bunch of people on this earth – none, I mean no one has any redeeming feature (though I did feel a teenie weenie bit sorry for the dumb blonde’ who had the sense to fall in love with Sukhi much before Aliya did)
Picture this – at the drink and confess scene in an attempt to bring a spark to the lives of Aliya’s ‘boring’ friends – dumb blonde declares she loves Hridaan (aka Sukhi) – her boyfriend walks out, Aliya follows the friend to console him and cheer him up, “Don’t feel bad, she doesn’t mean it, she is drunk, she loves you,” she urges fully accented and emotionless.
“But I don’t love her!” he snaps, “I have feelings for you!”
“Ohh! Why I never thought of you like that!” she says mildly interested.
“Well perhaps its time you thought of it?” he swaggers forward and leans towards her.
Obedient to his suggestion, she thinks about it and allows him to kiss her and they land up in bed.
After three months, Aliya and the guy finally talk it out and accept that they don’t have any feelings for each other – just attraction! So best to go their own ways but of course remain friends forever – can you beat that?
Well you don’t need to because they beat their own record – over and over again.
The movie was just over 2 hours long, of which at least (if not more than) 30 minutes was on audition/screen tests of the most frightful bunch of non-actors (remember Rang De Basanti? At least that was central to the plot) who added nothing to the story yet took away a lot (including my hair which I can ill afford to lose).
And to top it all Sukhi’s character was all wrong. I mean who sends in a portfolio picture of his handsome best and then turns up for the audition in a weird Salman hairdo wearing a loud dress? AND when some casting director offers him a role to die for provided he toes the line, he runs away just to avoid getting his lustrous locks snipped? I mean WHAT THE!
There is more – The love of his life appears in the middle of the night, dead drunk, climbs up a rickety ladder (still carrying the bottle of alcohol) after screaming herself hoarse and waking up everybody else but Sukhi (but then he is a sukhi happy go lucky guy who doesn’t believe in losing sleep over his lost love). And what does he do after she lands up in his room, wakes him up and tells him she misses him or some such rot?
He tells her to go home, she obediently walks towards the window but he helpfully guides her towards the door and then immediately dozes off allowing his ‘love’ to find her way back home in the dead of night and in her condition.
What is so endearing or lovable about such a guy? That he eavesdrops on other people’s conversation? That he broke up their friendship and wrecked their marriages? Or that he flicked a dupatta from an unknown lady just so that Aliya could visit the Gurudwara (btw the ‘self-confessed hyper control freak who ditches the almost perfect guy because he has something stuck in his teeth after a meal has no compunctions about draping a dupatta worn by someone else? I am by no means a very fussy person but even I would draw the line at doing so – wouldn’t you? Besides, I couldn’t help being distractedly worried after Aliya and Sukhi decided to serve at the langar – what happened to the dupatta dammit – did it go back to the rightful owner or did it hold a place of honor in Aliya’s perfect home in memory of that day? What about the owner of the dupatta, how long did she continue to wait for her dupatta? Could she afford to walk off without it? Answers anyone? I need closure dammit.)
That reminds me – I need closure on another issue. At the baby shower, the reluctant ‘fiancé cum to be father’ generously offers to marry his ex-fiancé as he is finally ready to bite the bullet and give up his freedom for holy matrimony and impending fatherhood. But by then she wasn’t in a mood to get married, so she politely refuses but instead offers him the opportunity to raise her child along with her – they would have such fun! She smiles happily at him.
I couldn’t help but wonder what the coming baby would have to say about their fun at the cost of his illegitimacy? The making of another Lawaaris perhaps?
And finally the Ugly
There are several, but I think I have gone on long enough and don’t want you guys to tear your hair (or mine) out so I will limit myself to the icing on the cake.
Aliya barges into Sukhi’s apartment without so much as your leave, where he is lolling about on the bed bare-chested. Naturally like any decent guy he turns around and fumbles with his shirt and what does she say (in her accented superior long-suffering tone) “Rehne do – tum nange hi achche lagte ho.”
I desperately need to throw up.
We tramped out of the sleazy movie hall from an equally if not more sleazy exit infested with mosquitoes. The babysitter declared she had never seen a more ghatiya movie in her entire life while the little one was kinder. Mazaa aya, she insisted. I guess I should have taken a leaf out of her book and followed her to the loo during the movie and not the break 😉
What about you?