Saturday, May 24, 2008

Holy Offspring

First, there was God. Then He decided to go the family way, so in came the Son of God. They could have named him Jesus. But why Jesus? Why not Jimmy? Eventually, a spiritual and sophisticated 'Mahakshay' was decided upon. But when the apparently low name-retention capability of the masses and ubiquitousness of the Akshays in Bollywood was put into persepective, this was further reduced to a bisyllabic suave 'Mimoh'. Result? A star was born.

So, with much pomp and celebration arrives... <insert applause here> Mimoh Chakraborty - Son of God, riding Daddy's launch vehicle aptly named Jimmy in loyal reverence. And when the faithful subjects demand entertainment, Mimoh, fortunately, does not disappoint. Much like the original Son of God, Mimoh as Jimmy wears long tresses (and carries a mean stubble too at oddly intermittent intervals in the movie), heals (parches the dry throats of loyal movie-goers deprived of Mithun classics for a few years now), performs miracles (flies over parked cars in fight sequences) and strives for social welfare (works as car mechanic - or automobile engineer as is referred to in the movie - by day and serves the nocturnal common man as DJ by night). Mimoh, in fact, goes a step or two ahead. He pumps himself up on a two-steroid-servings-a-day diet and break-dances away to glory with inspiring music by Bappa Lahiri (son of a bejewelled almost-God himself) playing in the background - two feats that were almost surely not performed in the era of transition from BC to AD.

Another point of note about Jimmy is that it tries hard to be a good movie at times. Rather than letting Mimoh's strong-as-stonewall (where 'strong-as' is silent) acting capabilities carry the movie on its shoulders, the makers try to make it classier than it seems by incorporating random usage of the English vocabulary in the dialogues. So, the effective Hindi lines are liberally interspersed with profound angrezi words like 'bloody', 'shit' and one reference to the 'human body' and its 'limit' of bardasht. Of course, it does elevate the movie from a bourgeious status, but my grouse is that it allows Mimoh to be overshadowed in a scene or two - and that is simply not acceptable. So, even as Mimoh delivers a fine performance scene after scene, he does so in the wake of fine attempts of thunder-stealing by two members of a supremely talented support cast - Srivallabh Vyas (Major Baig from Sarfarosh and Ishwar, the wise old villager in Lagaan, if you must recall) and Zulfi Syed (whose only claim to fame yet is that he worked out in Khar Gymkhana when I was a member there). Mr.Vyas comes into his own in a fine display of anguish and when he screams into Mr.Syed's face "You are a Rejected Person!" (followed by an echoed rendition of the same line for emphasis). A minute or two later, Mr.Syed grabs the spotlight with both hands as he bellows into Petite Heroine's face, "Do you think I'm a Rejected Man?" He follows that up with four repetitions of the same line in the exact same tone to ensure that Petite Heroine hears his question correctly. When that too does not elicit a suitable reply from the lady, he goes to the extent of modifying the sentence construction one last time for her convenience. "Do you think I'm a Rejected Person?", he roars, this time in clear reference to Mr. Vyas' aforementioned line. My personal grouse aside, I must admit, it is magical screenplay like this that couples with Mimoh's presence to elevate the movie-watching experience that is Jimmy.

Final verdict: Jimmy is a must-watch for all God-bhakts. Especially on a weekend with friends and ample alcohol to go around. Mimoh may not win National Awards like his father if he continues to act like he has in Jimmy, but he does show glimpses of what-could-follow with lines like "sir... baap kabhi marta nahi. vo hamesha apne bete mein zinda rehta hai". In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holi Spirits. Amen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To Tee or Not to Tee

In an interview on Tuesday, US President George Bush claimed that he quit playing golf in 2003 out of respect for the soldiers (the ones he has sent across) who died in the Iraq conflict. For some reason, this piece of information was found to be newsworthy. I would agree to an extent - information of this quality would most certainly befit the comics section. Picture this somewhere between the Peanuts and Mandrake the Magician strips:
Tony Blair: George, why have you placed your golf ball on that cup of capuccino?
George Bush: You Britishermen might like to tee, but we Americans prefer coffee
Tony Blair: (slaps head and topples backwards)

Coming back to the news item, I suspect there's more to Bush's quitting golf than meets the eye. Something dark and clandestine - some truth as enigmatic as the one that he has managed to survive two Presidential terms. My suspicions arise from two statements in the article:

"The US president traced his decision to the August 19, 2003 bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad..."
"Bush's last round of golf as president dates back to October 13, 2003, according to meticulous records kept by CBS news. "

What I perceive as the actual turn of events:
Aug 19, 2003: Bush golfs. Sucks at it. UN headquarters in Iraq is bombed.
Oct 13, 2003: Bush finally finishes the 18th hole after playing the same game for 56 days straight. Bush's scorecard reads 13,084,839,204 over par. His caddy collapses. Torn scorecard is found that evening in the garbage dump by local sweeper.
Oct 14, 2003: Caddy is laid to rest in solemn funeral. Cause of death: Severe exhaustion and over-exertion. Local sweeper is laid to rest in solemn funeral. Cause of death: Asphyxiation due to excessive laughing.
Apr 09, 2006: This blog is created. (Unrelated, but what you care?)
May 14, 2008: Interviewer asks Bush if he thinks the 'war on terror' is being fought the fair way. Bush replies intelligently that he is no longer familiar with the fairway since he quit playing golf in 2003 out of respect for dead soldiers in Iraq. I find reason to blog.

What? That could have happened.


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