Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Edit Madhuri out of Aaja Nachle

What was Madhuri doing in Aaja Nachle? It might require more soul searching than NRI Madhuri Dixit can afford. I suppose the writer and director of the movie could answer the question. But had they, rather HE, had raised the question at the onset, Madhuri wouldn't have been there. She wouldn't have flown in to give interviews on Karan Johar Koffee show or judge and dance in Nach Baliye. Maybe after the movie was made, Madhuri could have been edited out.

If such a thing, I mean, editing was introduced, half of the movies in Indian cinema will require re-shoots. Their every reel could go into the recycle bins. Of the remaining half, most would end up as short movies: chopped to quarter of their intended lengths. A lot of people could loose their jobs. Item numbers, where scantily clad models, enter a village fair on buffalo, could become difficult to justify. Kid Roshan would have fewer scenes to cry. Salman Khan wouldn't waste time in wearing shirts that fly off within two minutes of his on-screen appearance. If editing was introduced, and most of the blogger space would become like a wasteland: where crops can't grow, for they require too much labor, and grass cannot exist, for it is uprooted like weed. In the interest of environment and unemployment issues, we must allow sloppy movies to exist. But that can be accomplished at lower costs. Why waste so much money over a Blue Sanwariya (that Dostoevsky has sued posthumously), have Madhuri in unedited version of Aaja Nachle, have Celina in Red when Mona Chopra can show more for less money in Red Swastik?

When I was a kid, I saw Ramleela in our village. It was entertaining . It installed local kids and men into a stage persona. The roles were well defined and the dialog was powerful. The audience fell awed, inspired, pious, happy and blissful. I guess it worked so well as they used a GOOD story written by Valmiki or Tulsidas, and modified it using their own interpretation and dialect. There were few props, local lighting schemes, and innovative intermissions. The Laila Majnu show enacted in Aaja Nachle is not worth the fake hair on the knitted tail of Ramleela's monkeys. What was Madhuri doing in it anyway? Did it appeal to her? Did she say to herself, "Wow! My comeback movie has an awesome climax." Did she think that she is the fairy Godmother of Cinderella fame? But then if she is the fairy, why is she the center of the movie? Hasn't she read the bedtime stories for her daughters? Maybe she didn't see the rational for making role of a fairy godmother fairly short.

In copying Rang De Basanti, the director forgot that in that movie, the audience invested interest in the "actors" of the re-enacted freedom struggle. While Aamir or Sidharth died, the role of the woman who inspired them was minimal (and she wasn't saying Ishq, Ishq and dancing). These directors irritate my sensibility the most. Even when they copy from a great example, they make so many mistakes, that they fail to get the "just pass" score. Even if they manage to "just pass" using frame by frame transliteration of an English movie or scene, I find it incredible that they claim to be geniuses. If they are geniuses, every photo-copier machine or man working on it, is an equally respectable genius.

Konkona Sen Sharma is an awesome actress, Kunal, Irfan and Divya are good presences, but why are they wasting their time? They should have signed up for the same movie, rewritten, with Madhuri out of the frame, director replaced and songs reduced to silence. To expect a logic, a flow is considered a sin for a Bollywood enthusiast. I am a Bollywood enthusiast, and if I am supposed to like Aaja Nachle or Neal n Nikki or KANK or Tara Rum Pum, I don't understand why I must not equally favor Mithun movies like Chandaal, Shapath or C-grade movies like Sparsh - The Touch? If I want to suspend disbelief, I will rather watch Rajnikant defy age, gravity, quantum and classical mechanics as well as laws that govern intelligence of chimpanzees, than cheer for a cast, a director that is an eyesore to me after all the lies they serve during the publicity.

Madhuri, no offense, but even your dance moves were cliched, as was the theme song of this movie. You actually looked very average as a heroine, and looked ridiculous in the play Laila Majnu. Perhaps you need to get back to theater and learn new tricks. You are pretty, but we have too many pretty dancers who can give you run for money now. Aunty Madhuri, you must learn to distinguish between good and bad scripts. We, who liked you once, pined for you when you left, but we have grown up, and we have grown out of it. Unfortunately, you need a role like Saagar, but if you plan to copy Saagar, you will need to do it right. Yes! You might have thought that all of India is dying to see you, but since you left, we have acquired better taste, actresses and directors. We almost have!

Would you please request the Director to edit you out of Aaja Nachle in the DVD release? The controversy will sell the DVD, and trust me neither the flow of the movie nor the story would be affected. If you expect us to give a standing ovation to the movie or Laila Majnu enacted in the movie or to your performance, Forget it! If you think we are too lazy to think while watching your movie, we are even lazier when it comes to Standing up and saying: What nonsense! or Applause, Applause!


Madhuri said...

God! What did she do to offend you so much? You really sound angry at her. I thought the trailers would give an indication of what was in store - no? Give the poor woman a break, she will be too scared to return to Bollywood if she meets your stern disapproval :-)

Geetali said...

While Aamir or Sidharth died, the role of the woman who inspired them was minimal (and she wasn't saying Ishq, Ishq and dancing)

I can understand your sentiments.


Vivek Sharma said...

Thanks to my blog about one Madhuri, the other Madhuri makes a comment:)

At a superficial level, I am just amused by the absurdity of dialog and scenes in the movie. At a deeper level, I am appalled.

Yes Geetali, wasn't Madhuri Dixit awful in that scene?

Vivek Sharma said...


Vivek Sharma posted 3 days ago

Some bitterness about my review!!

1) A half rotten apple among a bag of rotten apples might seem better to some, but I don't see the point of not calling it half-rotten.

2) If Madhuri was the central attraction of the movie, their scripted role was ill-defined and badly crafted. If she was making a comeback, the onus of seeing that her role does justice to her talent fell as much on her as on the director.

3) I CANNOT see the amount these big stars are paid as JUSTIFIED. The outcome from the amount of money spent on these movies is as trashy as B-grade movies. Most of the money gets looped through underworld, and most of the cinema gives cliched - item number/rain dance, long wailing/crying/bell braking sequences.

Perhaps Madhuri did well, as most of you expected much worse and are quite satisfied by her performance.

(If fairynova believes that distance from your own country makes one less of an India, may she disown Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Mahatma Gandhi, Lord Ram, S. Chandrashekar, Rabindranath Tagore, Abhishek Bachchan, her Madhuri Dixit, Guru Nanak, Subash Chandra Bose, Aurbindo Ghosh, and well, the list is endless)

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

Dr Madhvi posted 3 days ago

that was unnecessarily biting. Aaja nachle is an average movie better than some really drab ones. If it wasn't for madhuri the movie would have fizzled out. Story was weak and cast other than Konkana not very supportive. She really dances well but could have done better with a better script. Just because she is married and has children you need not take a dig at her....has she lost all rights to act??? I am not a Madhuri fan or something, never was but you can't trash her in the movie...the producer, director and story teller shd take the blame.
Dr madhvi

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

fairynova posted 3 days ago

Wow!!! U have some nerve writing something like that... I am sure though that U do think u r capable (?) of writing about what an average Indian thinks like.. Sorry dude, but sitting in Atlanta, I am sure U belong to those kinds who "claim" to be Indians, they do not have the right, nor they should, for the sake of a country that once belonged to them, try and even think about what an average Indian thinks and wants.

Come to India and talk to the people and u may get some idea about whether Madhuri was wanted back or not!!!

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

zeerum posted 3 days ago

i wont say that movie was good but i still find it much more better than the crappy movies starring akshay
and about new dancers and dear, this industry has yet to see a better actresses and dancer than madhuri
everybody agrees the only thing worth watching in aaja nachle was madhuri

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

Vivek Sharma posted 1 week ago

Viyeta: Don't tell me that Aaja Nachle is the best movie you ever watched/?

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

viyeta posted 1 week ago

This movie review of yours clearly indicates that you have a bad taste for movies....i'm sure you belong to the bunch who liked om shanthi om ..huh?eeks...

Vivek Sharma said...

more from sulekha (some profane comments censored out and deleted)

Vivek Sharma posted 8 mins ago

Ariess, this is a classic case of a satire being misinterpreted. The humor of a satire and its bite arises from its exploitation of mundane elements that might be ignored or pardoned by people. The hyperbole is to make a my voice heard.

GB Shaw and Oscar Wilde were exponents of satire. Rushdie does well in some of his novels.

As far as watching movies in halls goes, I have watched more movies in a hall than most people do in their lifetime. I have watched movies that fall into all kinds of categories and I think there is scope for all kinds of films. I will love to watch another Hrishikesh Mukherjee take director's mantle, and I think it is not far fetched that Bollywood will have to shun the cliches and compete with another Bimal Roy! Sudhir Misra did very well in Hazaron Khawaishein Aisi, Main meri patni aur woh was almost Hrishikesh-esque and I think Gangster, Dor, Iqbal, Morning Raga, Matribhoomi, Rang de Basanti, Omkara, are all great movies.

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

ariess posted 19 hrs ago

Well, I'm glad I got mad enough after having read your comments on Madhuri to sign up on Sulekha just to tear a strip off you.

I totally understand where you are coming from now - viewed from that angle, it is a sad but true waste of good talent. But dont worry, I genuinely believe that Mads is too bright and tenacious to allow herself to go the path of a "has been but still wanna be".
Much of my admiration of her stems from her tenacity, capacity for hard work and perfectionism as much as it is for her talent. You rarely get the combination these days.

Ironically, I believe the very same talent is most likely going to pull AN into the category of at least a decent film, if not a semi or even a hit as the weeks roll by. I'll send you a coffee if i'm wrong (these days you can buy almost anything online across an ocean...)

My reason for optimism:
AN is holding up comparatively well overseas which may pull up desi ratings (e.g. a film consistently in the UK Top 10 is bound to raise interest).

I dont know if I can be termed an NRI but as I am born and bred in Singapore, I can say only this much - there is a certain appeal of the movie for us. Madhuri's looks were criticised as too Westernised but thats exactly what all of us wear over here. What was realistic to one audience was pooh-ed by another...

I guess one man's meat is another's poison...

On Bharadwaj and Gulzar - that' a good start.

But yeah, I'd love to see some tasteful films come back to Bollywood. It has so much to offer still.

Anyways, 'tis been a good debate of sorts. Me no longer mad at you and I actually concur with much of what you later said.

Despite it all, i still say to date, Madhuri is still the only actor i have ever and will still drag my sorry butt out of bed for a midnight show. For the rest of em - well there's a reason why God invented the DVD.....dont like what you see, at least you can press forward...instead of sitting shivering in a theatre with mobile phones going off and staving off a yearning for the loo...


Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

Vivek Sharma posted 2 days ago

Thanks ariess.
You have in more ways than one, highlighted why I was so disappointed with the movie. Madhuri was the queen of nineties and has had a string of awesome performances. It is very heartbreaking to see someone as good as her being wasted in a movie like this.

I suppose Saroj Khan might have worked better dance moves for Madhuri. When Devanand became a parody of himself, when Rishi Kapoor was too old for running around trees, when Dilip Kumar was old and yet romancing a very young Saira Bano on screen, the audiences still watched them because of nostalgia. But that doesn't mean I will remember Dilip for Sagina, Dev Anand for Return of Jewel Thief, an so on.

If we were to have a Mrs Robinson desi-style, I would want someone like Vishal Bharadwaj or Gulzar handling direction and screenplay. anyone else will just make it into another skin flick or bad, irrelevant also ran!

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

ariess posted 2 days ago

Vivek, I'll concede that point in retrospect - I just looked at the date after your reply, and saw Dec 11. For casting doubt on your motives, i apologise.

However, i think that the crux is that she has ironically not been given much control over the film at all. There was her hungama about the promos and her not liking the film. Her comments about missing Saroj Khan speak volumes - and while I have nothing against Vaibhavi Merchant, i think that she does not have what it takes at this point to work with one such as Madhuri, who has kept dancing pace with other legends such as Prabhu Deva in Pukar.

More on Vaibhavi Merchant : I sincerely apologise to all Ash fans out there but making Ash look good in Kajrare is far diffferent from taking one such as Madhuri to new heights. In Devdas, Mad's role was minuscule compared to Ash, yet it was Madhuri's performance everyone raved about and she walked off with an award for Best Supporting actress. I would not say Madhuri should have played Paro - I think she was far suited as Chandramukhi. But it was an act of cruelty to pair the two up in the same dance sequence, as refreshing as it was - it honestly showed the gaps in Ash, who I think has done vey good shows like Hum Dil De Chuke and Provoked, which I liked but my friends didn't.

Moving on, I agree with you on Madhuri having done beyond silly stories in the past - especially Vardi and Yaraana. But I'd say like all great talents, she possesses the power of the phoenix, to rise from the ashes again. Just look at Hum Apke Hain Kaun - Madhuri had all but been written off by then. She came back with the highest grossing film ever.

Similarly, she was on a low but came back with Dil to Pagal Hain...went quiet anc returned with Devdas and Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam.

So yes, she is like Bachan in that respect.
Rumours are that Tezaab's N Chandra and Subhash are still knocking at her door,

But I'd like to see her perform to her best in a Karan Johar or Sanjay Lela Bansali film

Think about the possibilities - you reckon Bollywood's ready for Mrs Robinson desi- style?


Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

mayaonline posted 2 days ago

That bad a movie????

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

Vivek Sharma posted 2 days ago

Here about Umrao Jaan:

here about Omkara and KANK:

here about Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi and Parineeta:

Rang de Basanti:

Main meri patni aur woh:

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

Vivek Sharma posted 2 days ago

Ariess: My review was lying unnoticed for last many days, till some guy/girl started posting messages that were profane, abusive and threatening; hence the apparent high hit rate. My movie reviews have consistently been in the same tone, and I don't see why only this one has been creating so much stir.

I respect Madhuri as an actress, and hence I cannot expect anything less from her than what she is capable of delivering. Before applauding her good performances, one must learn to be critical of bad ones. She might have had a smaller control over how script is written or executed, but if she has such a pivotal role in publicity and appeal of the film, if she was to take all the credit for success of film, why mustn't she be blamed for its flaws that are as glaring as they get? Maybe Madhuri is flawless in her performance, but the performace is placed in such a bad movie that one must recognize that.

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

ariess posted 2 days ago

Part of me wonders if your tirade against Madhuri was just a desperate and pathetic attempt to garner greater public interest. Well yes, I agree that the the director and writer should be shot, quartered and hung for their laziness in taking care of the small details that make a film great and instead relied overly much on Madhuri to carry off the film. Madhuri herself is flawless.

The true definition of talent is not being good in a great film, but being great in a rubbish film. My heart bleeds for the work the actors have put in for the film - I also think that Yash Raj films have miscalculated and mismanaged the handling of the film on several counts. However, Madhuri is and has always been a grace to watch.

A lift of her eyebrows conveys far more than what most actresses today have in their entire bodies. As a young woman who has grown up on Madhuri, I'd say she's gorgeous, talented, graceful and did very well considering the film. I

f you wanna fire venom sweeetheart, first train your guns at the correct target. As to the crack you made about her looks, It's obvious you prefer the skinflicks made by the current talentless crops of actresses today. Looking at Madhuri in the film, I can only say, damn she is gorgeous...just looking at her makes me wish I wasnt so straight...

On a final note, I'll say - thank god Madhuri is back.

For when Madhuri left Bollywood after the turn of the millenium, all the sluts came out to play.


Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

rvsjyothi posted 2 days ago

hi vivek,

when you don like madhuri why did you see her movie...and for your kind information she is accepted as the best dancer and actress by the whole film fraternity...and just log into and you could find karan johar stating her as the one and only female actress with the best dancing and acting capablities...i too agree that movie is not gud but you cant say that madhuri's acting and dancing are mere waste...

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

Vivek Sharma posted 3 days ago

Its interesting. Someone wants me to say that the movie is great, and is threating me with all kinds of consequences if I say anything against Madhuri. The poignant thing is that the person has totally misinterpreted most of my lines. My review was lying unnoticed and the six-seven comments posted by him or her have more than tripled the number of hits the review orginally got. Rather than spending so much anger over my review, (which he/she considers meaningless anyway), I wish the person would spend in ensuring more and more people watch his/her favorite heroine underperform here due to whatever reasons. I loved Madhuri in certain roles and hence I cannot accept her to be working in movies that undermine her talent so much.

When Amitabh Bachchan went through a lean patch, he had to find himself in disastrous roles too. Then he took a break, got wiser and he returned to his deserved league again. Ganguly has returned stronger after the exile. Maybe Madhuri will fare well in her next role too. But for me Aaja nachle was a dud. For Box office too. If you disagree, humor yourself. Shouting hoarse serves no purpose whatsoever!

Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse