I had boldly asserted in an earlier post that I would not be going for the movie "New York", even though the family was going, because I hated Yash Raj Films. I spoke too soon. My arms, useful as they are for picking up luggage items and operating steering wheels, also offer the missus something to twist when she wants her commands obeyed. These were duly twisted and I accompanied the brood, though reluctantly.
To tell you the truth, I was worried about the following
1. Punjab ke khet
2. Songs involving "Rabba"
3. The mandatory 'Karva Chauth' scene, as guaranteed under article 577(r) of the Constitution ("Fundamental rights of citizens...all Yash Raj Movies shall have a depiction of the Karva Chauth festival where the heroine fasts for the well being of the hero...)
4. Shahrukh Khan showing emotion
and I have to admit that none of these appeared in the movie. Not a single one. Instead, YashRaj Films found a completely different way to screw up the movie for me. They made it totally joyless. Sad. Tragic.
I had read a bit about the plot. About terrorism, planting bombs, being on the trail etc. Ingredients, surely, for a nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat session. Sorry. All dangerous thrilling moments have been carefully strained out for your viewing pleasure. There was nothing remotely exciting. I'll just tell you the plot in simple sentences, so that you can judge for yourself.
1. Omar (N.N. Mukesh) is picked up by the FBI for possessing guns and explosives
2. Roshan (Irfan Khan) tells him that the only way his ass won't get roasted is if he works as a spy for the FBI on Sam aka Sameer SHaikh (John Abraham).
3. Omar tells his story to Roshan as follows
4. Omar joins NYSU
5. Where he is met by Maya (Katrina, John Abraham's wife)
6. Many friendship scenes.
7.Roshan then tells Omar that Sameer is a terrorist running a sleeper cell, and shows him pictures and bios of his associates
8. It turns out that Roshan is right.
9. Some 3 movie hall hours later, Sameer and Maya get shot by the FBI in slow motion. You know, bullet hitting, blood spurting, body jerking under the impact.
Actually, Omar has added nothing to the investigation except tipping the FBI off when the final bombs are planted. The FBI already knew Sameer was a terrorist. They knew all his associates by name, background and location.They could have picked up Sameer and his associates right at the beginning without having to involve Omar at all.
And anyway, the drama has the grip of a Thomas The Engine adventure. All that you take home with you is mental pictures of people being tortured for being terror suspects. These include being urinated upon, suspended from ceilings for days and so on. Which is really gross and depressing.
And when I think of what I'd be doing had Mr. Chopra not inflicted this movie upon us (I would probably have been sampling some decent rum someone brought back from South America. It's probably polished off by now) I'm moved to tears, something that Sameer and Maya weren't able to accomplish inspite of spurting blood in slow motion.
What is it with Bollywood? Why are they incapable of making an enjoyable movie? When someone tries to be funny, they are even more gross, like Kambakkht Ishq, which I still havent seen, by the way.
And can I tell you a scary bit of information? Kambakkht Ishq, according to a news channel I was watching, grossed 100 crore rupees in its first week. Wow! If the average price of a movie ticket is Rs.100, that means 1 crore people watched it in the first week alone. And a hit movie like that will run for atleast 10 weeks. That means 10 crore people. 10% of the population! Assuming that one viewing of this kind movie reduces your IQ by 50 points, and considering that, since Akshay Kumar is considered to be at the peak of his powers, he can make 10 more such movies, we will probably be a nation of blubbering idiots by the end of 2011. You know what that means! The entire nation will look like an Assembly Session.
Still, the movie had a few positives.
1. None of the characters actually sing a song, except NN Mukesh once, but just part of the scene, no 50 piece orchestra
2. The story was written before the movie was shot
Actually the main reason I'm pissed about watching this movie is that it is joyless. Otherwise I guess it is well made.