Apr 9, 2003

Home, Joy, Jug-dish

The tagline for this one should have read:
They've lost their Home. You lose your Joy. (And Jug-dish is just me trying to be clever).

Savouring the pleasures of in-flight entertainment on the Paris-bound flight, I ran into this bland-as-befits-Continental-cuisine film debut-directed, some say, by the same man who made his acting debut in Saaransh though I refuse to believe that. This must have been Anupam Care-not.
The problems with Om Jai Jagdish is that neither is it a good film, but more sadly, nor is it a really bad, awful, despicable film. It just makes no sense at every level: It wants to be something but doesn't know how to apart from dressing like the target. It is so feeble that even passionate criticism is blunted into a sopoforic dismissal. Here are a few reasons to partake of the offerings from the Jug & dish:

- To see how Mahima Chaudhari can go from marrying a well-scrubbed Anil Kapoor (who no doubt buys licensed versions of Windows for his home PC - that nice a man) in frame 33 to playing with her 10(?) year old son in frame 35: the son probably was a wedding gift in frame 34 which I missed when I was reaching out for the orange juice.

- To indulge in Fardeen Khan's dream academic life: heavily subsidised, hence leading to the loss of the Home. Because he brings home foreign-bred bahu (Come in Urmila-jee) who prefers mineral over Municipality in water, he causes the rifts. They do have one enduring quality: They possess white-and-cream colour coordinated clothes just in time to participate in a family ballad.

- To see how one family seems to have run away with Akhand-Bharat's share of sincerety, software and automotible talents: Anil Kapoor forgot to remove the label of "righteous indignation", Baby B even makes an Ursula Andress-like appearance from the waves in his quest to "make a software better than Windows in 100 seconds", and Fardeen Khan's spanner is proof that he built the fastest car ever.

- In trying to lure the software-weaned-masses of the 21st century from Quake to the theatres, Baby-B essays a challenging (and encrypted) role, clanking at his keyboard to break into the college computer to retrieve question papers for his friends (a file named Question-Papers-for-tomorrow's-exam just to help them, of course) and setting up a webcam to show mankind what progress was all about, ultimately resulting in the greatest piece of code in the history of mankind: Om, the eponymously titled intrusion-detection program that succeeds in retrieving the Home directory from venal villains. I was sobbing into my kerchief: QA apparently couldn't find a single bug in it and was hence laid off, a poignant reminder of what Indian software talent can do, especially in 100 seconds.

I can go on singing these odes, but will refrain out of a sense of respect for Waheeda Rehman (did she need the money?). Tara Sharma reportedly used up a lot of sun-lotion and didn't know whether she misplaced her hanky or costume. Urmila Matondkar was the only one, according to me, to get it right: her whiney, stereotypical-I-forgot-how-to-sing-Om-J-J-unlike-Rani-Mukherjee atleast made you want to switch to something else. The rest just induced a strange stupor.

Post-script: Considering that the return journey featured Chor Machaye Shor, OJJ was a stirring example of all that is right with the Hindi Film industry. And last I heard, the Universities of Maharashtra had agreed to include this film in the essential subjects of the computer engineering curriculum.

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