Nov 2, 2008

"A Wednesday" and "Rock On" - reviews

(possible spoilers in both review-ettes)

Wednesday is the Se7enth Day
I found A Wednesday infuriating - it could have been so much better. For one, this film should have been even shorter. Instead of packing the first segment with overdone character introductions and superfluous humour, it should have forged on ahead. I was put off by such unnecessary scenes where Anupam Kher (a welcome return to a hard-as-nails posture last seen in Rang De Basanti) gets his men to make macho statements at high decibels. Or how the police commissioner insists of making confidential statements in open corridors or in front of about 50 people. Worst, I smelt the ending too early to enjoy any surprises at the end. (There was always going to be just one possible ending).

But on the positive side, the ratio of fat to muscle was much less in this one, with no songs to break the pace. The biggest saving grace was Naseeruddin Shah's sizeable monologue towards the end, which salvaged the film for me. His motivations reminded me of Se7en (but without its superbly fuzzy morals). However, this film ended days too early for it to be in the same league.

Turn that Rock Off!
I was all keyed up to watch Rock On! because I wanted to see how the rather simple story (from the outlines I had picked up from people and reviews) had been plotted. Perhaps my expectations had been too high, because I felt bored by the middle. This was Dil Chahta Hai without the depth. Character arcs or motivations were not sufficiently explored and some of the resolutions were too easily disposed off. I was aghast to see the most interesting character - Shahana Goswami's "Debbie" - palmed off in the end with having become a successful stylist. Someone who angrily plodded through ten years suddenly has the rainbow burst through her roof - how convenient!

I couldn't tell if this was a film about the band (Luke Kenny and Purab Kohli's characters whimper along with hardly a feeling of being let down by the other two) or the Farhan Akhtar-Arjun Rampal situation. Prachi Desai fades off in the 2nd half. It doesn't help that the songs become a drag, especially with the musical abilities after the reunion conveniently taking off where they left - which for a recently promoted investment banker who has never hit a note in the last ten years and has so much time to practice, is just too easy. The climax reminds one of Jhankaar Beats, whose happy ending was a lot more palatable, just like its 'band issues'.

The lac (sic) of Magik is compounded by the silly attempt by Javed Akhtar to pass off random noun phrases as lyrical poetry, which overshadowed whatever parts of the music appealed to me. Unsurprisingly, my favourite track from the film is the mellow "Yeh Tumhaari Meri Baate.n" (Dominique Cerejo). Unlike that song, I didn't want the film - admittedly well made in some respects - to go on and on.


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