The second day...

Another Review, but this time a true one. Unfortunately we just had a very good reason to view a movie and again, since Beowulf I had stopped believing what a review said about a movie. Hence I walked into Audi 1 of Fun Cinemas in Agra at 9:45 in the night to top off what had, till then, been a rocking day.

Being from Bengal where every kid has a natural affinity for soccer and having spent the first fifteen consious monsoons of my life kicking around a soccer ball in the slush in every position from centre-back to right out, I thought I would enjoy the film. But alas, that was not to be.

It just didn't have the feel of a soccer movie about it. The grounds were small, looked more like the ones we use for six-a-side tournaments than the actual 52 yards. The people involved were lack-lustre and there was almost no eye for detail! Its basically a really sad movie. The dialogues were repetative and the emotions seemed to have been lifted from different situations of different films. The old refrain about a past hero returning to redeem his honour, the battle for survival in a cruel world, the inevitability of shaky decisions...everything seems to be in line with the two other prominent sports movies made in the country, Iqbal and Chak De. But somewhere, the individuality was missing. No game can be won by appealing to the players' self respect only. You have to talk tactic, talk jargon, talk formation and strategy if not to teach people, at least make your viewers think that they are watching football. There was none of that in the movie. The film was definitely filled with a few mistakes and one blunder that came at the fag end and destroyed any shade of positive that could have been taken back from the movie. Have you ever seem a soccer player move up fast along the left flank and centre the ball inches away from the goal-line and then run faster than the ball itself and head it past the goalkeeper into the net?!

It's ridiculous! It's no faux pas, it's a blunder.

Arshad Warsi should stop doing roles like the one he did in Goal if he wants his career to remain on the same curve it has been following since Munnabhai. John Abraham was acceptable as a career concious footballer, but Basu appeared too promiscous. Not that she could do anything about it, it's the script that is to blame. Boman Irani was good as the coach, but even he couldn't work magic with a half-baked script. Everything that was good with the movie seemed to have been eaten away by poor editing, worse dialogue selection and a deplorable Footballing sense.

If I were asked to describe the movie in one sentence I would say, "Its a classic example of a unresearched, poorly edited and hurried attempt to cash in on the sudden craze about sports films and like any product which is a result of skewed objectives, it must fall flat on its face."
The adrenalin was not there, it just did not seem like football. Sorry guys, this one was so not watchable.

That makes it two flops in as many days!

Twice in two days!

I was duped! First by the film critics and again by the film critics, with a little aid from my well meaning friends.
It all started with reading a brilliant review of Beowulf (where, to my disgust at a later stage, Beowulf was likens to the peice of art that is 300 in terms of technique and eye for details!) in the TOI and rushing off to agra on a bike to catch the movie before it was too late. All I got in return was a Hindi dubbing where the king of Denmark welcomes Beowulf with the very Familiar expression, "Haan Beowulf... Aur Batao" (!!!) Since then it was a complete down hill journey. There was only a squirt of blood (which didn't even come close to justifying the word "gory" used more than once in praise of the film) here and there (and to compare that with the scarlet fest in 300 is like comparing red wine with Bloody Mary!). And before I forget, there was the much hyped golden nude scene which wasn't even worth a dry whistle from a fourteen year-old getting his first glance at the female form.
Come to talk about the storyline and you suddenly realize there isn't one. Maybe the dubbing blurred out most it, but even then, transition from one scene to another was more like a random draw of coupons than anything bound by a defined outline.
The characters of Beowulf seemed a watered down version of the hero that was depicted in the British Epic and even the facial expression were really difficult to decode. Fear and Anger seemed to be the same emotion. I had this idea that only human beings can't act, for the first time someone proved to me that even animated characters can be bestowed the same distinction. But then Beowulf was good considering the tragedy that happened the next day.

The Butcher's Son.

He stands at the corner of a tin shed, beside the only wall of the otherwise open shelter where the goats and broilers are kept. He wears a stained lungi. He is not more than twelve and the first strands of a fledling mustache have just started appearing above his upper lip. He does not know his tables, alphabet or even his national anthem.
Yet he is learning his trade well. He catches chicken from the cage with unsure hands but locks their wings with a deft twist of a finger. Once his brother finishes weighing the bird, he transforms. From the adolescent, still unsure of his bearings, he becomes the hardened executioner. Quietly, he twists back the throat of the fidgeting fowl and takes it out of public view by lowering it into a large plastic drum before slitting its throat with a couple of strokes of a blunt knife. The dying bird is dropped into the canister to reach its eventual destiny coloured in its own blood.
The butcher's son cleans his hands, not looking at the bird even once, not bothering about the stains on the wall, but then he takes the apron off and looks at his new spotless lungi. A few red dots appear, quickly spreading out as they are soaked into the fibre. The butcher's son is devastated, it was his new lungi. He couldn't hide his tears, its not everyday that he get a new lungi. He is still a kid, but then, he is the Butcher's Son.