BOOM boomerangs

Scene from

Scene from "Boom", now showing at cinema halls across Delhi  


(At Golcha and other Delhi theatres)

EVER THOUGHT of finding a cure for your affinity for Bollywood films? Well, here it comes. You watch it once, and you won't feel like going near a cinema hall in a hurry. Half an hour into this experimental "Boom", you wish director Kaizad Gustad had not gone in for any experimentation, that he had stayed the usual course, that he had given us the same lost-and-found formula film. It would have given us the comfort of the predictable, the joy of knowing what to expect. Alas! He tries to step beyond the stereotype and ends up falling flat on his face with a film that he claimed you could watch with your family. Truth to tell, it is not a film you can watch even in splendid isolation and all the familiar flexibility of norms it often brings in tow. It operates in moral anomie, one wishes it has stayed there too.

No, "Boom" is no experimental cinema. It is no crossover cinema. It is no parallel cinema. It is no Bollywood potboiler either. It is just a film gone horribly, absolutely horribly, awry. From snooping camera angles and rumbustious music to girls who seek to flatter you with the shamelessness of exposure and some seasoned actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Jackie Shroff ready to mouth the most vulgar of innuendos, this is one journey that takes you nowhere. Clearly, "Boom" boomerangs. It gives a new meaning to the term `show' business. It is crude in content, crass in presentation.

On the face of it, the film comes with delightful possibilities. There is Amitabh Bachchan, ageing most gracefully, and as an actor bolder than ever before. Now open to experiments, now trying out something he did not at the peak of his career, he is now game for almost anything. There is Jackie Shroff too, sporting enough for novelty over last couple of years. There are Gulshan Grover and Jaaved Jaferi, under-utilised but talented in their own right. With them is Zeenat Aman, making a comeback to the tunes of "Hare Rama Hare Krishna". And then there are beauties like Madhu Sapre, Padma Lakshmi and Katrina Kaif, each trying to be more inviting than others. Enough to make you itch for the film? Well, yes. The hype helped too. And in a rare case, the constant postponement of the release date only helped in increasing the curiosity levels of eager filmgoers.

The film also has an interesting plot. It goes beyond the guy-meets-gal or the anti-hero format. Here the characters are not white. They are not grey. They are all black, quite unlike anything seen on the Hindi film screen.

That is where reality takes over. The film opens as a chase for million dollar diamonds. The diamonds had been hidden away as part of hairdo by models on the ramp. There are four men in need of those pearls. Three lovely women are in possession. None of the men is above deceit or scruples to find his way. None of the women is beyond `the flesh and blood' game. What could have been a fascinating game of cat and mouse degenerates into a lurid affair with frequent one-liners aimed below the belt, many shots of ribald intimacy and even those hinting at self-love. One does not have to have a degree in human behaviour to understand where Kaizad is aiming. It is sad. It is disgusting. In one word, "Boom" goes bust.


(At PVR, Saket and other theatres)

FROM GLEAMING diamonds to "The Curse of the Black Pearl", there is plenty of choice this week. This Jerry Bruckheimer-film starts off promisingly. Riding on the all-round ability of Johnny Depp to blend a wallop and winsome smile, it keeps you pretty engrossed in the activities of Captain Jack Sparrow, now at the receiving end of the British, now the victim of pirates. Depp as Sparrow never lets the action get to him, he is the life, blood and soul of this energetic entertainer.

Scene from "Pirates of the Caribbean", now showing at cinema halls across Delhi

Scene from "Pirates of the Caribbean", now showing at cinema halls across Delhi  

Whether in the clear waters of the Caribbean or in the prison, the spirit never wilts. With his laughter, his daring action, his wit, his sensitivity he weaves a character of Sparrow which makes the viewers reach out to him. They are with him when his idyllic world comes to an end, when his rival, Captain Barbossa steals his ship, attacks the town. They are with him when he saves the damsel in distress. They are with him in his frequent duels, in his swordfights, his shoot and scoot instances.

However, after sometime, the fights, the chases, the search all gets too repetitive, too predictable, too frequent. After sometime, the novelty of his sparring is gone. After sometime, the pirates film seems like any other film of the genre. Then you want a break, you want the director to weave a sub plot. Unfortunately Gore Verbinski does not oblige, stays too close to his one-man army. As a consequence, Sparrow overstays his welcome. And you and I have to exercise some patience in not opting for the easier solution - exit.

Watch it for some nice action, good banter. And an outstanding performance by Depp. But if you are no Depp fan, "Pirates" offers nothing beyond the tried and tested, said and seen.


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