Thursday, February 01, 2007

A confused 'Salaam' to the confused concept of 'Ishq'


My Thoughts on SALAAM-E-ISHQ

All of us know what 'Ishq' is? Ya, of course. We know what love is all about. The 10 year old Tom in the neighbourhood knows what love is. His friend Tina knows about it too. The college going Prakash knows about it all. His crush Sonali also has a mushy idea about it. You know what Ishq is and I know about it as well.

Thats the thing about Ishq, about love. Everyone knows about it but everyone has a different idea about it, has different expectations and has different ways of expressing it. When I was watching Salaam-E-Ishq - the latest release by Nikhil Advani - I was thinking... perhaps thats the idea about the movie... showcasing love and its manifestations from 6 different angles. And it would be interesting... but as we all know you can't expect too many things from bollywood movies made for the masses. And it was a massacre of an experience.

I know its difficult to pull out a movie through 6 different narrations. So many movies in the recent past failed at the attempt. More famously, Naseeruddin Shah's movie on multiple stories all ending with the twin towers in US. What a mess of good sub plots within a plot! And I thought one would and should learn from other's mistakes and escapades. However, in Salaam-E-Ishq, none of the stories moved ahead and they all finished without a trace of developmental or moral logic. What is the director trying to convey; or did he have too many things to convey? He got so entangled that he fell flat on his own cobweb.

I still feel there is a lot of meat in the concept of expressing (salaam-ing) Ishq from six different angles. But Salaam-E-Ishq could not do justice to any of the six angles. It started well but lost it soon after. The follow-through and the string to pull all the six stories together were not strong enough.
The most poorly portrayed angle was the angle of lust. If I was Sohail Khan, I would have killed Nikhil Advani for giving such a mindless treatment to his character. Ishq and lust or Ishq with lust could have been such a great powerful story..... if only the director could see it. Instead he killed whatever he weaved in the beginning by giving a comic twist to such an extent that you wonder that the director could have taken Johny Lever if he wanted to give a comic fillip to the movie just for the fun of it. Sohail goes flying through a wall in one scene.... what was Nikhil thinking!!! Thus he gave such a tragic end to a great potential story and the sixth angle became an object of mere pun. I weep in distraught.

The other two potentially great angles handled slightly better were the Akshay Khanna-Ayesha Takia and the Anil Kapoor-Juhi Chawla angles. Who does not get cold feet and butterflies just before marriage? And who does not go through a phase of confusion after 5-7 years of marriage, when one sees other beautiful woman? These are such universal concepts of (confusion in) love for strong story telling. But our Nikhil Advani could not do much justice here either. I would however say they were the best two stories in the movie as far as the narration of the 'Ishq' angles is concerned. Akshay did a great job and carried the movie all through. Anil Kapoor anyways is a class apart and adds tremendously to the screen play of every movie he does.

And then there is this ambitious woman who forgets love for famedom. And her ashiq who is bent on winning her back. What do you think? completely bollywoodish in smell and taste, isn't it?... definitely not as strong as the other stories which had a base and foundation in true emotions. But the producer had to do a justified investment and need a Salman Khan to safe keep his investments in crores. So no points for this angle.... The producer can make an independent movie on this theme however... the mass may love it...

And please don't force, I just wont talk about Govinda's re-entry into Bollywood... completely a hogwash of a story among such strong stories. Completely took away the maturity of the other stories from the film. What crap? A taxi driver - some sort of a prem pujari - falling for a foreigner and ultimately the foreigner falls for him. Oh man, give me a break.... that foreigner was a cutie and only that kept me awake. And I can't figure out what angle of 'Ishq' is this? What is the foundation or rationale for including this story in the movie. You cannot mix real and unreal. Either you stay completely real or completely unreal. One doesn’t expect reality in unreal movies like Hera Pheri and therefore don’t curse such movies after watching them.

And then we have our sweet upcoming actress Vidya Balan and our hunk Mr. John Abraham... He was a media planner in Ambience once, can you believe it? Anyways, in the movie he loved his wife (she is not from his religion and caste) like no tomorrow. He has fought all odds and family to marry her. He can do anything for her and so forth. So is that a big deal? All heroes love their heroines and die for them.. Amir Khan died in his very first film - Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Here, too I cannot see the logic and morale of including this story with the other 5 stories. Perhaps the message was true love never dies whatever be the situation.

On the whole a not so good movie from the story telling point of view. Much below my expectations. I would like to think that people do not have much expectation from the movie. At least they wont come out of the cinema hall with the unsatisfied look. From the technical side, all movies these days are great from camera and choreography point of view. The money that a producer spends has to come out in the screen.

As I said earlier, love as an emotion has different interpretations for different people of different age, gender and background. And as such it is a confused emotion if you look at a summation of all the different interpretations. So I agree it must have been very difficult to bring six interpretations into a single movie. I can give it that much to the director as the subject taken was indeed difficult. But it would be a complete disappointment if the real reason for this disappointing movie is that Mr. Nikhil Advani could not understand the different interpretations of love in depth and therefore could not visualise the movie and made a complete mess of the movie.

I sincerely hope that is not the case.

2 comments:

  1. Hmm...a small bit of information i picked up myself. Apparently sohail khan had a much bigger role in the movie, just that it got chopped away quite a lot. I am not sure if the censors chopped it off ( for obvious reasons) or did the producers themselves do the honors as a drastic attempt to shorten the 3 and a half hour saga..

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