December 12, 2007

Dus Kahaniyaan. Not too good. Not too bad. Not too ugly.

No one can question my dedication towards Bollywood anymore. I really had my doubts about DK...Sanjay Gupta producing a film with 10 shorts (and directing 4 of them). Not the savest initial position. Still we showed up last Friday at the cinema for our now usual first day/first show date only to find out that the print was not there yet. Bleh. Both shows had to be canceled. By Saturday afternoon my motivation to watch it was close to zero. But thanks to a nagging phone call from fellow BW-fanatic Ezri I pulled myself off the couch and we gave it a last try. Good thing we did. Dus Kahaniyaan is not a key moment in Hindi film history but we had a very good time watching the 10 films.

Over the last year I started to love the format of shorts in film (I honestly didn´t before) So I was curious how the master of rip-offs, color filters and skimpy clad item girls managed to fare with a format like this.

10 films. Each about 10 minutes in length. An impressive cast. 5 directors apart from Gupta.

Usually when you watch that amount of different stories in such short time you tend to forget the forgettable ones right after you come out of the cinema. Well, we rather easily managed to get 9 of the ten films together in the right order.
But let me give you a short overview about all of them..

Matrimony: Arbaaz Khan. Mandira Bedi. Married couple. No kids. Bored wife to busy multinational company vice-president. And an extramarital affair. Nice twist. Director: Sanjay Gupta

High on the Highway: Jimmy Shergill. Mausmeh. A very stoned Jimmy and his girlfriend. The moral of the story: Thou shalt not get high on a highway. Especially at 4 am. One of the tougher stories. I especially liked the (very dark) lighting. I love it when directors/ cinematographers have the guts to work with darkness. Director: Hansal Mehta

Dia Mirza. Manoj Bajpai. Manoj moves into an apartment that has a beautiful young woman living next door. He takes a liking to her. She blocks his advances. The group of adolescent punjabi boys sitting behind us where reacting to this the strongest. And even I had to cheer at the final twist. Director: Sanjay Gupta

Pooranmashi: The only story that is set in a rural surrounding. And it is shot in a very straight manner. And thus feels a bit out of joint compared to the rest of the shorts. But it still packs a punch. Daughter (Minissha Lamba) is all set to get married when her loving symbolic gesture to her mother (Amrita Singh) causes a tragedy. Director: Meghna Gulzar

Strangers in the night: Neha Dupia. Mahesh Manjrekar. Wife tells husband her lives most memorable moment. It drags a bit. And the hand licking and kissing is rather yucky. Also the - in itself - powerful twist is a bit too far fetched the way the story builds up before. And the acting is a bit to sterile. Director: Sanjay Gupta

Lovedale: Aftab Shivastani. Neha Uberoi. Anupam Kher. It seems as if no true Bollywoodfilm can stand without a pinch of Masala. And Lovedale covers almost all the necessary points. Naive. Sweet. Plus it made me wanna see more of Aftab. He´s cute. [insert girly giggle] Btw. The earring was fugly. Very. Director: Jasmeet Dhodi

Sex on the beach: Dino Morea relaxes on the beach, when he finds a book in the sand. And a minute later a girl (Tareena Patel) in a very golden Bikini approaches him. The spookiest of the lot and the by far weakest. Because it is so predictable and in fact boring. But Dino looks cool shirtless and wet. Additional note: There were no Jet-skies in 1901 or 1946. Director: Apoorva Lakia

Rise Plate: Shabana Azmi. Naseruddin Shah. Clearly the highlight for me. The Story about a Hindu nani and a Muslim uncle and their fight over a rice plate had some fantastic moments. It also was the one short I wished would not end. Even if the twist was predictable pretty soon. Director: Rohit Roy

Gubbare: Nana Patekar. Rohit Roy. Anita Hassanandani. Newlyweds on a bus quarrel. Wife is miffed and changes seats. Sits down next to man holding a bouquet of red balloons. And he tells her why. Warning: there might be tears. Director: Sanjay Gupta (I did not think he might have it in him to tell something so sensible. But then again.. once you cast Nana you would have to work hard to ruin your film)

Rise and Fall: Suniel Shetty. Sanjay Dutt. And here is the stereotypical Sanjay Gupta I´ve been waiting all evening. At least for the storyline that he directed. There is a second storyline directed by Hansal Mehta that gets interwoven into the Sanjay/Suniel part. A local gangster and his closest aid/friend. And a story of loyalty and betrayal. Unfortunately it is not that good. Neither the story, nor the execution nor the acting by Sanjay and Suniel. A bit anti-climatic. It is understandable that Gupta placed the story with the biggest star at the end but "Rise Plate" and "Gubbare" are so strong that "Rise and Fall" gets overshadowed by them. Directors: Sanjay Gupta and Hansal Metha.

So yes. I had an enjoyable evening. And no. You don´t have to rush to the cinema to watch it. You can easily wait until the DVD comes out. But give it a chance.


Anonymous said...

.. once you cast Nana you would have to work hard to ruin your film...

oh, i love that line .....*G*


babasko said...

@boomer: :D thanx.

btw I forgot to mention that this story was written by Gulzarsaab. Another point why he couldn´t mess it up. You cant kill a well written skript...

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this movie yet. But the concept (several short films from several directors) sounds a LOT like the one from "Paris, je t'aime" (very enjoyable too)

Anonymous said...

Yes very pathetic movie, the one which u just cant bear for 2 and half hour.

Anonymous said...

Yup, Babasko Rani!
I more or less agree with you on this one.

'Rice Plate' was just superb!
But, I am a bit biased when it comes to Shabana Azmi..although she's ALWYAS great!!

But I really disliked the pointless and just plain boring 'Lovedale'!!
It was bakwaas!!
I think Aaftab is great too, but his script sense is non existent!!!

And that 'Strangers In The Night' was eeeeww!!!

And 'High on the Highway' didn't quite do it for me yaar!!