April 3, 2010

Life before and after MNIK


Year 2006 - I convinced my wife that we had to watch KANK, and cannot MISS it. So she obliged, and i have regretted ever since the mistake i made :) Bottomline - I was told in future no more KJo movie watching. PERIOD. I was not worried at that time, since i never knew what Karan had in store...

Year 2009 - Kadz my idol was in my town for MNIK shoot. Since i had my priorities right, managed to go and watch the shoot, at just the cost of a work day. Now i made a vow that i will watch MNIK no matter what.

Late 2009 - MNIK's release date is out.. “Feb 12th 2010”. I mark it up on the calendar and start plotting to watch it, after 18 months of drought of movie watching in theatres. Then the light goes off in my head. Why not take the spouse for MNIK on Feb 14th, as a Valentine's day surprise...

Feb 12th 2010 - D-Day.. Movie gets released, and it gets a mixed review, and even good friends who are SRK fans give it a lukewarm review. So now I am in a state of PANIC.. I don’t want to screw up my Valentine surprise, and be in the dog house for the rest of the year.. So changed the plans, and moved out MNIK watching for a later date..

THE MOVIE - MNIK - Nomadic Journey from San Francisco to Sacramento

Here are my scattered thoughts about the movie:

One rarely hears SRK talking about doing research for his character, and going to town with that. For MNIK he did both, and i think the disciplined approach to the role shows in the movie. He has delivered a very good performance as Rizwan with lot of consistency through out the movie. I would rate this is as his best performance to date.
(Individual Score = 4.5)

Kajol as Mandira has ably supported SRK, but that’s just about it. For a Kadz fan in me, it was a disappointment. She has acted as though she walked off from K3G sets. Her mannerisms and interaction with her son in the movie is so K3Gish. Her Screams were very jarring. OFC she has excelled in emotional scenes.
(Individual Score = 3.0)

Technically the movie is of a high calibre. Especially, Ravi Chandran has done a marvelous job of capturing the city by the Bay, in all its magnificent splendor. Editing is good within the context of lack of screenplay (more about it later). Background score is passable.
(Individual Score = 4.0)

Post K3G, Karan has been trying to move towards serious contemporary cinema and his sincerity shows in MNIK. He clearly lacks touch and vision and it shows in the second half. Second half is very poorly executed.
(Individual Score = 2.0)

Rizwan who could “repair anything” probably could not repair the script. Shibani has continued her downward spiral as a script writer with MNIK.
(Individual Score = 1.5)

Overall the movie did not live up to my lowered expectations. First half of the movie was like driving through the Mojave desert. Flat and emotionless, even though there were few good moments and chemistry between SRK & Kajol was exceptional, as usual.

Second half of the movie was like driving DOWN the CROOKED street (in SF). The journey part of the movie is its biggest letdown. The timeline of the journey has been unnecessarily extended to include most recent political events in US, and hurricane episode just did not fit in.

In short, it is a movie of many missed opportunities. I feel for SRK who has delivered an exceptional performance only to be let down by other aspects of the movie.

Rating: 3 STARS (4.5 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 1.5 = 15/25) 


As Rizwan Khan starts to shake his hands with the POTUS and the end credit starts to roll, my mind starts going into over drive. Usually, the walk from the theatre to the car is the toughest 5 min walk of life, if the movie is NOT to the Spouse's liking. More so if i am the ONE who chose the movie.

Then as we are about to walk out of the unreal world, light bulb goes again (trust me, it does not happen too often) in my head. I immediately act upon it. Placed a call to the Baby sitter who was taking care of the Lil one...and was hoping that she will stay on the line till we reach home... Luck was on my side I guess, as i was talking, the better half took over the phone to talk.. and i got home before the end of conversation. For the rest of the day, it was all about Lil one at home, and thus i thought i had dodged the 'bullet'.

Now i had to do something to avoid any reference to MNIK... Worked out a plan, and told the better half.. "I have a surprise" Response - "Oh yeah". Me – “Yes i will take you to a place and show you something which you never seen before, just like Rizwan did :)”.. "Ok. Will wait" is the response.

One fine afternoon took the family to workplace and then took the better half to the open patio on the 25th floor.. and asked her "Had you seen this before ?" showing the overview of the bay :-)

It worked, and here i am narrating my life story.

DISCLAIMER: All the characters and incidents in BEFORE and AFTER THE EVENT are fictitious and any resemblance to any real people and real incidents are intentional.


Anonymous said...

hahaha after MNIK i decided no kjo film and after OSO no srk film . looks like made wise decision :D

btw superbly written Illusionist . this reminds me of taking my parents to U me Aur hum and them getting pissed of . from that day i decided will first check out film myself before ever taking them out :D

Anonymous said...

* i mean after KANK no kjo film

The Illusionist said...

Thanks Neo for the compliments ...

Sometimes you never learn i guess ?? :P

ApexHeights said...


Very nicely written Illusionist and a different, but real perspective.

I disliked it more than you did and had serious issues with the movie and came out like many digruntled fans of SRK.

Can you believe this screenplay took so many years to write not to mention the hype associated.

The Illusionist said...

Welcome to RL, ApexHeights !

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, i agree that the Script/screenplay or lack of it is the biggest disappointment of MNIK.

ApexHeights said...

Thanks for the welcome IL.

SRK may have acted well but when I place everything in perspective wrt to storyline , his act came across very uneven and confusing.
I never understood Kajol's role though she is firebrand and one of my fav sceen stars.

Watching her in this movie reminded me of Ekta Kapoor at Coffee with Karan who simply branded her overrated.

The Illusionist said...

The reason i even ventured to write this review is because of a comment i made here.

This review was written more than a week ago, but then waited to post it as i did not WANT this review to be buried in all the buzz about Health Care bill, in US.

Caulfield said...

Pre-view, View, Review, Post-view, Over-view(of the bay :P) all in the same post. Hahahaha. I agree that it is just an average film helped by a superb performance by SRK. Kajol did overact in the second half. But the film worked for me because of the emotional content.

P.S - MNIK is still running in US theaters?? Neo - dekh raha hai. :P

Pardesi said...

LOL! Nice review Illusionist, heartfelt and sincere. I agree 100% on this being one of SRK's finest performances. Kajol is always loud and that is her charm for me! So I was happy to see her reprise her trademark acting.

I read that the international cut with 45 minutes chopped off is ready, and I have read that it is mostly the journey part that is cut, so waiting to see what that version looks like.

The Illusionist said...

@Cauli - :D Trust me, initially i had a 3 part series written up, and then better sense prevailed. Didn't feel like reminding you of MNIK three times, when it had almost faded from your memory :)

What derailed the narrative in the first half was cutting into present day right when you are feeling connected to SRK & Kadz's roles. They should have used voice over, and completed the flash back, with out interspersing it with present day shots. IMO this is where Karan's directorial skills were lacking.

The Illusionist said...

@Pardesi - Thanks a lot ! Coming from a seasoned reviewer i take it as a compliment. The movie would have worked better if they added 20 minutes of Rizwan & Mandira's life together before 9/11, and chopped off 40 minutes of the journey part. They should have used all the real incidents which happened right after 9/11, to portray humane side of Rizwan and completed the journey more realistically,

Kajol - I was disappointed. She had to tone it down to make it more compatible with portrayal of Rizwan. This is coming from somebody who liked her acting in K3G :P

ApexHeights said...

Same here IL , Kajol of chandni chowk was anyday better than the SF salonist.

The movie seemed rushed at many places and took its time at others which rather confused me. All the salon scenes dragged and seemed forced.

Something which really bothered me and irritated me no end was srk's character donning the mulla cap at all the wrong places. Where is the consistency director sir ?

Pardesi said...

Illusionist - I am 100% certain that the back and forth in the narrative happened at the editing table and NOT during directing. After the film was edited SRK was doing the voice-overs. I liked the non-linear narrative, I can imagine that having all of Kajol in one half only would not work for the film.

As far as I can tell SRK donned his "prayer cap" twice - once when he went to a memorial service and once when he was actually praying in the desert.

Most people, including reviewers, did not feel that this was a toned down Kajol, and those who disliked her role felt it was loud and screechy. I liker her in loud roles, so no problem. In fact a less self assured person would not be convincing marrying a man with so many problems.

The Illusionist said...

@Pardesi - Sorry have to disagree. Director is the captain of the ship, and he is responsible for how the movie is edited. The BUCK stops at him. Editing is done to suit the narrative the director has in mind.

Pardesi said...

Of course the director has to OK the editing, but someday I will have to find that PFC article on exactly how an editor can make or break a film.... In the good old days directors ran scared of editors, as they could make a film if they set their mind to it.

Here the film was not shot as a non-linear one, and was made into one on the editing table with voice-overs added on (and director's full consent of course). IMO that made a flat narrative more interesting, but the caveat is that usual audiences dislike non-linear narrative as it confuses them (RL members excepted ;-) )

The Illusionist said...

@Pardesi - "Here the film was not shot as a non-linear one, and was made into one on the editing table with voice-overs added on (and director's full consent of course)."

Film is never SHOT as the movie is narrated so the above statement does not hold much water. IMO director has a vision, and movie is pretty much his vision coming to life on the screen.

Minnie said...

ROFL...Illusionist ! Great that I can identify with instantly, having gone through an eerily similar situation myself ! In fact, I still try to dodge the bullet if MNIK topic ever comes up at home !!
But jokes apart, I do agree with your overall summary that it is a movie of many missed opportunities. What could have been an outstanding piece of cinema became ordinary due to its script. However, I quite liked the first half of the was the second half that bothered me greatly. I sincerely hope the edited international version of MNIK rectifies some of these problems.

P.S. Thanks for keeping your promise :-)

Pardesi said...

I meant it did not start out meaning to be a non-linear narrative, but it was turned into that on the editing table. But of course we are free to believe what we want to. I say this because of a K Jo Interview I read.

The Illusionist said...

@Minnie - Thanks for waiting for the review and appreciating it. You are still dodging the bullet ? Hmm.. want any tips ? =))

Just because i kept up my promise, don't expect more in future. Remember this can happen ONLY once in 18 months. :D

Minnie said...

LOL..Illusionist...can we have a separate post from you on those tips?

I will definitely expect more reviews since I have inside info that you have a standing offer of baby-sitting any time you need it !!

Khanabadosh said...

Nice review. I liked all the anecdotes instead of the movie review :) Probably I can identify with them more than others ;)

Doga said...

Review Soundly resonates with my viewpoint on MNIK.

The Illusionist said...

@Khanabadosh - Why am i not surprised ? Movie review was just an excuse to narrate the anecdotes :D

Caulfield said...

Regarding non-linear narrative - Just because Kajol's presence would have reduced in the second half if the film goes with a linear narrative, shouldn't be a reason to change the structure of the film. If she doesn't fit into the film in the second half - so be it. It is like asking to re-edit TZP on the editing table just to have Aamir Khan in the first half as well, as he only enters in the 'Bum Bum Bole' song and that comes at the end of the first half. So to have him in the first half as well, make it nonlinear. This is not fair IMO. If Aamir Khan's character deserves to come at the end of second half, what's the problem? Just to make Aamir's presence felt in the second half and commercialize the film, or keep Aamir Khan fans happy, I don't think the structure should be made non-linear.

OFC, once Aamir entered the film, he nearly took over Darsheel Safary's role and Darsheel's presence was almost negligible in the second half which was WRONG. Aamir ate away Darsheel's role. The film should have belonged to Darsheel.

Like I said in my review, a few years from now a person sitting down to watch the film without watching any trailer or knowing anything about the film would not know about why is Rizwan going on the journey. By the time, he will know it, half of his journey would be over. 3 Idiots too had a smiliar problem. Madhavan and Sharman were trying to find Aamir in the film, even before audience could sympathize for Aamir or understand what was so good in him that two of his friends were so desperate to find him. We, follow Indian films and watch trailers know about it, but a person who doesn't - it would be hard for him to understand it. That shows that even in 3 Idiots, the director/writer had problems with making the search part as interesting and therefore had to go into non-linear narrative or the director/writer wanted the film to look different from TZP. . On a serious note, that might be the reason too.

I don't mean the structure of 3 Idiots was rewritten on the editing table. Maybe they planned it before, but somehow I think 3 Idiots was not the kind of film that deserved non-linear narrative style. Infact, IMO, Veer-Zaara (Though I don't like the film much) is a film where the non-linear narrative structure is justified and one can clearly say that the non-linear narrative structure of Veer-Zaara was decided before it went to the editing table.

But I don't think Kajol was the REASON for changing the film into a non-linear one. IMO, the reason was the failure of the director and the writer to make the journey part as interesting as the love story. So they went into the back and forth narrative style so as to make the film more balanced. But, still they could not save the second half from being a disappointment.

I think non-linear structure is not at all confusing these days, infact most of the the films are trying to bring non-linear structure into their film. Sadly, almost none of them is a Memento or a Pulp Fiction or even ONE percent of Memento or Pulp Fiction. And the reason for this maybe these films did not have to change the narrative in the EDITING table, but the structure was non-linear even before the shooting began. When a person changes the structure in the editing table, it is mostly because of two reasons -

1. A fantastic idea has struck his mind. and he thinks non-limear structure can take the film to a new level.

2. Either to hide the flaws or weakness, or failure to tell the story interestingly in the manner as planned before the shoot began.

Mostly it is the second reason.

The Illusionist said...

@Caulfield - You have brought up some valid points in great length. Kudos !!

"Either to hide the flaws or weakness, or failure to tell the story interestingly in the manner as planned before the shoot began."

I completely agree with you on this. I believe this is what happened with MNIK.

"But, still they could not save the second half from being a disappointment."

YES, lack of a good screenplay kills the second half. What surprised me was for what was touted as a 'journey' movie, they lacked substance on that.

Khanabadosh said...

"I don't mean the structure of 3 Idiots was rewritten on the editing table."

First scene shot was Madhavan's plane one Shooting for 3 Idiots underway

Caulfield said...

Hmmm. Thanks KB. That clarifies that 3 Idiots wasn't changed to a non-linear film on the editing table, but I still think it is not a film where non-linear structure suits the film.

But why non-linear? There must be some reason. Just think if the story is said in a linear manner, would it make any difference to the story being told. I don't think so. Probably it was an attempt to distinguish it from TZP or the 'search' part was not very interesting and Raju and Abhijat thought it might bore the audience because that would have been the time in the film without Aamir Khan for almost 30-45 mins. And hence, the non-linear structure for commercial reasons and to not disappoint Aamir fans which is WRONG IMHO.

Pardesi said...

On what KB said - and I think Illusionist alluded to it too:

The way a film is SHOT, as in what is shot first has nothing to do with the nature of the narrative. So Madhavan's could be the first scene shot, BUT not meant to be that way in the film. Or maybe an opening shot and then we go into a flashback, instead of back and forth.

For instance, there maybe two parts to a story, with a gap of 10 years, to be shot in Goa. The unit will complete both in one go, keeping in mind continuity and looks of actors over the gap.

Cauli has explained what happened to MNIK. I think it made the film more interesting, as only the journey in the second half would have made is even dryer. AND I do think it was done on the editing table with voice-overs added to smooth out the transitions.

I also agree with Cauli that Veer Zaara had a near-perfect non-linear narrative that build the interest in the storyline. In fact VZ on first watch is an excellent film, but pales a lot on rewatch because there is no curiosity factor left to push the narrative. Yahs Chopra could still teach these young people a thing or two about movie making.

ApexHeights said...

The constant apology in the film - I am not a terrorist - which does not in anyway question the violently constructed category of the terrorist as Muslim was really sickening.

Pardesi said...

It was a statement by ONE man and it talked of a majority of people of that faith who go about their daily lives like normal people. By showing 9/11, the scene in the mosque, and the protagonist being stabbed by a terrorist sympathizer, it made the point that there are Muslim terrorists.

The Illusionist said...

@Cauli - MNIK was NOT shot as narrated. LA schedule which includes Kadz screaming scene was shot ahead of SF schedule. Even during SF schedule, Museum scene was canned in the first few days (which i went and witnessed. Most of the movies shot is US are shot depending on the availability of the a particular location on any given date.

The Illusionist said...

The 2 take aways for me after watching MNIK are :

1. Trust SRK when he tells you that he has researched and 'acted' in a movie, because he seldom does.

2. Never trust Karan to direct a serious contemporary movie. Next time i would watch a serious movie from Karan is after watching a good 'romcom' from Govind Nihalani.

Caulfield said...

The Illusionist - Yeah I know, most of the films are shot not according to the narration. I just wanted to say to KB, that even if 3 Idiots script wasn't changed on the editing table, the non-linear structure made no sense at all. :)

The Illusionist said...

Khanabadosh comments on KP, posted here with his consent.

@Cauli - For 3 idiots if they didn't have non-linear narration then aamir would have been absent when they were searching. Didn't make sense financially?

@Cauli - I am not a film literate person. For me there are two categories, is the movie engaging or not? I do't care if the narrative is linear or not. It is director's and editor's job to make it engaging. (Even memento was a simple story but edited and screenplayed differently).

Caulfield said...

KB - I wrote the same point in one of my previous comment -

"Probably it was an attempt to distinguish it from TZP or the 'search' part was not very interesting and Raju and Abhijat thought it might bore the audience because that would have been the time in the film without Aamir Khan for almost 30-45 mins. And hence, the non-linear structure for commercial reasons and to not disappoint Aamir fans which is WRONG IMHO."

ApexHeights said...

Don’t know or understand the non linear narration etc but story wise anyone with an average IQ knows that and there is no case for a silly Muslim apologetic movie. That said, instead of faking the false bravado of being some Muslim or Khan, a better theme would be SRK's own story i.e. how a majority tolerant democracy like India appreciates Muslims in its top film industry cadres

Pardesi said...

Silly Muslim apologetic movie? Faking it with some false bravado about being a Muslim or Khan? I say to such comments - listen in to Fareed Zakaria on CNN this Sunday. If this is such a non-issue then why is it on that show? And Fareed's IQ - maybe someone can challenge him to take a test.

Dissing people's IQs? I thought RL was about healthy debate.

I know that MNIK is not the film it could have been, and there is a lot that could and should have been improved. But mature debate looks at what went wrong, with specifics, and does not poke holes just for the sake of poking holes.


Humble request - Please keep the discussion on the topic, and not about the commentators. Let's keep this good discussion on track. Thanks !

ApexHeights said...

I would be interesting to watch Fareed’s take on the movie and his interview with SRK.
Fareed is a personal favorite otherwise too and last week was so damn articulate with the health care boons and banes and for the first time I understood the reasons for the bill support and disagreements.

Coming back to MNIK , i went to the movie with a very positive mind and lots of hope but the director succeeded only in portraying his own intellectual and artistic bankruptcy …something I swore would never be the case with Kjo as he always came across very articulate and contemporary .. . the movie attempts a serious theme, but that's where it ends. Melodrama takes over making it impossible to focus on anything other than the director's poor storytelling skills. Mr. Khan has not done himself any credit by participating as the protagonist in a very poorly made movie

Pardesi said...

My take - whatever the merits of the movie - and IMO there are several, Mr. Khan has acted in probably his career best role and done a wonderful job. Just for that MNIK was worthwhile to watch. IT is possible to see a film for more than just narrative as a film is made up of many parts. The cinematography, music, acting all are part of it.

ApexHeights said...

Cinematography gets full marks and to an extent music too was passable but yearning for a Rahman for this kind music was always there..

On another note Shankar Ehsan Loy dont do much for me anymore. Lately most of their albums have been identical lacking the zing for a hindi movie song

Minnie said...

MNIK currently stands at 74% critic rating, is above Ishqiya and LSD and is the highest rated movie of 2010. I don't believe the movie could have been as bad as it is being made out to be if it received 35 good, 1 average and 0 bad reviews! And please don't tell me SRK had managed to buy all 36 reviewers !!! Yes, the script was flawed, but it had its fine moments too... and was undoubtedly SRK's best performance till date.

To give an analogy, another movie which I think went wrong in its script/editing was Swades...It was half hour too long and attempted to deal with too many issues simultaneously which made it less engaging. But, can anyone seriously say it was not an excellent movie in SRK's career? No one can predict which movies will stand the test of time, but I'm sure MNIK will not be too far behind in being counted as a great addition to Shahrukh's filmography.

Pardesi said...

Unlike say unbeaten hits like Ghajni which even fans of Aamir have distanced themselves from, MNIK will be a film that will stand the test of time.

Caulfield said...


Sorry to disagree with you here on Swades. I thought everything was just perfect in Swades. It might not be as entertaining as a DDLJ or a 3 Idiots, but was as engaging as any of those. I re-watched this film three times in a row just a few months back along with the deleted scenes(which was around 30 mins long). :P

And yeah, MNIK is obviously a great addition to SRK's filmography. I would rate this performance as his fourth best after DDLJ, CDI and Swades.

Minnie said...

I was not talking about my personal preference here...I own the DVD and can watch it any number of times :-) I was talking about the reason why it didnt work as much for the general public. I think if the movie was half hour shorter, it would have worked better.

Pardesi said...

Some films stand the test of time - others do not, and it is not based on BO success only. Did Karan Arjun (Blockbuster) stand the test of time? Will Ghajini stand the test of time? IMHO MNIK will. Yes some parts will be incongruous but not at a level to make the entire untenable.

Caulfield said...

Ok. I saw MNIK again. :P

And after watching again, I can say the film wasn't made into a non-linear one on the editing table, but the non-linear structure was decided before the shooting itself. I can say that after seeing a couple of scenes -

1. K Jo has a knack of introducing characters in a suspenseful way. In the start we see the SRK typing on the computer and searching for articles related with Bush. And K Jo was showing different body parts of SRK and not his face as a whole like he would do to introduce a major actor in his film. So that says the scene was to introduce SRK in the film. And it was from the 'journey' part of the film. Hence, i think it is very clear that K Jo already had non-linear structure in his mind before shooting the film.

2. Just before the intermission, we see a camera pan from the past (love part of the film) to a black screen and the pan continues from the black screen to the present part (journey part).
Scene - SRK is sitting on the bench with Kajol after Resse's father's funeral. And then SRK sitting on a bench alone thinking about that incident. And then INTERMISSION.

So, these two things make it clear that the non-linear form was thought before shooting itself.

The Illusionist said...

@Cauli - Is there a possibility multiple introductory and intermission sequences were shot. ???? I remember reading that for KHNH they had shot 3 different endings.

Bottom line - These are hard to predict by just watching the movie. At the best these are educated guesses :P

Pardesi said...

Not to forget K Jo's fascination with park bench scenes that cross time-lines. The park bench scenes in K3G and the one in KANK are well known - so why not one for MNIK?

ApexHeights said...

park bench scenes – made famous by Forrest Gump
continue to fascinate bollywood and kjo is no exception.

Pardesi said...

K Jo has his own share of Park bench scenes that have become memorable as they serve to tie in two points of the narrative. The most brilliant one is of course in K3G but the KANK scene is no lesser, and deeply ironic in showing a man convincing an unknown girl to go off and marry, when later in the story he will cause the breakup of that same marriage.

The Illusionist said...

Karan's fascination with a bench scene started with KKHH,and like any other director he has not let it go.

Likewise, Mani's earlier movies always used to have a complete song picturized in slow motion.

ApexHeights said...

The Bench Scene .. lol !! in kank and I am sure even kjo wouldn’t have given such deep a thought at that irony. Lesser said about the K3g bench scene showing two grown up men hamming even in a simple sob scene though it did save us the lengthy dialogue diatribe and drama baazi of meeting and greeting. Sorry but I didn’t see this as a tie of two points in the narrative though my understanding of cinema is limited.

Forrest Gump is told from the point of view of Forrest sitting on a bench recalling all these events that happened to him. While he tells his story, other people on the bench listen, some care, some do not. Gump tells the events of his life to everyone who will listen. This movie has a lot of confusion built in but most understand it by the end… sadly this wasn’t the case with mnik

Pardesi said...

I will not comment further on any self-professed limited understanding of cinema by any poster on RL. Let me talk instead about the two bench episodes in the two films.

In K3G there is exceptional symmetry in how the brothers part at a park bench, and it is a tearful parting as only the older brother can see the logic of it, and then reunite finally at another park bench, this time with even more sadness as it will not lead to the family reuniting.

Similarly in KANK, the irony starts in the park bench at the beginning and ends at a bench in the city where the break-up of the marriages and also the futility of going forward is recognized.

To think that these moments just happened without any thought from the director would be extreme naivete. One thing Karan does know - and that is how to create memorable moments in his films. Who can forget the accidental meeting of Rani, Preity and SRK at a traffic signal in NYC? That was a Brian DePalma moment! However Karan has still not learned fully how to weave these into a coherent narrative.

The Illusionist said...

In other words he recreates the same moments in different context ? Maybe that's why those scenes look 'forced' sometimes ?

Pardesi said...

Not really - it is more like his signature in a film I suppose. It could be akin to a random man (the director) walking across a scene in certain directors' canon. The situations are completely different, and the park bench is merely a meeting point. It started with SRK and Kajol meeting after years on a bench in KKHH (Romance), went to K3G (brothers parting and reuniting), the ironical moment of two people communing as strangers and then again as adulterers (KANK). In fact I think the MNIK park bench may have left the least impact on my mind. Until Cauli mentioned it I had forgotten all about it!

Doga said...

When i Saw MNIK, they took intermission with SRK sitting on Bench writing his journal and thinking something about Kajol.

ApexHeights said...

Dont wish to say much to unsupported assertions and implication of being poster/imposter on RL which imo will not serve any purpose...

I respect your keen eye for details and specifics and thanks for sharing your interpretation of those scenes. To be frank my weakness is I have to get involved with a movie to pick up on details, allusions, trademarks of the actor or director, and probably have more insight into important story elements. Both Kank and MNIK were too superfcial to have me involved and notice these minute details. All I remember about Kank is the fashion statements each character was making. One may not believe me but I remember that traffic signal scene for preity’s jacket... MNIK I lost interest 30 minutes into the movie and all the coming and going of those Salon scene put me off preventing me to get deeply involved and i knew where KJO was heading.

Pardesi said...

The fashion statements do not catch my eye at all in any film. That is like saying I saw the film for how beautiful Katrina/Aishwarya/Sushmita or handsome Hritik/Salman (substitute whoever) LOOKED! The costumes are a minor part of the film, and they do not make a story superficial or deep. In fact KANK would never be plausible with people in rags. There is a stratum of society that is so involved in winning their daily bread that they have no time to worry about infidelity or indulge in it. Infidelity is a pass-time and concern of the affluent. I bring up the example of The Dangerous Liaisons - that film cannot be set among the proletariat.

I cannot see how the salon scenes give an insight into where K Jo was headed, unless one though he wold settle his protagonist down managing a salon.

ApexHeights said...

Salon scenes were very boring , dragged and there was no emotional connect with Rizwan’s character. In general subtlety was missing. In this respect Ghajini courting scenes surprised me and were pretty enjoyable even though Asin's character was over the top.

As for Kank being a story of the affluent – kjo himself admitted to SLB on KWK that he concentrated too much on the richness and spent precious time and sleepless nights trying to dress up people on the set. He was forthright with his latter assement that this movie like life in metro should have been set about two people madly in love willing to go to any extent including cheating on their spouses.

Pardesi said...

I cannot argue with a moving target. I still have no idea how the salon scenes told anyone where the film was headed. Rest is personal preference and most viewers connected very well to the love story part of the film.

As for KANK - actually K Jo admitted that there was no way the story could be set in Mumbai. It had to be among the affluent and far way from a desi milieu. As far as I recall in Metro Shilpa and Shiney never really got the courage to commit adultery, and the but with Sharman's apartment was a complete and shameless lift from Billy Wilder's The Apartment.

ApexHeights said...

“Moving target " lol ! for god sake we aren’t engaged in verbal aggression here!!

I see the point about bringing Ghajini to compare the romantic comedy scene and wasn’t really necessary. I was just trying to justify my taste of simple nok- jhok of the lead pair there…

The point why the movie could not be set in Mumbai , came much before the movie was released and during the period karan was trying to justify his NRI love. But very soon kjo realized his folly and when Life in Metro came the comparisons became amplified and that is when he admitted publicly , this should have been more of a small scale movie about four couples. I really liked his idea of kank when I got the audio and read the synopsis that two people should get marry only for love…but this point was completely missed in the movie.

On the Apartment scene dunno if it was copied but this is quite a norm otherwise too esp in Indian settings where joint family and lack of space for love bird is bit of problem..

Pardesi said...

Life in a Metro is a completely different film, there is NO ADULTERY, no breakup of marriages. As for Billy Wilder's The Apartment - it is worth watching, a treat to see Shirley McLaine and Jack Lemmon in the roles copied almost completely by Kangana and Sharman. I read about the New York setting in an interview that came much after KANK release. And to fully understand that point one has to see The Dangerous Liaisons!

ApexHeights said...

“Life in a Metro is a completely different film, there is NO ADULTERY,”

Are you sure?

The movie is not only full of philandering, infidelity but there is also full blown extramarital sex there. Its another matter shetty’s character feels guilty and does not / could not cross her limit. The theme is similar to Kank but treatment is different.

I thought KANK’s initial inspiration was a movie named Closer with Julia Roberts , though agree both are different movies altogether.

Have not seen Dangerous Liaisons, but the way these movies are ‘bollydiwise” it would have been better if johar came up with an original idea and believe me a metro like bombay is full of these faith and betrayal stories.

ApexHeights said...

What Johar needs is a more grounded script writer, a commoner who is more in touch with day to living rather than just a writer who decides one day to write a story for Mr. Khan , where his "acting chops" will be displayed and , which will win him accolades and then lock himself in a five star room or whatever..

ApexHeights said...

Being a thinking man , it would be interesting to watch what kjo attempts with Mr. Khan next; apart from doing these remakes of step moms and I hate love story types... I sincerely hope he chooses an Indian setting even if it simply is a family drama. I wont’t mind a HAHK from him if he is good at it but please dont butcher Forrest Gump by doing a MNIK !

Pardesi said...

In Metro the Kay Kay character uses the Apartment and that whole scenario with Kay Kay, Sharman and Kangana is out of the Apartment. It has nothing to do with Bombay but with straight out plagiarism. Shilpa character stays within the bounds of her marriage so in the unique bit the director dares to show us nothing new.

Dangerous Liaisons has nothing to do with KANK per se, but it is about how infidelity is treated among the rich and the poor. It is more about what setting suits such films.

Not only Johar but entire Bollywood needs grounded script writers who are given their due and not treated like trash, and discarded after their stories are stolen by big producers! There are enough grounded stories in BW but where si the audience for these films? Are Ghajini and 3 Idiots (chosen only as examples of three of the biggest films recently along with MNIK) GROUNDED stories? That is laughable!

Thank god K Jo did not butcher Forrest GUMP! At least his protagonist did not carry an entire battalion on his shoulders and run them to safety, win a football match, become a ping pong champ, all the while being a man with a leg brace and low IQ!

About Dharma productions and remakes, even Scorsese remade Infernal Affairs into Departed. Kudos to K Jo for not stealing as the rest of his contemporaries do.

ApexHeights said...

This one goes to all the Reellusionites and the specific Q&A in the links may assist in clearing the mental block ailing a lot of people here against this Mighty Ace and will help them see beyond the Kings of the world.

Y’all definitely need patience to go through all parts but aamir’s endearing personality will make you sail through these links in no time and hopefully few of the beliefs, perceptions and judgments will get a fresh impetus and the subsequent mindsets would be more receptive to his genius.


Aamir 2

Aamir 3

Aamir 4

Aamir 5

Aamir 6

Aamir 7

Aamir 8

Moderator@RL said...

ApexHeights - Refrain yourself from addressing members in offensive words. It is totally uncalled for.

ApexHeights said...

Hey that’s not fair !

There are no offensive words there and I'm not pinpointing to any member, but is a sincere suggestion to all the members in general to a peek-a-boo on stars other than “The Shah Rukh Khan”.

The drift towards King Khan is so obvious here that we do need a new perspective wrt bollywood and look at what’s happening beyond the mannat kingdom and for that who better than to listen to the current Numero Uno of Hindi cinema – Ace Khan ,
a stickler for perfection and famous for his innovative ideas of filmaking.

Those links and suggestion were all made in good faith and towards betterment of the blog and discussions thereafter in general.

Don’t we all agree we need to move from a far leftist position to a bit more centre!

ApexHeights said...

Don’t pounce on me at that far leftist allegation as people have made similar allegations to a sister concern / an offshoot of Naachgaana – ‘SatyamShot’, for being at the far right of that spectrum and I guess , the owner there has altered few of his view points and made amends..

ApexHeights said...

On a serious note, SRK with his current actions is reaching a position of redundancy as far as his movies / acting are concerned.

Why continue the sham and why not plainly switch over and become a full fledged businessman and spare the torcher to the filmgoers.

I am saying this because any movies Mr. Khan does gets overhyped by the ever obliging media and there is no escaping then even if the product is substandard !

Pardesi said...

Torture to film-goers is easily avoided. They can simply lock up their money and stay at home to watch Dus ka Dum on reruns. If one thinsk the media will ALWAYS overhype films of certain actors but one still goes to see them, then there are many names for such people, but we are not supposed to indulge in name calling!!!! As for diluting the main topic with peripheral content, it might be worth starting a new topic when one is talking of stuff not relevant to the one at hand.

The relevance of MNIK and its Box Office is being dismissed AFTER the films has become the second biggest grosser EVER. I guess by that same token Ace Khan will become irrelevant UNLESS he tops his 3 Idiots feat.

Obituaries have been written before for SRK, and I think they will be written again and again by the naysayers. For the rest, life will go on as usual!

Minnie said...

Never knew SRK had so much control over the media and movie-goers alike....inspite of knowing that movie will have no "substance" and will be completely "redundant", people still flock to the theaters and make his last 4 movies superhits!!
Tch..tch...when will SRK stop hypnotizing all of us? It's NOT fair on Ace Khan!!

Pardesi said...


ApexHeights said...

I think all were witness to hypnotizing ways of the Ace last Christmas!

Please wake up to the reality on market capacity.

Aamir just showed everyone a glimpse...

10 days business was equaling the lifetime earnings of the biggest hit of Mr. Khan

Moderator@RL said...

ApexHeights - The following statement by you was offensive

"may assist in clearing the mental block ailing a lot of people here"

I am providing the specific detail so that you know what we are talking about.

The Illusionist said...

ROFL.. Minnie.. Looks like your week is starting on a 'high' note :P

ApexHeights said...

"may assist in clearing the mental block
ailing a lot of people here"

okay I remove the word 'ailing' from there.


The links may assist in clearing the mental block for a lot of people.

Pardesi said...

The mental blocks of other posters may never go away, no matter what links are provided.

ApexHeights said...

..and that is indeed sad thing to note on a progressive thought driven blog. It smacks of rigidity just like Mr. Khan’s movies which seem stuck to the rigid formulae

There is a very noble talk by Aamir in either link 7or 8 on Black and the way kid was handled that itself will melt any heart - mental block is easy go..

It’s a pity there are no takers to those links and willing to understand values of embracing excellence.

Pardesi said...

It is sad note when people fail to realize their rigidity and refuse to accept other points of view - and I speak for those on either side of any divide.

As for Aamir links, they are irrelevant to MNIK thread and need their own space to get takers.

Any forum is only as progressive as its members. When members fall into the trap of MONEY MONEY BOX OFFICE BOX OFFICE, then any progressive analysis of films goes out the window.

I have not seen ONE valid objective criticism of anything on this thread. To move around in a scattershot fashion criticizing this and that, that is not a way to get a thoughtful response. next I can post some Satyajit Ray and Mahatma Gandhi links, just as relevant or irrelevant, as the case may be.

ApexHeights said...

Okay I admit posting the links on a wrong thread … don’t know what made me do so as the intent was not on purpose. .May be I was rushing outdoors but nonetheless wanted reellusionite to digest them during the weekend…..and we could discuss it at later date.

So I will accept your criticism vis-a-vis Satyajit Ray and Mahatma Gandhi etc

My leanings have never been towards box office and I am never fascinated by the big bucks a movie makes... 3I business is secondary and the movie / story excites me first. But yes I have no patience for art house cinema and pseudo masquerading as messiahs of parallel cinema. For me it’s all about story telling and if it’s told in an interesting manner.

Since off topic I end my discussion here on this topic.

Pardesi said...

I never read anything that is off topic and not germane to the discussion going on. There is a time and place for everything.

If there is no fascination for the BO then one should stop bringing in what the masses think or how they opined vis-a-vis the fate of a film. I want to think for myself. And I love art house and parallel cinema.

Khanabadosh said...

lets give this thread some oxygen


"She says the whole going back and forth narrative pattern in My Name Is Khan was achieved on the editing table."

Caulfield said...

Thanks KB for the link. :)

Pardesi said...

When I said I read it in an interview no one believed me! But LINKMASTER ne link nikal diya!

The Illusionist said...

YAWN ....

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