Monday, June 11, 2007

Bheja Fry -- a gathering of cuckolds

It is always a surprise when some movies make waves even though they are not really good. "Bheja Fry" has been doing brisk business at the PVR Multiplex in Delhi for 50 days. And when you saw the movie, and it turned out to be a damp squib of a comedy, you always wondered about the reasons. Rajat Kapoor plays the dude in such a fashion that you really hate him. Milind Soman is absolutel mild and silly. Sarika is wonderfully impressive, but she does not have much of a role. The man who really steals the show, or who holds the show as it were, is the character Bharat Bhushan, who is a throw back to the Waghle character of the famous TV comedy series of the 1980s. The dialogues hinge on familiar Hindi film song lines, and that is what makes you smile, and very rarely do you laugh. It is more a sit-com or good theatre than credible cinema. One can also compare it to those Neil Simon dramas, played out on the screen by Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn. So, why has it become so popular? It is not just the older people who thronged the theatre on a hot Sunday evening, but also teenagers, and they seemed to enjoy it quite a lot. The only inference that can be made is that Hindi film audiences are starved of dialogues. The action flicks of Hrithik Roshan et al have made dialogue a non-essential part of the film. In 'Bheja Fry" the dialogue is the hero, the kingpin. It holds the plot, instead of the plot holding the dialogue. As a matter of fact, there is no plot to speak of, in the first place. The only contemporary fact of the film is that it is a gathering of cuckolds of sorts, and it is a typical middle class urban phenomenon. Some sociologist can hope to get something out of 'Bheja Fry'.

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