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Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana...

Why has it become necessary for film makers to try to be different?
Why does everyone involved in a movie state emphatically and categorically that the movie that they are talking about is decidely different form all other movies?
What is wrong about formulaic movies if its serves its basic purpose, which is to entertain?

Karan Johar too, afflicted by this syndrome, has moved out from his terrain that peddled candyfloss entertainment that went on to become huge money spinners and tried to be 'hatke'. While KANK has everything that his earlier movies had...huge budget, opulance in every frame, extremely well choreographed songs, pleasent music and an editor who forgot his scissors, the subject in KANK veers and tries to tackle a very complex human condition - marital infidelity.

Some pyschologists say that man by nature is promiscous), but the latent heat in his loins have been tempered by an institution called marriage - which probably is the reason why man is one of the only animals that can copulate year round, unless he is suffering from a serious hangover. Karan Johar has added another possibility - true love. KANK is a three and a half hour long bum-numbing experience that explains to the audience that unless we marry the right person we will never be happy and this will result in a lot of pain and hurt and copious amounts of tears been shed.

I wont go into the details of the storyline, but the outline goes like this. Dev (Shah Rukh) is a failed soccer player who takes out his anger on his Riya, his wife (Preity Zinta) and kid. He is an insecure person and totally anti-social. Maya (Rani) is married to Rishi (Abhishek) and is bothered so much about their childless marriage that she treats him like a kid. She is so not into the marriage for reasons best known to her. Dev and Maya meet up and over the course of next two hours become lovers. If you look at who plays Dev and Maya, the movie follows its path to a standard bollywood climax. If you look at what bollywood movies dont tamper with generally - tradition and culture - KANK does an about face.

KANK has had extreme reviews, more so because of the hype associated with it. It is contrived and Karan Johar's tendency to mimic everything going wrong in one marriage with something similar going on in the other marriage is very contrived. There is no real reason as to why Maya strays from her marriage, since Rishi is certainly caring and tries his best to give her all his attention - which is much more than most guys usually do. The movie is long by over an hour and a half and Karan Johar has atendency to stretch everything that much more and the denouement has come and gone but it takes another 15 minutes for the credits to roll.The events also seem to be happening in a different universe as there is definetly a disconnect with reality. There is a lot to quibble at, but KANK is definetly not a bad film either as it does has it moments. Some good comic moments, especially with Amitabh who plays Rishi's dad and who is a philanderer to boot. He and Rishi share some good comic chemistry. Then there are the nicely choreographed and easy on the ears songs. The actors all perform their parts admirably. Shah Rukh Khan should be admired for taking on this negative character and it is to his credit that the audience ends up not liking Dev. Rani Mukherji is good. Preity's and Abhishek's roles could have been better written, but both have their moments.

KANK is your average bollywood movie and I am sure it will go on to become another money spinner for everyone involved. It may not be the definitive movie on marital discord and human relationships, but I have sat thru worse...

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