Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ghajini and Rab ne bana di jodi: the common thread

Could there be two movies more different in style, story, theme and presentation? And yet, there is a thought that is central to both films.

The coin has two sides.
The mirror has two faces.
Every human being has another aspect to his/ her personality, rarely seen.

The Ghajini version is more plausible. The impact of witnessing a brutal murder coupled with a massive head injury literally brings out the animal in Sanjay Singhania.

I HATE violence on screen and even in Ghajini I covered my eyes every time the amnesiac-animal went on a rampage. But I must compliment Aamir Khan for the way in which he played the role.

When he bashes up (or actually just brushes aside) an army of goons in the climax scene, I did not feel this is the typical 'herogiri' of Hindi films. Sanjay Singhania was an ordinary guy with extraordinary power because he had a 'mission'.

The fact that he could not remember what that mission was made for the twist in a tale which would otherwise have been a 'kameene main tera khoon pi jaoonga' kind of revenge drama from the 1970s or 80s.

I was happy to see that Aamir's rippling muscles and even the Ghajini 'hair style' were not mere packaging but integral to the storyline of the film. That's what one expects from this very fine actor :)

Coming to Rab ne Bana di jodi. Here too, we have a hero with 'two sides' although one really has to take a huge leap of faith to accept that a woman won't recognise her husband from two cm distance just because he does not wear his spectacles and moustache.

Aamir ko ek tarah ka short-term memory loss hai to Ms Taani ko uska doosra version hai. I guess that's another (unintended) similarity between the two films :)

Although Mr Aditya Chopra conveniently uses God to circumvent any and all such problems with Surinder Sahni making the observation: "Agar rab chahte to ek second mein Taniji mujhe pehchaan jaati, magar aisa nahin hua kyunki woh meri love story likhna chahte hain." Go figure!

Apart from that of course, Aamir is a case of 'before' and 'after'. He was one person before the haadsa and a completely different one after it. Even after he completes his mission - and especially from the last scene - it appears that he will live in cuckooland, pretty much forever.

Surinder ji on the other hand is leading a 'boring is normal' kind of life. And yet, in a candy floss version of the old Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde routine, he transforms into Raj while claiming to be in office working 'overtime'.

Now since this is a Yashraj production, he is actually trying to romance his own wife. The Anurag Basu (and closer to reality) version would have a Raj making out with some hot chick in the office!

The question that is never convincingly answered in RNBDJ is why Surinder could not be a little more expressive and get a better haircut without pretending to be Raj. But you see Rab ne banani thi teen ghante ki picture. So the Dr Yellow Tiffin Box and Mr Tight Yellow T shirt tale has to stretch on.

In real life, however, you find that even Raj eventually progresses to a Surinder-like state of stupor and the only thing that keeps the average Indian couple is the common ground they find in their children and social obligations.

Moral of the story:

From Ghajini: A haadsa can transform life as you know it. Yes, that is the case most recently with the survivors of the Mumbai terror attack. But is 'revenge' really the answer?

In the film we see Sanjay earn the satisfaction of killing Ghajini the very same way he bludgeoned Kalpana. But will the relatives of those killed in the terror attacks get a sense of 'relief' when Ajmal Kasab is sentenced to death some months, or even years from now?

Coming to term with senseless acts of violence and the evil side of human nature is one of life's biggest challenges. Ultimately revenge is an option but not the 'solution'.

From Rab ne bana di jodi: Men and women are both stuck playing 'roles' in their earthly lives. Okay, but they can either sleepwalk through it all or be fully alive and involved while performing their parts!

There is no perfect partner out there. Just different combinations of Surinder and Raj, Golgappa and Biryani - or whatever you choose to call the yin and the yang inside each of us.

So undertake the physical makeover, mental makeover, spiritual makeover - whatever it takes to 'light up your life, ji'. Rishta nibhana is the Indian solution to the oldest of all relationship problems in the world. And Rab ne almost convinces you that yes, it surely works!

But as I walked out of the hall I couldn't help thinking of the irony in reel life vs real life. Aditya Chopra, director of the film did not see rab in his jodi with Payal - he chose the route of the divorce court.

42 comments:

  1. heh. Interesting thoughts. I kinda saw something in common between the films too.. like ordinary love stories egging people on to do uncommon things. My review of Ghajini is here, haven't seen RNBDJ yet!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ghajini fell way below my expectations. Reasons being:
    1. It stretches too long
    (3+ hours).
    2. Ghajini being just a villian is too much of a disappointment.
    3. The villian's performance is again far below the expectations. (please ask him to see Heath Ledger in The dark knight).
    4. Jiah Khan is HORRIBLE when it comes to acting.
    5. I have seen Memento and believe that the direction is far superior in the original plus the storyline is stronger.
    6. In fight sequences, it appears that you are watching a typical South Indian Movie where the hero is not just a hero but a superman with crazy power.

    The real good part of the movie is the love story of Aamir and Asin. That's surely worth a watch. Aamir as you mention, is also pretty good in the transition that he makes from a nice boy to an obsessed man.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually I'd prefer Rab ne... to Ghajini, which really disappointed me. I have written a Ghajini review as well, and would invite you to give it a read.

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  4. I love the way you compared these two films. I haven't yet seen Ghajini but know the whole story as I saw the tamil version of it. I guess nothing will change much in the Bollywood version. And yes, I also wonder why Suri didn't go for a hair-cut and dress a little funky while he did the very same just pretending to be someone else. I mean "wt* yaar!" :-o
    And about the irony part, we love to preach things we don't believe ourselves. Same holds true for Adiji, after all, he's a mere human being. :-p

    ReplyDelete
  5. RNBDJ was one of the most insulting-to-Indians flicks that I've seen of late. I mean, does the director really think we people are stupid enough to buy any darn crap he sells, only cuz the packaging is attractive and the movie has SRK? I'm soo glad I watched the early morning show which helped me save a cool Rs. 100 straight, else I'd have never gotten over the trauma of wasting my hard-earned money on some @#$% like this one.

    Ghajini, I don't think I'll be watching. After having almost lost it, thanks to RNBDJ, I have decided to not waste any more time, money and energy on non-sensical movies. Ghajini, from what I've learnt, defies all logic, and doesn't even have a Hollywood hottie to make up for it. A 3+ hour movie? After Jodha-Akbar, thanks but no thanks.

    Ah, feels good to finally vent. :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rashmi, I really like your ability to extract deep philosophical meanings out of trash like RNBDJ :-) . Anyway, I think you should see the english version of Ghajini. That movie was able to portray in a much better way the pain and the frustration of someone who has gone through such a situation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dumb and Dumber
    Ghajini is the latest in this crappy trend, with the source being the brilliant, mind-bending thriller Memento.Ghajini is filled with inane characterizations, a complete lack of an eye for detail or rationale, filled with comic-book like action sequences that are a straight lift of B-grade Tamil movies and containing more bloopers than the makings of sitcoms;
    while RNBDJ is perfect crap produced by Adi chopra whose review or preview or view is torture in hell...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think that I might be the only person on this earth to like Ghajini better than Memento. Or is it that people are just too obsessed with the so-called modern-classic called Memento that they just cant see beyond the fact.
    Take Ghajini as a different movie and its definitely a better one.
    Better than Memento and far better than RNBDJ.
    Memento had a weak story (to the point of irrelevance - I wonder about the guy who talks about a stronger story in Memento - which movie did he watch). It did have a stronger concept but it remained at that - a concept movie.
    Ghajini has a much better love-story and definitely a superior protagonist.
    I did not care about the villain that much even though I expected a different climax (like I would have preferred had Aamir Khan died in the end). But - thats where the South Indian Masala Element kicks in. Songs though were the biggest disappointment.
    A R Rehman should stop recycling his music!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. jus came across ur blog by chance,
    i loved the perspectives put up by you!
    very easily and lightly, u have put up some facts of life which many intelligent fellows r unable to comprehend.
    it was a delight to read ur thoughts!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rashmi..a very happy new year to you and all your readers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Guess who also closed their eyes during the killing scenes??

    Rab ne sucked, though. Really.

    ReplyDelete
  12. know what..ghajini is almost a repica of the tamil version...being honest..aamir did a good job..but his acting is far more short of that of surya's master copy..

    rab ne is okay...but i thot its almost ridiculous that the heroine has no brains enuf to find out her hubby in her raj partner..badhshah might be thankin rab ji..his make over doesnt need something like wat hrithik needed in dhoom...

    ReplyDelete
  13. A most happy new year to you Rashmi and to fellow readers.

    I watched both the movies last week. Ghazini scores in its ambience, feel and superb songs over RBNDJ.Ghazini in the first half with the romantic chemistry between asin aamir sizzling was a treat to watch. At least , I was in anticipation of "what next." will ahpen for the first 2 hours.However the second half could have been made much more tighter and the ending on a positive note rather than all blood and gore . Ghazini has a potent mix of all emotions you can think of : love,action, fear , action, drama ...and that makes it a nice "one time" watch movie.The songs "Hai guzaarish" and "Kaise Mujhe Tum" will rule the charts for a long time. The melody is too good. My rating :4/5.

    ReplyDelete
  14. revenge or punishment is important to some extent.over politeness can kill !!

    ReplyDelete
  15. 'rab ne bani di jodi' really rubs it in. Mr Chopra's real life is not an irony it is just what real life is like. Maybe next time Mr Chopra will make a movie inspired from his own life that would be real. But will it be entertaining as Bollywood blockbuster.

    ReplyDelete
  16. i like very much rabne banadi jodi, awsome action by sharookh

    www.papershunt.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I had a laugh after reading your article. I haven't watched Ghajini but yes had a chance to watch RAB.... For me the comparison is not imp but i liked ur last para where u compared the mumbai victims with revenge and how adi couldn't find rab in her wife.
    One word Hippocrates.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very interesting review. I normally don't like reading long movie reviews, but this one is just apt !! the best was even you observed the Peela effect of RNBDJ :) one can have Jaundice so easily - car , flowers, dresses, theaters ...sab kuch peela !! And the thing that tanniji had was Blindophrenic...kabhi dikhe kabhi andhera :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Namaskar,
    I invite you to visit my blog on Indian Politics.

    HITCHINTAK
    http://www.hitchintak.blogspot.com

    Thanks.
    regards,
    sanjeev.sinha78@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. This post is incomplete, Rashmi. For comparison, you must see Momento first. You will come to appreciate the art of story telling. Rab ne...is crap. Pure crap. I think, its not even worth reviewing or commenting on!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rab ne is above average movie specially of two reasons.
    1. SRK
    2. Banner
    But Ghajini excellent.
    Claps for Aamir & Team.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Would love a write up from you on the satyam fiasco. Your ideas would be a treat to read.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am sick of Ghajini, a work of art has to be somewhat believeable, a businessman of Singhania's stature as shown DOES NOT forget his cell in the car.

    An eight pack doesnt mean Aamir can pull out a rod from his lungs and throw it at Ghajini so hard that, that Ghajini falls down.

    It lacks any kind of feasibilty!
    GRADE- R to this flick!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Actually, I would like to join jam...any advise on how i should approach?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Rashmi Bansal,

    Was trying to buy a book named stay hungry stay foolish and was searching with the author's name Rashmi Bansal, are u the same who has written the same book as well??

    Regards,
    Pankaj Borana
    pankajborana@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. RNBDJ DEKHNE KE BAAD MUJHE LAGTA HAI KII MERAAA PAISA PURA KA PURAA WASSOL HO GAYA HAI AUR MUJHE PATAA CHALA HAI KII YEH BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE HO GAYA HAI PAR GHAJINI KE LIYE SOCHTA HOON TOH BAHUT GHUSHA AATA HAI KYUN KI 1ST HALF KUCH HADH TAK ACHAA HAI PAR 2ND HALF IS VERY BORINGGGGGG.AAMIR SIRF BODY BANANE SE KUCH NAHIIN HOTA SAMJHE.MAINE AARAM SE 1 GHANTE KE LIYE SO GAYA THA INTERVAL KE BAAD.RNBDJ IS VERY NICE.SRK THIS TIME ALSO ROKSSS & AAMIR SUKSSSS.

    GHAJINI---RGV KI AAG SE BAHUT ACHA HAI PAR SAAWRIYA SE BAHUT BAKWAAS HAI.I THINK ALL SHOULD GO 4 RNBDJ.

    ReplyDelete
  27. MAINE SAAWARIYA GHAJINI SE BHI ZYAADA NJOY KIYA THA.
    GHAJINI-HORRIBLE MOVIE.

    ReplyDelete
  28. i think i have a different take on ghajini....i think you people can catch my review on my blog:
    http://extendurlimits.blogspot.com/

    Though i think i am lil late but i think tdat better late than never....lookin forward to your comments on my review!!!!

    ReplyDelete
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  32. 小吃餐車加盟連鎖「一條龍的創業模式」複製成功開店經驗
    更新日期:2009/08/25 17:19

    (中央社訊息服務20090825 16:19:17)大環境不景氣,工作難找,有不少人就想乾脆自己創業當老闆。為強化國內創業能量,五路財神開店總部於8月20日-9月20日舉辦「2009夢幻小餐車創業成果展」歡迎蒞臨參觀。針對國內一窩蜂創業加盟潮,餐車達人陳滌五總監提醒創業者,加盟不失為一條創業捷徑,但若選擇加盟,品牌知名度、產品獨特性及是否擁有差異化優勢就顯得格外重要。
    近年來以成本低的小吃餐車最受創業者青睞。沒經驗的失業族 大部份都選擇餐車擺攤,最多人都想在創業市場闖出一片天。在台中成立的五路財神開店總部,小吃餐車用品牌方式來營運,總經理陳滌五用自己的經驗來現身說法。以國人創業首選的小吃餐車來說,如何在同質性高的市場中殺出重圍?雖然是路邊攤小餐車,營運上的重要撇步是關鍵;在企業經營戰略中,唯有領先核心競爭,保持差異化優勢才是生存之道。
    陳總分享成功關鍵,「五路財神餐車與其他路邊攤最大的差異化,在於餐車外觀亮眼與眾不同的加分效果,及秉持結合好的小吃產品用品牌方式來經營的理念」。總部成立初期因觀察到傳統路邊攤想要爭得一席之地,大多考量商品創新的迷思,卻忽略創業者經營能否持久性的問題。所以五路財神餐車將傳統小吃商品,用創新工法為策略,顛覆傳統路邊攤的概念,長期下來在台灣建立起最多元品牌的餐車王國。
    很多創業者最憂心沒經驗,業界首創從餐車打造、生財器具、原物料配方、技術教學、促銷廣告、開幕指導,「一條龍的創業輔導」模式,使得五路財神餐車品牌特色更為彰顯。陳總說,不景氣下小吃餐車經營是加倍艱辛,建議創業者不但要瞭解小吃經營的核心價值,凸顯產品獨特性及差異化之外還要定期和你商圈的客人互動,「好餐車、好商品、好客人」,三個好,如此才有可能成為「不敗的小吃攤」。
    |加盟創業|滷味加盟|加盟|餐車|安親班|廚具||開店|新民管樂|哈比|Eric|校友隊|高中畢旅|全國音樂比賽|特優|痞子英雄|薩克斯風|東大附中|星條旗|離開地球表面|牛仔很忙|陽光宅男|新民管樂畢業生|墓仔埔也敢去

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  33. カタログギフトのリンベルでは、結婚引出物や結婚内祝い、出産内祝い、香典返ししなどの冠婚葬祭やお中元・お歳暮に最適な、贈られた方がお好みの商品を選べるカタログギフトをご用意しています。
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    ペット 葬儀 川崎の移動火葬(出張火葬)対応のペット 葬儀 東京動物火葬/葬儀会社です。
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    ベネフィットライフなら首都圏の不動産仲介手数料0円が最大無料でお得。ハウジングスカイでは、東京都内すべての物件の仲介手数料無料必ず無料or半額(法定上限比)になります。
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    保土ヶ谷 不動産豊かな自然と利便性を両立した大島・不動産 葛飾区砂町を中心に江東区のレジャーと不動産をご紹介します。不動の人気エリア「東横線」。渋谷・川崎市 不動産横浜に直通のアクセスと整った横浜市戸塚区 不動産住環境が魅力の人気沿線です。人気の港北ニュータウンを通る「市営地下鉄線グリーンライン」「市営地下鉄線ブルーライン」、横浜市旭区 不動産沿線都市の開発の進む注目の「JR横浜線」の3路線の沿線不動産特集をお送りします。
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    コストダウンの味方「オプティマキッドの名刺 激安」は両面カラー・高級厚紙・名刺作成ラミネート防水加工のハイクオリティです

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