What’s the big fuss about Deepa Mehta? I recently watched two of her movies – Earth and Water. Frankly, I wasn’t impressed. Movies are not just about telling stories; they’re about telling stories well. There’s something lazy about Mehta’s style of filmmaking. Let me explain this better.
Both movies have strong plots. Earth is about love and betrayal during that most turbulent of times in our nation’s history – Partition. Water is about the plight of Indian widows, who’re often forced into begging and prostitution to sustain themselves. Both stories need to be told.
Deepa Mehta clearly sees this and proceeds to beat it into our heads. She sermonizes. She patronizes her audience. She just doesn’t have much subtlety as a filmmaker.
While we’re at it, I might as well talk about another popular movie I disliked – Cheeni Kum. What was with that movie? It lacked spark, zest, wit – in short, all the essential ingredients required to make a good romantic comedy. The dialogues were terrible (the ‘chhatri’ joke?? Save it for the locker room, guys!), the chemistry between the lead pair was non-existent and the script was bad, bad, bad! And if I were allowed to ask the filmmakers just one question, it would be this – why the little girl? What purpose did she serve apart from that of the obvious plot device needed to pull the heartstrings of the audience? It was so obvious that the people behind the movie were constantly patting themselves on the back – ‘Oh yeah! We made a different movie! Oh yeah, not a sugary love story! We’re so clever!’ The movie was self-conscious at best and inane at worst.
Yes, I’ve been watching a lot of movies. I don’t have much else to do.