Movie Rant

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.

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12 thoughts on “Movie Rant

  1. 😉 …that was the coolest review I have heard abt those movies ever..I havent seen Earth,but I did see Water. The only thing tht struck me abt Water was the last part, where persumably the only refuge for a widow child was to be send away with Ghandhi’s crowd…which to me was a far cry from a mallu movie where the solution to a childs destiny of prostitution after being born into a family of prostitute was to be killed by the hero…

    Cheeni Kum…pretty drab and trying to be intelligent..

  2. Hmmm…haven’t watched any of the three movies, so am a bit lost in a way.

    But I thought I heard a lotta positive stuff about cheeni kum, guess i’ll have to watch it. Tho the 3 hour tag can get borin.

    Rather watch ‘Cash’. *malicious laughter*

  3. I haven’t watched either of the films but I have somewhat same views about films directed by Mira Nair.

  4. @ tys on ice
    Of course I don’t mind! I’m flattered that you want to read my tripe again and again! 😀

    @ AJ
    From what I’ve heard of ‘Cash’, they’re going to have to pay the audience to watch it!

    @Madhura Kanekar
    I don’t have that much of an issue with Mira Nair. At least, I loved ‘Monsoon Wedding’.

  5. Hmmm. It’ll be slightly tricky for me to comment here, considering I’m a rather big fan of Ms Mehta. I completely agree with your thoughts on the ‘lazy’ feel of her films. Although, I’d like to call it slow-paced 🙂 I think what she does, and a lot of other filmmakers miss out on, is detail. The little things that her characters do amaze me. I do think, however, that it would do her good if she paid more attention to the larger picture too.

    As for Cheeni Kum, I prefer talking in person about it.

  6. @Rishi

    When I said that Mehta’s style is lazy, I didn’t mean that her movies are slow-paced. I meant that she doesn’t take the effort to make her point subtly. For instance, in both Earth and Water, after the movie, she used text like ‘The Partition killed such and such number of people…’. She just states it baldly, passes judgement and expects to be applauded for it. I dunno…maybe it’s an effective technique. But personally, I think it’s lazy and it patronizes the audience by presuming to do their thinking for them.

    And why can’t you discuss Cheeni Kum in public? 🙂

  7. Deepa Mehta’s work is pretty much over kill and plays on cliches – her messages are lost in the over dramatization – I think she is preaching to the converted – I wish she would dilute messages so that they reach a wider audience

  8. you’re right. i despised everythng about cheeni kum from bad acting to the lack a good script.
    and yes, deepa mehta is over-rated, but she still has some of the most beautiful looking movies i have seen in indian cinema.

  9. you’re right. i despised everything about cheeni kum, from bad acting to the lack of a good script.
    but i like the feel of deepa mehta movies, and i for one like the way she puts her point acoss, and also i feel she has the most beautiful movies indian cinema has seen.

  10. Chini Kum goes down as the worst “wannabe” movie I have ever, ever seen. AB’s long tirade (has to be at least 15 mins) where he proves how Paresh Rawal is “jealous” of him had me fainting. Bad, bad stuff.

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