>OK, so I’m a little late. But give me break! I was in China when these movies were released and the only way I could watch them was by downloading them. So I waited for the DVDs to be available here.
But to return to the point at hand. These movies – wow! I knew they were trashed by many people, but liked by the few for whose opinion I really care. And I’m so glad I watched them. Johnny Gaddar was good and the ensemble cast was perfectly chosen. The script was tight, the acting was good, and the pace was perfect. There was no real mystery here. The audience knows right from the start who’s stabbed the gang in the back. What really makes us sit at the edge of our seats is how the events unfold and how each revelation comes about.
I preferred Manorama Six Feet Under to Johnny Gaddar. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it had to do with Abhay Deol’s perfect portrayal of a small-town guy struggling to re-establish his self worth. Maybe it was how the small town of Lakhot becomes a character in itself, with it’s dust and barrenness and harsh sunshine. Or maybe it was the moral ambiguity of almost every character in the movie – from the hero, SV, who is suspended for taking a bribe to the mysterious Manorama who causes such upheavals in SV’s life. The end was a maybe a little saccharine and not exactly in keeping with the tone of the rest of the movie, but that’s probably the only thing that a perfectionist would cavil at.
I enjoy masala potboilers, but I like watching quality cinema too. If these movies are any indication of the future of Bollywood, then I have reason to feel very, very optimistic.