Monday, August 15, 2005

Mangal Pandey - the calicut experience

I watched Mangala Pandey - the cinematic rendition of the 1857 mutiny yesterday. I am sure all of us would want to watch this movie, thanks to our dramatic history textbooks. But then, for me the 1857 sepoy mutiny had been nothing more than a sure shot essay question in history which had to be answered with the correct dates and years and nothing more than that.

Mangal Pandey has been a much awaited movie partly due to the Aamir khan factor and partly due to the ‘highly toned’ Aamir Khan factor and yeah more so, the interest of an Indian to go back in time to take a look at what our forefathers had to go through so that we can sit in plush (uh, maybe not so plush in Calicut) seats in a cinema and watch a movie rather than be someone's slave.

The movie, sadly, did not live up to its expectations. IMHO a little less number of songs, a little more momentum and a little more of story-line would have taken it closer to being a classic. But have to say that the cinematography is absolutely brilliant. So is Aamir Khan in Mangal Pandey's role. Loved his moustache :)
The custom of sati and slavery also have been picturised really well. I did not know that slave women had to breast feed the memsaabs' babies. :(

I did not take a fancy to any of the songs except the title song and the ‘Maula maula’ number. 'Mangal Mangal' is a rustic number that has been depicted very well. But it does start off awkwardly at some points in the movie where it does not sound very appropriate. But going by the reaction from the crowd in the theatre, this song was the highlight of the movie for them.

That brings to my main motive in writing this entry. The calicut crowd. Love them or hate them, you just can't ignore them. I almost shouted at them yesterday. The movie ran house full in the Crown cinema in Kozhikode (our only major source of entertainment in the city) and I was expecting a decent crowd for a movie like Mangal Pandey. The crowd was worse than those you can expect at a fashion show in an engineering college.

Laser pointers and all sorts of uncalled for comments and sound effects every single time a provocative scene came on. Well, this was expected. But then when the movie turned a little serious in the second half and when there were more dialogues than 'action', what did the crowd do? They talked! About cigarettes and beedis, about their dogs and bikes and moms-in-law, and about their exams around the corner and a million other things completely irrelevant to the movie. And the result? A movie watched and not heard completely and a very very irritated me. : (

On top of this, some idiot had his mobile ringing all the time - as if he wanted everyone in the cinema to know that he had a mobile and that it worked and that he got calls and that he doesn't answer the call unless someone shouted at him.

Sheeeeeeeeeesh!

Thinking of watching the movie once again in the confines of my room to find out what was actually said.

Something to think about
The crowd went mad when Aamir Khan came on screen – he did look good.
But not a single clap for either the buxom Rani Mukherjee or the pristine looking Amisha.

Oh yeah, I forgot I am in Kozhikode. Puzzle solved.
:P

PS: A small prayer to the good man, without whom maybe I wouldn't have been able to watch this movie at all.

7 comments:

Arz000n said...

Thanda Matlab Mangal Pandey

I dont why but I never liked to watch movies which are over hyped. I have not seeen Lagan, Gaddar, any of Big B's movies, etc coz before release media makes so much news out of it.

Same goes with Mangal PAndey....I haven't seen it yet.n have no plans for it.

But then when the movie turned a little serious in the second half and when there were more dialogues than 'action', what did the crowd do? They talked! About cigarettes and beedis, about their dogs and bikes and moms-in-law, and about their exams around the corner
In Mumbai you get such crowd in theaters (not in multiplex...the old single movie theaters). I dislike such people. Even guys who keep there cel phones on n they start ringing. Its irritating.

[M] said...

The cinematography and the casting of Pandey are really commendable. The songs are too good except the fact that it didnt glue well with the movie. I liked the 'Mein vari vari', a beautifully written, composed, sung and picturised number. The ARR-Javed Akthar combination always works well. (I just love to hear them!)

There are lots of debates still happening on the so called role of Mangal Pandey in 1857 revolt. It is all about history and thats taken for granted.

For me it is always inspiring to think of those who had the real guts like pandey, in the Indian independence struggle. Sadly, the movie didn't have much inspiring sceens or dialogs that could generate a resonance in the theater, packed with NRI's.

The next day, on my dinner i was talking to my friend (who couldnt make it up to the movie) about Mangal Pandey.. He asked "Whos this Mangal Pandey?"... hes saying I have heard the name but couldnt recollect it fully. That was the maximum which I could have got from an NRI (Yes of course a Non Returning Indian) I should've asked.. "By anyway you know a guy called Mahathma Gandhi???" LOL :))

By the way if anyone wants to post a comment on Aamirs blog on Mangal Pandey, go to: http://spaces.msn.com/members/mangalpandey/

chaos said...

Though Amir was superb, there was something missing... don't know what ... but it was not gripping as it was in Lagan!

And the story of mobile ringing and chatting doesn't end in K... it's here in B'lore too (that too in Rex... supposed to be one of the better halls)... :(

Anonymous said...

>>>But then when the movie turned a little serious in the second half and when there were more dialogues than 'action', what did the crowd do? They talked!

They always does that!And guess what?India sucks girl...Its tough to live here if you have some sort of intelligence or intellect.The people are such a disappoinment.

>>>About cigarettes and beedis, about their dogs and bikes and moms-in-law, and about their exams around the corner and a million other things completely irrelevant to the movie. And the result? A movie watched and not heard completely and a very very irritated me. :


It will...Why are they coming to the theatre,that too,to watch a Hindi movie,when they are sure that they wont understand a single word!Such ignorent bastards(sorry for the explicit language)...They dont know how to behave in a place were the rich and affluent sits...Dnt know about the pomp and hippocracy one has to show...


>>>On top of this, some idiot had his mobile ringing all the time - as if he wanted everyone in the cinema to know that he had a mobile and that it worked and that he got calls and that he doesn't answer the call unless someone shouted at him.

Yeah,ordinary people woudnt understand that he is just a show-off,they'll just think that he is such a great guy.Their mindset is just ordinary,and they havent seen many real show-offs like we have here in K...But you are too intelligent!You found time to find out what was going on in his mind!!

>>>Oh yeah, I forgot I am in Kozhikode. Puzzle solved

Ah.What a joke.Really funny.You're great.

>>>A small prayer to the good man, without whom maybe I wouldn't have been able to watch this movie at all.

Such a young gratious and kind young lady you are!I am sure Mangal Pandey would be smiling in his grave...

And you know what?We,the young,affluent yuppies should have born in someother continent.Not this crazy place called India....

Keep in touch...

Dilip said...

Calicut Fellow ;)
Hey thats sad !!! The same comment I get whenever I say "I studied in Calicut". Perhaps its time to decide an action plan which removes that misconception of crowds outsite ;). What do yu say ? .. So finally you decided to do something on the SPAMMERS ! great !

harsh said...

Blogrolled! Read through a lot of your posts. You write amazing stuff! :)Could relate to every bit of it - had a similar experience in "Lagaan", when we watched it in way back 2001.

Harsh

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Dilip,
Let me know of your action plan. Yup, a change is definitely called for here!

Harsh,
Thanks! Waded through couple of your posts too. Think I'll keep visiting your blog too!