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Adrenalin Rush....
Oct 02, 2002 07:32 PM 4058 Views
(Updated Oct 02, 2002 07:32 PM)





First things first why does someone go to a movie? Is it for entertainment? Education? A combination of both..? To me a movie is a good one if it keeps me entertained for the time its up and running. If it can educate me, then better. If it can ignite a thought process in me, which gets me, think harder about certain issues long after I have finished seeing the movie then its brilliant. Now the movies in this brilliant category are rare. The ones that fall in the other two categories too are not very common, especially in today’s bollywood. The movies the industry seems to be dishing out regularly are more an apology to movies than anything else.

With this as a background, when I judge Road, I am amazed by the reviews it is getting on MS and on other Indian movie review sites. Probably it’s the “in thing” to sit down and criticize anything and everything.

The Review:

The movie scores on most issues. It has got a new canvas, something that’s rarely seen on Indian movie screens. Almost entirely shot on location in some remote part of Rajasthan the movie has a new feel about it. Talking about the canvas the camera work (Sudeep Chaterjee) is splendid. I guess there are no two opinions about that. Some of the angles and views that the camera provides us are breathtaking and add to that the fact that the editing is slick.

Coming to another important but oft neglected part in Indian movies the background score (by Amar Mohile and sound effects by Arun Nambiar), boy this movie scores a perfect ten when it comes to background score. The music is engrossing to say the least. It creates a sense of anticipation, fear, anxiousness, joy, expectation and so on and forth as the movie itself takes the viewers through a roller coaster ride along with its characters.

Now while about characters, Vivek Oberoi might have got most of the promos in the male category, but why should that mean that it is his movie? The main male lead in my opinion is that of Manoj Bajpai. Yes his is a role that has several shades of the roles that he has essayed in the past. But did not the undisputed king of Bollywood Mr. Amithabh Bachan play roles that were stereo typed, did that take away the charm of some of his unforgettable movies..? Stereo typing is here to stay, whether we like it or not. What matters is does Manoj Bajpai bring to life a complex character called Babu on screen and there is only one answer YES!!! It was expected but excellent casting to pull him in on this role. Expected because I don’t think any actor worth his salt in the Bollywood industry could have done a better job with a role as intriguing as that.

Vivek Oberoidoes at times look like he has wandered out of the sets of Company, on to Road. So what, give the guy a break, this is just his second film and surprise surprise our man has made it to the “top 5 worst actors of bollywood” according to a few people here. In my opinion Vivek has done a neat job as a bubbly youngster who is madly in love and doesn’t have a clue what to do about it till he decides to elope with his girlfriend. He also excels in parts where he has to express machismo, helplessness and confusion when it comes to handling a psychopath who has just taken his girlfriend and his vehicle away from him, in the middle of nowhere.

The surprise package to me in the movie has been Antara Mali. Her role is probably the most under rated in the movie. With so much of emphasis that has been placed on her skin and her navel ring probably the audience forget to watch her act. Sad but true the fact is that, her role in the “Road” may be discussed more for the steamy song sequences than the histrionic talents of probably the most promising new face on the Bollywood screen. While at this let me also add that she has a stunning figure (lest people on MS may wonder if J(e)DI has gone into a saintly mode and forgotten to see the obvious).

The support cast made up of Ram Gopal Verma regulars, do justice to their parts though some of them have very minimal roles. No complaints about any one hamming or under performing in here.

The plot is relatively new to bollywood, though one can try hard and relate to a few Hollywood flicks of the past in parts. The narration is quite fast in the first half (only to be broken up by song sequences) and slows down a bit in the second half. There is an element of surprise or call it anxiousness that is introduced right from the time Manoj’s character arrives on the screen and is built up quite well towards a climax which could have been made a little more understandable. But then the director Rajat Mukherjeeprobably kept in mind the already dwindling pace and rounded off the climax in a jiffy.

The Negatives:

Then is the movie perfect? Well no. It has its flaws. But then show me one that doesn’t? Some element of fantasy has to creep in, otherwise it is no longer is a movie, it becomes a documentary. So I guess one can excuse the director when he fails to make the movie on an entirely realistic plane. There are also a couple of goof ups. To mention just one, the scene where Vivek Oberoi turns the safari, off the road to avoid the lorry that’s chasing him, one can see tyre marks already in the dessert (probably left behind from the practice sessions).

The songs are arguably dampeners to the slick narration. But then I guess commercial considerations took charge here; should mention here that the tunes (Sandesh Sandilya) are very catchy and the choreography innovative. With all its exposure, songs almost look like a break for testosterone re-fuelling; once again no complaints. Except for the first song that springs out of nowhere and for no obvious reasons, the purpose of the other songs must have been to act like pit stops in a full fledged race… just to help slow down your heartbeat. But then they end up doing the exact opposite.

The Conclusion

It is not often that someone attempts to tread of the beaten path in Bollywood and does that with some amount of credibility. That in itself is a success as far as Road is concerned. The movie has several plusses and yes a few minuses. I have no hesitation in recommending this one, it may not be a classic, but it is much better than the average bollywood flick that we get to see.

Now does the movie educate me? Does it have a message? If someone suggested that the message was “don’t offer lift” I will not agree. In the movie, Vivek is able to get back to Manoj because a Lorry driver offers him lift, so there is a suggestion that lifts aren’t a taboo. The main message according to me probably was that people, their life and the situations involving them are often not what they appear to be. The movie talks about

What an average man or woman on the ROAD can do for their love, lover and someone who threatens both their Love and the Lover?

What a criminal on the ROAD, is capable of doing for his own self and what he will stop short of for the sake of the woman he loves?

More importantly what a ROAD can do to a Man, Woman and a Criminal…..

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