Dear Bhansali, wake up, smell the coffee, look outside and fire the fluffers. Because big is NOT always Biutiful!

Posted: November 21, 2010 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, plagiarism, Special, Thoughts
Tags: , ,

As the opening credits of the film rolled, a plate appears on screen, of you dedicating the film to your father.  My mind quickly went back to another film, and easily this year’s best so far, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Biutiful. And strange as it may sound, the actor of the film is Javier Bardem. You may not have seen his film, The Sea Inside, or may be it’s difficult to remember what all films you saw before you decided to make Guzaarish, but whoever told you that making the canvas BIGGER creates all the magic, needs to see the film Biutiful.

Workman 1: Hey, you can’t go down there!
Alfred Borden: I’m part of the bloody act you fool!

Black wasn’t The Miracle Worker, Saawariya wasn’t White Nights, and of course, Guzaarish isn’t The Sea Inside. I remember a friend telling me that after he interviewed you and left, you called him up and asked him to describe you as an “auteur” in the piece that he is going to write. Over the years, those who have access to you, or say those who are granted access to you, including a certain famous fluffer of Patna, and his tribe, they don’t spare the opportunity to put you into that “Auteur” category. But if possible, look outside, get out of your cocoon, take your film outside and ask any film lover, what do they think of it? No, not the star lovers. Not the production designers. Not the cinematographers. Only those who love film.

Sarah: Alfred I can’t live like this!
Alfred Borden: Well, what do you want from me?
Sarah: I want… I want you to be honest with me. No tricks, no lies, no secrets.
Sarah: Do you… do you love me?
Alfred Borden: Not today. No

Not sure if you will ever read this post, or even if you get to read, one of your fluffer will surely dismiss it as another smear campaign, by someone who belongs to blah and blah camp, one who has no sense of aesthetics. But if you are happy with all the love and respect of all your fluffers who surround you, who nod all their heads in every word that you utter, only because they are all there to gain something from you, then, sir, the artist in you is dead.

Cutter: Take a minute to consider your achievement. I once told you about a sailor who drowned.
Robert Angier: Yes, he said it was like going home.
Cutter: I lied. He said it was agony.

The same happened with another filmmaker. The man who came with his explosive brand of cinema. Bollywood hadn’t seen something like that before. We worshipped him. And then, came the fluffers. He said yes, they agreed. He said no, they agreed. He says anything, they agree. And those who agree, are those who matter to him. Earlier we used to think, he will deliver with his next one. Now, we don’t bother. We will never. Because Ramu is RIP. More than once. Long live the fluffers!

[after showing a little boy how to do a coin trick]
Alfred Borden: Never show anyone. They’ll beg you and they’ll flatter you for the secret, but as soon as you give it up… you’ll be nothing to them.

And you know whats the worst part, your character wants to die. And I don’t feel anything. Because it seems synthetic, its seems just a wish, because you don’t dare to go close to him. To show us how ugly he is.  How ugly his life is. In the opening scene, when Ethan is lying on the bed with just a bedcover on him, the camera goes far away from him, almost scared that he might appear ugly. Or is he really ugly ? He is still the Hrithik Roshan, looks well maintained, body all covered. Now see this picture.

Ackerman: We’ll have to dress it up a little. Disguise it. Give them enough reason to doubt it.

Difficult to stare? Eh? Well, still can’t figure out? Now, imagine if i tell you that he is one of the hottest hunks around, the heart throb of millions. Its hard to believe, right? That’s what daring is all about. Shouting out from rooftop that my film doesn’t have an item number doesn’t make it any different or daring. If your memory is still failing you, here is another one to complete the picture…

Yes, its Javier Bardem, easily one of the best actors of our generation. In one of the sequence in The Sea Inside, the camera moves over his body, from toe to head, and nothing is Biutiful there, but unlike your film it doesn’t shy away to get close to him.

You stay far away, making the frames bigger with every film, lighting up million candles, illuminating your canvas from every angle and making it as soulless as possible. Do they have blood in their veins? Are they just mannequins who can emote? Since you rarely watch films by other directors, as you claim in every interview, let me introduce you to a small marathi film called Vihir. It also deals with death, almost in a meditative way. As a character tries to understand it, everything goes silent for about 15-20mins. No dialogues. Nothing big. No drapes. No candles. No coffins. Thats Biutiful.

Robert Angier: He lives his act.

Even the one by Innaritu. Biutiful. It also deals with love, loss and death. It moves in breathless and dingy spaces, not a single prop that makes you go wow at the talent of the production designer. But when the lead character is about to die, you want to hold his hand, want to make him believe that this will not happen, and you forget that its just cinema. Innaritu is also accused of  telling an intimate tale, being over indulgent, spending millions but when you stare at the screen in that dark room, nothing else matters. There is no shaft of light. Its still gut-wrenching, and yes, its not even dressed in any designer attire.

And the magic tricks? On screen? Well, ask the Harry Potter fans. Special effects make it look like nursery kids homework. Even if its a flying flame. The beauty is always in the story, the ones that lead to the tricks.

Alfred Borden : A real magician tries to invent something new, that other magicians are gonna scratch their heads over.

And is Guzaarish again set in timeless and spaceless zone? The court is all smoky. Or is it magic realism? News channels, discussions, campaigns, where are you heading SLB? Does it feels like a scary thought, to go out in the sun and shoot? And so even the court comes home soon. Yes, we have all read about your bad childhood days and how that has inspired the way you work.  Now you don’t want to see anything ugly, you want to control everything, you are the master of every frame, you will beautify the way you want it, the revenge of the childhood scars. But now that the claustrophobic trilogy is complete, can you please step out? Perhaps inhale some fresh and ugly air. Remember the joy of aaj main upar, aasman neeche? Wasn’t that Goa too?

Sullen Warder: How did you get so famous then, eh?
Alfred Borden: Magic.

And those who have worked closely with you have a theory to offer. Since Khamoshi was all soul and it didn’t work at the box office, you decided to go for all possible decorations to make it bigger and better, and it worked! The obsession continued. To make it bigger than the previous one! The fluffers made sure that you went in that direction, with more vengeance.  Yes sir, that looks just WOW! They must have said with every move of yours. But since fluffing is a physical act, I wonder if they could trace the soul anywhere. And may be its high time to  report a ‘Lost & Found’ case for that battered soul.

Nikola Tesla: You’re familiar with the phrase “man’s reach exceeds his grasp”? It’s a lie: man’s grasp exceeds his nerve.

Or, it will remain what it looks like, a big boring pretentious fuck. Much like what google seems to offer as i typed your name and selected the “Images” option. Its all just poses. Here, there, see i am thinking, see i am seriously thinking, see i am making a film! And  some more! Where are you, Mr Bhansali? Still in the cocoon. May be you can’t control everything but the world is not so bad. Come out. We will applaud.

Or hail the fluffers! May be they only make your life worth living. We will move to the next epitaph.


(P S – Please leave the tangible-meet-intangible words for Gulzarsaab. Because everything else sounds like nursery rhyme. Yeh coffee gadhi kaali hai is pure pedestrian, which is trying too hard to belong, and is not really getting any help from Kunal Ganjawala’s voice dipped in sugary syrup. Its making it more synthetic)

.Robert Angier: Which hat is mine?
Nikola Tesla: They are all your hat, Mr. Angier

  1. amit says:

    All I can say.. Maarr daala…. Maarr daala… SLB ne

  2. Umar says:

    Loved the article….he has definetely lost the soul with which he made khamoshi and to some extent even hum dil de chuke sanam…..only problem i have with the article is that u spelled beautify wrong….its biutify

  3. screeny says:

    Bowing to thee for thy post🙂

  4. rajasen says:

    LOVED the use of The Prestige quotes.🙂
    Agree a hundred percent. Cheers.

  5. Sudhir Nair says:

    Superb piece of writing..had to check at the top again to make sure it’s been written by you only…Haven’t seen the movie..plan to watch it free of cost when it comes to TV very soon…

  6. Subhanallah! Come into the light, Mr Bhansali!

  7. SK says:

    Bwahahahaha! Losers will remain losers. Yes, you are the loser I meant! You couldn’t do anything in life and hence are after people who make things work. SLB is no genius. But at least he takes risks and most of them pay off well, like those most recent beautiful film, Guzaarish. You will be writing such articles for life and will be getting those ‘fluffer’ responses like the ones above. Poor soul, I pity you.🙂

  8. Juhi says:

    Incredible post…what i feel after reading this post is what i wanna feel after watching a film from my industry…it’s been a while…

  9. darkndusky says:

    Awesomely written !! tang aagaye SLB ke khoobsoorat chehron, poses, ayaashi bhari picchren kisme ratti bhar sacchaayi nahi mili. originality is a very far cry when all ones knows to do is a debauched drama in designer clothes. Auteur nahi Farteur hai ye!!

  10. Mr/Ms SK (Jha?), you’re totally missing the point. As far as I see it, there’s nothing malicious about this piece. In fact, it only acknowledges the fact that Bhansali is talented… even potentially a great filmmaker, provided he step out of his vanity. The only malice in it is towards the so-called fluffers, and hell, they deserve some contempt for being such spineless suckers. And Bhansali takes risks? How? Like Anees Bazmee makes gritty dramas on the human condition?
    The writer makes a valid point. And makes it rather well IMO. If you don’t agree, fine- its just another opinion. Nuff said.

  11. I take offence, DarkNDusky Ji. I am the one & only Farteur this country has!

  12. Karma says:

    Firstly, the grammer gandu in me just couldn’t get over all those typos/verb confusion errors that you made. So a humble request to proof read before posting something that you *seem* so passionate about.
    About the content, the typos just dont let it rise above the normal. So it remains just that – a decent piece.
    p.s. I hope you *do* know that even you are surrounded by fluffers

    • Finicky F*cker says:

      Awesome point, Karma. Except that you spelt “grammar” wrong😉
      p.s. Don’t put your foot in your mouth now. It’s ok.

  13. Fatema says:

    Whoa, that’s some passion! Loved the sincerity with which the post was written! Disagree with some of it and of course the fact that it was soul-less, in part yes but not completely. The ostentation and the period hangover and lack of context totally took away from the melody of the story. But the acid in the Ethan character and steel in the Sophie character and their combination made up for the rest of the flaws for me. The euthanisia argument was a joke but the undefined relationship between the two defined Guzaarish for what it is. Intense in part, sensitive without being dramatic. Imperfect but not quite soul-less. It wasn’t as good as Khamoshi but not as bad as Black. I saw glimpses of what he used to be and am happy to hope that maybe the Black/Saawariya days will be/can be over sometime…

  14. arshdeep says:

    hi fc ,tis is best n most thruthful review of guzarish i hv read….and have to agree wit wat u say as movie is least engaging mvie i hv seen and at end dont evn feel or care for characters.
    Just wondering why dont you regularly write reviews…plz do post more ramblings in this blog.

  15. hardik mehta says:

    awesome post!!!…and couldnt agree more with the last lines…all that sau gram zindagi and all – is just trying too hard – though i love vibhu puri’s FTII film: kuch kushk kushk se…was good stuff

  16. TheEgo says:

    @Karma, All I can say to your post is Ha! And, Oh, it’s grammar and not grammer. Practice what you preach.

    As for the post, I simply loved it. I say this even at the risk of being called one of the fluffers🙂

  17. Bardem Milkshake says:


    You might be a “grammer gandu” but please learn to spell grammar as grammar.

    Enough has been said about Bhansali’s deathwish with creating a synthetic make believe world. Bhansali borrows ideas, plots, lyrics and, therefore, is living on borrowed time.

  18. R.K.Deora says:

    An Eye Opener post……… A so called Creative Genius Mr. Bhansali ….

  19. arijit says:

    i agree with fatema…it has its flaws but the central relationship (that between ethan and sofia) is the heart of the film…i just wish he had spent more time delving on that relationship rather than dealing with unnecessary courtroom scenes and news footage…that part was idiotic…but whenever the film’s focus was on ethan-sofia and also on ethan (the raindrop sequence, the funeral sequence)…the film sort of found its footing for me…

  20. arijit says:

    couple of points…the title card of sawaariya acknowledges (in big fonts) that it is inspired by fyodor dostoyevsky’s “white nights”…i have read “white nights” and seen sawaariya….it is a fairly faithful rendition…also black acknowledges the inspiration from helen keller’s life…and the similarity in scenes between black and miracle worker aren’t many…

  21. rony says:

    jeeyo jeeyo. mere dil ke baat likh daali. the best piece on Guzaarish so far.

  22. bksingh2009 says:

    What a consistent and fantastic write up!!
    Yet to watch the movie, so cant comment on that.

  23. Kartik says:

    loved the writing… very well written post… just the comment on his childhood (as much flavor as it adds to the post) seems strongly personal… i m impressed with the quotes used… simply amazing, sir!.. hats off!

  24. Karma says:

    Ok. Agreed. Ye to thoda GPL type shit sa situation ho gaya. But you do get what I am trying to say, dont you? And just dont limit the proof reading to your articles. Your tweets could also do with some good old proof reading. Too many errors lately, really!
    And on the brighter side, it also did help you identify a few more fluffers (assuming it wasnt you behind those pseudonyms)

  25. John Galt says:

    SLB is the most over-rated director ever. Pitchar Se Zyaada Mahol Banata Hai. Has made half a decent film so far – the 2nd half of Hum Dil… Bas. If he’s such an artiste how come he’s never made a Mr. and Mrs. Iyer or a Hazaroon Khwaahishein…?

  26. S says:

    this reads like a lover’s letter to his betrayer, spiteful but is still all about love. very poetic, loved it and love this writer😉

  27. Nishant khare says:

    Awesome to the core….biutiful…..i want SLB to read this, this may change his lyf….nd mit show som lit to him…..

  28. Ashiesh Roy says:

    Excellent points made, sir! And u sound hurt, not vicious. More often than not, soul does NOT work here at the box office – Mera Naam Joker, Andaz Apna Apna, but they do go on to become cult classics! As indeed, is Khamoshi. So, with much love and admiration Mr. SLB, do come out and do smell the coffee.

  29. Abhishekh says:

    Kudos to you for this post . You made my day . No matter how bad SLB Screwed up with Guzarish , this post of yours will top my charts . Keep up the good word

  30. Totally agree. there was a movie “seven pounds” where death was portrayed. and this is guzarish !!!

  31. […] can’t fake it so much. And when one fakes it, one delivers films like his last three – dead, plagiarised and bloated Guzaarish, boring and claustrophobic Saawariya, pretentious and ham-fest […]

  32. […] But one can’t fake it so much. And when one fakes it, one delivers films like his last three – dead, plagiarised and bloated Guzaarish, boring and claustrophobic Saawariya, pretentious and ham-fest Black. It’s always good to be back […]

  33. […] But one can’t fake it so much. And when one fakes it, one delivers films like his last three – dead, plagiarised and bloated Guzaarish, boring and claustrophobic Saawariya, pretentious and ham-fest Black. It’s always good to be back […]

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