Blah-jid takes Raja Sen to the cleaners (Dhobi Ghat )

Posted: November 22, 2010 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, Special
Tags: , , ,

As promised, ButtUpSajid is back. With 2nd part of his post on Aamir, Dhobi Ghat and more. Click here to read the first one.

It all started with a column. Yes.

Hello, again folks. So, is Aamir a star only because we’re too dumb? Does he ‘know his audience so well that he confidently feeds them tripe’?

Well, I’ll say he clearly does know his audience pretty darn well. As for feeding them ‘tripe’, perhaps that would be going overboard. Aamir’s films (and I’m obviously not talking Fanaa, Ghajini or his cult-classic Mela here) are anything but tripe. Yet, they’re hardly works of great artistic merit or as daringly different as they’re widely propped up to be, right?

Is he a star because we’re too dumb? I wouldn’t say yes to that, because that would be condescending and not completely true. However, part of the appeal of Aamir’s films is that they make us feel intelligent. They’re clearly way above the average tripe Bollywood serves us, and certainly don’t ask us to ‘leave our brains at home’ like a lot of films do. But they don’t particularly require us to use our brains either. Did we really have to exercise our intellectual capabilities watching Taare Zameen Par, however un/limited they might be?

So, while the content is meaningful and not run-of-the-mill, it’s hardly challenging. Or penetrative. It’s astute entertainment, not quite junk, like the low-fat snacks and cola Mr. Khan so convincingly hawks, but easily digestible and spoon-fed, all the same. In the Great Taran Adarsh Book of Cinema, it fulfills all the three Es: Entertainment, Education and (sic) Enlightenment. But it doesn’t challenge us. And we, the frogs in a well, are happy to believe we’ve just watched something mighty smart and sophisticated. Some find it ‘phenomenal’ and some even feel ‘shell-shocked, challenged and motivated’! Jai Ho!

Which is why Dhobi Ghat– a film that is so far removed from anything Aamir has acted in so far- becomes an important and interesting film to look out for. When Aamir talks about how it’s ‘fine cinema’ and ‘not for everyone’, he’s not just saying it’s out of his audience’s comfort-zone- he is also pointing out that it is way out of his own league and territory.

In the world of Dhobi Ghat, it’s Aamir who’s the real newcomer- a highly capable actor, but one who comes with the layers and baggage of years of ‘popular’ cinema, one who’s used to flashing his schoolboy charm and playing to the gallery when required. Here, he’s in a naked, alien space, without the comfort of the props he’s usually equipped with. It’s natural, the nervousness- right? Far from being condescending, as Raja dramatically puts it, I’d say he’s being very honest… and refreshingly human.

I’ve often been accused to being anti-Aamir. It couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just that I find the entire ‘perfectionist’ persona and the excess hoopla around his performances/films a little overbearing. But nothing takes away from the fact that he is one of our best mainstream actors. And there’s all the more reason to applaud Aamir, now that he’s actually living up the hype of being ‘different’, at least in his choices as a producer: Peepli Live, Dhobi Ghat and Delhi Belly.

At a time even UTV doesn’t want the tag of making ‘meaningful’ films, Aamir is now admirably backing films that are a marketing nightmare without majorly compromising on their spirit. He managed pretty well with Peepli Live (though Anusha Rizvi’s film, with its earthy, ribald humor had some popular appeal despite its style) and turned a small film big. But Dhobi Ghat and Delhi Belly will be harder to sell, with their moody, urban landscapes and English dialogue. (I’m making an assumption about Delhi Belly, but it reportedly being a dark, urban sex-comedy majorly in English, and the fact that its been completed for a while now gives me a feeling that they’re still figuring what to do with it.) I sure hope he succeeds; these are the kind of films that might help open a lot of new doors, especially for Indian films in English.

Ah, back to the column:

Calling the Indian audience short of sensitivity or emotion is a stretch in any book. We’ve always been suckers for high drama, even in comic scenes. You know, the kind of films where vacuum cleaners birth infants just so caricatured fathers can have changes of heart? Yeah, those wouldn’t work if the audience didn’t react with its heart and forgive all the farce.

Yes, Raja- high drama, the key word here is high, not drama that is subtle, that doesn’t scream its lungs out. Hell, even Rocket Singh, a film that was all heart and soul, a film I know you loved too- failed last year because apart from the poor marketing, it lacked high drama. It was very much mainstream entertainment with generous doses of humor and heart-tugging moments, but its relaxed, non-gimmicky tone wasn’t very appreciated, was it? I’ve even read reviews that described it as an office ‘documentary’. Yes.

And since when did you need to be cine-literate to appreciate a good film? A masterpiece is a masterpiece is a masterpiece, and hits you right between the eyes — and shoves you in the heart with the force of a roundhouse right — no matter what you know about the craft of cinema. A good film is a visceral experience, and you do not need to be aware of technique or predecessors to be overwhelmed by it. Sure, film theorists and critics and their mothers all have different ways of consuming a film, but a solid film — which could be personally smashing for any single one of us — doesn’t need cinematic education to show off its chops. At all.

Oh, come *yaw*on. Are you really that naïve? A masterpiece is a masterpiece is a masterpiece, eh? So whatever happened to Eklavya, which you hailed as one? My God, there’s so much utopian idealism in this one paragraph that it would put Ashutosh Gowariker to shame. One man’s visceral experience can be the other person’s headache, even unintentional laugh riot. Black, anyone? Hell, I’m sure I can find folks who found Dabangg a visceral experience. Gosh.

Then again, as a friend suggests, perhaps this too is strategy on the part of the masterful marketing maestro. Berate the masses, and dare them to come see a film in defiance of the claim that they won’t get it.

Your friend, I’m sorry- and there’s no polite way of putting this- sounds stunningly daft. Yes, film-marketing is done using wildly experimental reverse-psychology methods. Right.

But what bugged me most of all in the column is this bit:

The sheer level of condescension in that quote is alarming. As a member of your audience, Mr Khan, that quote just hurts. It is thoughtless, callous, dismissive and most uncalled for.

Really, Raja- since when did you, of all movie buffs and critics, become such a darling of the masses? You, who has spawned twenty-odd ‘I Hate Raja Sen’ clubs? You, who makes it a point to regularly diss moronic money-spinners (The likes of Rajneeti and my very own bête-noire Sajid Khan’s potty films) and casually throws in American pop-culture references in your reviews (and kindly also provides corresponding Wikipedia links to explain them)? Damn, I bet half the audience you are so bravely standing up for doesn’t even understand the language in your reviews.

Aren’t you the guy who ‘groaned’ a few weeks back, when audiences danced in the aisles watching Dabangg? And so- as someone correctly asked at an online movie forum- you have every right to be condescending to an audience, and Aamir doesn’t? At least Dabanng wasn’t pretentious. It delivered what it promised. This on the other hand is, and Raja, no disrespect, but um, this is total shit. You’ve beaten your friend @MallikaLA’s push-up bras and bustiers, when it comes to making a mountain out of a molehill.

I was tempted to ask: Did you write this column only because you’re dumb? I don’t believe so, because despite appearances, I’m not the founder member of one of those silly hate clubs. Despite your occasional pompousness and self-indulgent writing, (And facepalmy moments like when you award Ghajini’s music 5 star and hail Kisna as ‘a return to form by a director who knows exactly what he’s doing’ for and… well, let it be) the reason some of us liked your writing is that you were bold, fun, and irreverent. You weren’t a sell-out. Your reviews came across as passionate and with solid and convincing arguments- even when we disagreed with you wholeheartedly. Come on man, we are all condescending and elitist at some level, and you know it. Let’s at least not pretend otherwise and be apologetic about it.

#KThanxBai. Or better still- Good Night, and Good Morning, Mr. Sen.

  1. Aseem Behl says:

    Bravo! nobody could have said it better.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by fightclub, Blah-jid Pottymaker. Blah-jid Pottymaker said: 1,2,3: *Rip, ROAR* FART-2: My take on @RajaSen's Dhobi Ghat column. Pliss to RT & spread the stink. […]

  3. Haha! American pop-culture references. Loved that one. You had it spot on! 🙂

  4. PS:
    ‘Is the perfectionist himself is frighteningly aware that everything else he serves up is not, um, ‘fine’?

    Fine as an adjective doesn’t necessary mean ‘of high quality’. It also means intricate, subtle or delicate. As in ‘fine embroidery’. That, if I’m not mistaken- and in all likelihood- is what Aamir meant to imply regarding Dhobi Ghat. And I’m surprised that Raja with his fine grip on the English language, misread the quote and used it so grossly out of context.

  5. Manu Warrier says:

    I remember reading the column few days ago in Mirror…You have used the exact words that came to my head while reading the article “Mountain of a mole hill” . Some great points and good write up.

  6. d'jango says:

    Raja is a smug idiot, so taken up by the imagined cleverness of his prose that he has little time to worry about the substance of his arguments or about being consistent.

    Good work, Blah-jid!

  7. Ayush says:

    Good work Blah-jid. It’s not about being anti-Aamir or pro-Aamir. It’s about showing the mirror to that Raja Sen who’s made an entire career by merely bashing people left, right and center!

  8. rajasen says:

    Dear son, (Or daughter. Or son in drag.)

    Nicely tried. Always good to see young punks this enthused. Wish you had more of a leg to stand on, though. Not going to drag this into a lengthy, point on point debate — much as you might want that — I can’t help but point out a couple of things:

    “I’d say he’s being very honest… and refreshingly human.” — Really? You really expect me to believe you believe that? About that sentence? Wow. And you’re calling me naive?

    And — just in case you didn’t already KNOW this, though I suspect you did, you rascally sensationalist, you — my Dabanng review isn’t condescending towards the audience, at all. I’m not anti the masses dancing in the aisle. Heck, I’ll gladly join in (if inebriated enough.) I’m just saying that I’m against the *CAUSE* of the dancing, the fact that it happened because of a leading man’s mega charisma, and not because the film is good. If you remember the piece, it was all praise for Salman himself, and a lament that the film itself didn’t live up to the potential on tap. And that the last thing *I FEEL* we need in our cinema is more star-driven big-budget stuff. A trend of remaking Southern hits with our top stars and hyping them out till our ears bleed — yeah, THAT i’m condescending towards, sure.

    Also, you seem to have reading trouble. You can find ‘utopian idealism’ in a paragraph, quote it, but apparently refuse to read it. Here, let me help:

    “One man’s visceral experience can be the other person’s headache, even unintentional laugh riot. Black, anyone? Hell, I’m sure I can find folks who found Dabangg a visceral experience. Gosh.”

    Yeah, totally. Which is why the lines you copy-pasted above this say, with helpful CAPS now added to help you see better: “film theorists and critics AND THEIR MOTHERS all have DIFFERENT ways of consuming a film, but a solid film — which could be PERSONALLY smashing for ANY SINGLE ONE OF US — doesn’t need cinematic education to show off its chops.”

    So are you — young dragqueen who calls me condescending — actually suggesting that someone who finds beauty in Dabanng is WRONG? Whoa.

    Dude, art IS subjective. I can hammer on about how I think 3 Idiots is a sub-par film but that doesn’t stop people from letting it be life-affirming for them. Or Black. Or Dabanng. Or anything. And canon doesn’t prove a thing: I have the right to choose, to rank A Fish Called Wanda over Mystic River a million times over, and I’m still right because it’s my take — irrespective of what the AFI, David Denby or passionforcinema says.

    And yes, I COMPLETELY stand by a masterpiece being a masterpiece. First of all, success at the box office isn’t the only way to judge one. But films live. They find audiences. Some even create audiences. Sometimes, they’re underrated. But brilliance is brilliance and bad reviews, bad timing or bad initial audience reaction don’t mean jackshit in the long run. And why do I need a film appreciation course to like Do Bigha Zameen or Guide or Oye Lucky Lucky Oye or Silsila or Lage Raho Munnabhai? Would studying a great film make it more enjoyable? Sure it would, just like studying ANYTHING would give you a clearer viewpoint.

    But you go home and watch 400 Blows — I mention that because it keeps playing on UTV movies, god bless it, not because it’s a classic — with someone who’s never seen a french film before and doesn’t know how to pronounce Truffaut (aside: a certain bollywood director grandiloquently keeps saying True-fought), and tell me it doesn’t have an impact.

    And hey, maybe it won’t. (You’ll get another viewing, anyway, always a treat. Heh) But it’s opinion, son. Somebody might get more out of Heyy Babyy. Are we to call it good, then? No, we call it like WE see it. And that sincerity there, the defense of what we believe when we individually watch a movie, is all we critics can offer. Never let anyone tell you HOW to consume.

    Better luck next time, kiddo.



    p.s. – Oh, and start using your own name, will you? Hiding behind a nickname, no matter what you do, will always make the world doubt the existence of your cojones. So come on out, the water’s fine: Just ask @moifightclub 😉

  9. Wow. Son. Punk. Kiddo. Beatrix. Potter. Harry. Dobby. Whatever. Blah, blah. I’m amazed you have the nerve to call *anyone* condescending, Raja.
    Dearest Shona Mona Raja,
    So you randomly assume other people haven’t seen 400 Blows. Oh, thanks, I wasn’t aware that a aspect-ratio altering, movie snipping channel airs it pretty often. Thenks, thenks bhery much.
    So *you* feel *you* are fit to decide what and *why* the masses should enjoy Dabangg. And damn, I enjoyed it in a loony way myself. But like I said, when I snigger at those who found it visceral, I have the honesty to admit I’m being a snob. There’s no 2 ways about it…. Its an opinion which mocks another’s right to have one. I can still find tons of contradictions in your very eloquently worded reply. To be honest, by writing this entire piece, I also conceded that you had some credibility, and thus such a sensational mongering, half brained piece from you was disappointing. But this does, now bring me to the conclusion, that you are, indeed- like the gentlemen above called you- a smug idiot, one who’s not quite worth reacting to at all. As your fave Ash Rai would say, not WURRRTH it. I guess feeling’s mutual. Lets leave the rest of the debate to the masses (having acknowledged you as their messiah). Good day, sire.
    PS: And you’ve called me a drag-queen (which I gladly admit to being), but since you sounded well, condescending to me, I give you this:

    • kartik says:

      and wow – what a kiddish response to an otherwise healthy discussion. What a vengeful agenda driven snide…. Mature ..very mature …

  10. kartik says:

    This is so funny ya.

    “Yes, Raja- high drama, the key word here is high, not drama that is subtle, that doesn’t scream its lungs out. Hell, even Rocket Singh, a film that was all heart and soul, a film I know you loved too- failed last year because apart from the poor marketing, it lacked high drama”
    A film need not necessarily have to have HIGH drama for it to be LIKED (very different from being SUCCESSFUL). Aakrosh, Sparsh, Ardhasatya, Kalyug,Chakra didnt earn as much as Tridev, Qurbani, Kranti, Ram teri ganga maili, QSQT, maine pyaar kiya. But people love them – even though they are SUBTLE compared to the latter. Yes when you compare an Aakrosh with a Tezaab – both are born out of angst, but are variedly different in their drama-Q. Granted Subtle drama films are usually never Super hits, but then they should be attempted.

    “but its relaxed, non-gimmicky tone wasn’t very appreciated, was it?”
    Are you suggesting that mainstream subtle films like Rocket Singh should not be made anymore purely because it wasn’t much appreciated (in other words a HIT) and all mainstream films should follow the 3 Idiots template of HIGH drama ?

    “A masterpiece is a masterpiece is a masterpiece, eh? So whatever happened to Eklavya, which you hailed as one? ”
    Oh cummon kiddo – out of the hundreds of reviews has been writing every friday, you single out an exception – where he might have been wrong in your (and I admit mine too) opinion.

    “One man’s visceral experience can be the other person’s headache, even unintentional laugh riot. Black, anyone? ”
    Yes yes yes sure. But a masterpiece is a masterpiece is a masterpiece. Show something like Oye lucky, Maqbool, Sholay, Mughal-e-azam, Nayagan, Meghe Dhaka Tara to a cross section of people- and you are likely to get unanimous approval. Essentially, both your’s and Raja’s statements are correct in their own ways. Like someone said about economics – ‘For every theory in economy, there is an equal and opposite theory too; and both of them are right’. It rings true for cinema as well.

    “Really, Raja- since when did you, of all movie buffs and critics, become such a darling of the masses?”
    I don’t think Raja is aiming to become a ‘darling’ of the masses.This conclusion is as ‘daft’ as you becoming the darling of the lovely rediff commenters now by dissing out at raja.

    “You, who has spawned twenty-odd ‘I Hate Raja Sen’ clubs? You, who makes it a point to regularly diss moronic money-spinners (The likes of Rajneeti and my very own bête-noire Sajid Khan’s potty films) and casually throws in American pop-culture references in your reviews (and kindly also provides corresponding Wikipedia links to explain them)?”
    Woaaah. Why don’t you try reading any one of Roger Ebert’s reviews and see how many films he refers to every now and then ? Should we hold it against him too then ? And should we hold his Transformers’ review against him too because he lashed out against the ‘mornic money spinner’ ? Btw – he gave a low review to Miller’s Crossing. Should we hold that against him too (watch Millers Crossing and tell me if you agree with his review. But who am I kidding, you would have already seen it have’nt you ?) My point -it’s okay. Sometimes reviewers do get it wrong. They’re human too. Wrong being subjective again – Miller’s Crossing is possibly the BEST of Coen Bros, a cult film which didn’t get it’s due back then. The film which inspired our very own Kashyap to do a Red Harvest in Delhi – Allwyn Kalicharan- which again failed to take off – because it might have had more Aakrosh than Tezaab (Don’t get the puns ? Ask around & you will get them).

    “Damn, I bet half the audience you are so bravely standing up for doesn’t even understand the language in your reviews.”
    Well if we can understand the GRE-GMAT laden words in your post, we sure can understand his reviews. In any case, by your logic we all should be subjected to only reviews of Taran Adarsh & Komal Nahata. Reviewers like Rajeev masand, Raja, Bardwaj Rangan who use high-brow language should be banned.

    P.S – Try reading this ‘elitist’ post by ‘elite’ Subrat on ‘elite’ passionforcinema about ‘Junta being king’. It does have some thesauras words but that shouldn’t be a problem should it ?

    • JSB says:

      You did not understand the post. Blame the GRE-GMAT words or your myopic reading of the blog. 🙂
      Cojones samet, aapka Jahan. 🙂

  11. Fatema says:

    Blahjid you may want to re-read the post u’ve written for the arguments it essays. None, really hold much water and since u’ve proven its more of an anti-Raja stand than a pro-Aamir or pro-cinema stand hence I find it a little meaningless to argue my points against it (Its always fun to follow cat fights so I will keep coming back to read more of course, so do ignore me and keep on!)

    But I got to say in debates like these its generally essential to step back and be objective about the rationality of the arguments one is presenting. Or if its a rant then present it as one. Not hide behind a personal agenda (AND a false name!!! I BADLY want to say’ grow up’ but then I will be as dumb as you, and um sorry Raja too despite his obviously sensible arguments, to start calling u names). Fight by all means, but be honest in what you are fighting for and about. Make it personal, its your fight but then when you do admit its so. Will give you more power to nail your opponent.

    You may want to call me some names too, do go ahead by all means. Who knows it just might be more fun than I imagined?

    And, totally beside the point, but I find sense in Raja’s post, even though I may or may not agree with him completely. The reason being he is not ranting, has reasons for what he believes and the argument flows from there. Well, of course you do too but since they go all over the place and veer more at denigrating Raja than anything else, I, err, don’t find much value in it. Just a personal opinion and like I said totally beside the point but its fun fighting so there!

    And abt Aamir and his comments, I personally think they are quite what they are. I am self-confessedly anti-Aamir from every angle but here I think he really means what he says. His fan-following is not divided like SRK’s or Salman’s is. Expectations from him are mixed and high from all classes of people. Dhobi Ghat may, acco to him be a film for a very urban sensibility, for eyes that don’t find ‘slow’ boring or individual ‘indulgent’ or colourless ‘dull’. A majority of Indian audience especially Aamir following is devoid of such an audience. His success comes from numbers and maybe he feels Dhobi Ghat will not be a crowd-pleaser and may even escape the sensibilities of ‘classes’ so to speak? I think, its just the insecurity of a consistently successful producer setting the expectations right so that the lower consumption/appreciation of the film does not translate into a larger sense of disappointment with Brand Aamir and his films.

  12. Personal agenda? Why on earth would I have a personal agenda against Raja, who I don’t even know, and who’s writing I’ve often greatly enjoyed, something I’ve written in the article itself? Really. The point was NOT to denigrate Raja, just as Mr MFC’s point in the Guzaarish article was NOT to denigrate Bhansali. The point in both was to say: Sir- you’re smart, hence we expect better out of you. That’s all.
    Baaki fine, I said what I thought. I stand by it. I respect your opinion. Just don’t make assumptions because the tone was slightly harsh (I remember Raja once hoping Aishwarya gets strangled by her dupatta in a review!). Because assuming just makes an arse out of us. I sure know that.

  13. And I don’t see where I resorted to ‘name-calling’ in the article. Feel free to quote, please.

  14. Fatema says:

    Clarifications – Personal agenda doesn’t always mean you have to know the person or have an axe to grind. It could also mean using other means to attack the man(or woman) and not the philosophy he embodies.

    Name calling doesn’t always have to be monkey, donkey, snake, cat, dog blah blah. It can also mean insinuating a person is the above and more. (Oh, and I am guilty of the same in my comment above and I do apologise for the same.)

    Harsh or not, the tone, content and language is attacking the man while veiled in using rational arguments and hence its as unacceptable as Raja commenting abt Ash being strangled. (Although, how all of us would love to see that happen) Besides its not in the same vein as the Guzaarish post, not in intent, not in the way its used its arguments, not in the tone.

  15. That was certainly not the intention. I thought I made it evident in the last paragraph. Maybe I was wrong. Anyway I have already clarified my stand, and reiterate the same. If it’s not convincing, I can do little except apologize. Not for the piece itself, but for the fact that some see it as a ‘veiled attack’. It isn’t meant to be personal, and most certainly not veiled, Except for the fact that its written under a pseudonym… I wouldn’t have if not for a tiny hitch, but lets let that be, shall we? 🙂

  16. Muzikid says:

    I’m a simple moviegoer and a music lover, who loves to read movie/ music reviews available all around, and I strongly feel Raja Sen is just an attention seeker and a poor performer.

    I remember Raja Sen trying his hand in music reviews where tried to name some of the best music films in recent times. He had missed out on Parineeta. How could he? He is a retard as far as his knowledge of music goes and the same mental retardation must have forced him to give 5 stars to Ghajini music.

    Coming to his analysis of movies, his reviews reflect his arrogance and not his understanding of cinema. Period!

    And before Aishwarya gets strangled by her dupatta, he will get strangled by his own hair….

  17. anobody says:

    It surprises me how this has turned out. But I appreciate Raja Sen’s reviews because of they being bold, passionate and straight-forward. Everybody makes mistake but its the ‘god’ like behaviour the mere mortals like us expect from somebody who seem to defy the norm. If he has gone wrong in the past with his reviews so be it. Why bother? His correct ones outnumber the incorrect ones. As a reviewer Raja Sen is doing a good job and certainly having a growing impact even with his references to ‘american pop culture’, highbrow writing and so much more. I don’t want to judge him based on his tools of trade but on his passion for his craft. He has gotten to a position where he has the authority to dissect somebody’s ‘creative’ product to nihilism and that too by calling spade a spade. Who in today’s time or how many have the guts to do so. Somewhere or the other we all try to protect our interests at the expense of our ‘calling spade a spade’ attitude. Hindi cinema or bollywood is an industry of exceptions where few ‘stars’ seem to exert the same weight as the rest of the industry. So many anomalies exist. By the logic of economics,creativity and efforts, the directors and writers should be paid equal, if not more, compared to the actors that we see on the screen. But, let alone being a rarity, this doesn’t happen at all in bollywood.

    Critics have the power to upset the applecarts of big budget movies by driving the audience away. This is what the directors/producers fear and are without choice left to defend themselves. Well, in most cases, the best way they know to defend is attack and that too personally. I regretfully point to the numerous comments on the reviews written by Raja Sen. He seems to do his job really well and as a reader of his reviews, even if I don’t agree to what all he writes, I can say that the reviews are enjoyable, informative and thought provoking. Well, if not for these reviews, the majority of film producers and directors will have forced the few good exponents to embrace mediocrity and that way our film industry will certainly not evolve. Make a movie, show your craft and skill and let the audience decide its fate (judged not based on the response or ‘collections’ in the first few weeks of its release but on parameters of film-making) and accept the response. Thats the way the critics of Raja Sen should respond. Hit or Flop if decided purely on money made then films will be like sheeps in a herd that will stifle creativity and originality. Oh well, plagiarism is another epidemic that the film industry suffers from and is certainly a subject that merits a separate discussion.

    I don’t want to be a hero of the masses if it only means standing by the popular belief and opposing the radical few. To me what matters is the choice to do what I want the way I want it even if it means being the minority or on the ‘losing’ side. To be ‘Raja’ or ‘Praja’ is one’s choice, don’t enforce it on others. In these times when the film is judged by the creativity in its marketing/promotion and not in the content/making, where hit/flop is decided by the ‘invisible’ money made and where there’s lot of ‘audience conditioning’ going on, the need for Rajas certainly exist, if not to tell us if a movie is good or bad but to tell us that we certainly deserve better.

  18. Moviebuff says:

    I think this whole discussion has taken a really weird turn…!! i completely agree with Blahjid on the points he makes against Raja in the article….

    While it seems Raja’s reveiws often seem to be a one-off case against the other reviewers across, he does come across as passionate and someone of very extreme views….I am not saying its a bad thing….!! But, its not something that the majority appreciates…

    This article was about his response to a statement made by Aamir and lets keep it that aspect….I just chanced upon this blog and i am sure there are many more out there in the world who share +/- opinions on Raja Sen’s writings….

    I have been a fan of Aamir for over 20 years now since the times of Jo Jeeta Wohi…. and the fact is that i like most would await his movies eagerly….Not to say that he hasnt disappointed….Mela and Mangal Pandey being examples…..but the one thing we expect and more often than not get is a certain value for the money we pay to watch him….

    I feel its very honest of him to specify that Dhobi Ghat may not be everyone’s cup of tea…In spite of liking his performances over the years and being a first day 3rd/4th show kinda guy, DG somehow doesnt make me want to go out and make the advance booking…..simply because Aamir has been clear that it wont be a ‘entertainer’ in the real sense and more of an experiential kinda movie…..And i appreciate that….

    Most importantly the fact of the matter is that most ppl in India go to the movies to be entertained…..and we dont really care that the movies being made are not upto the so-called standards of french classics…!!! So in that terms, him being open and honest about DG being more of the so called french classics and not entertainment should be looked at just what its meant to be…..

    I am sure the connoisseurs of movies like Raja may enjoy the movie…but we the paying kind may not….!

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