Among the many love-hate mails that we get everyday, only few stand out. This one came from an anonymous account. From someone who likes to call herself Mrs Mumble Kaur Iyer (Is she watching our films?). Or simply a Madrasan from North. And this madrasan seems to be angry. Or is she drunk? Are ‘madrasans‘ allowed to drink? Ok, leave everything, drop everything, and read on. Not everyday you get to read an angry madrasan’s open letter.
Ek Deewani Thi
First and foremost, I’ve been a fan of you since the Minnale/ RHTDM days. I confess that every guy in my college hostel used to swear by your film (before Pyaar ka Punchnama swept through like a Tsunami). This despite the chubby chubby R Madhavan and woody woody Sunsilk commercial Diya Mirza. Saif Ali Khan and the music was reason enough for me and my sahelis to swoon over. Many nights have been spent looping Bombay Jayshree’s Zara Zara (and not just Vaseeghara).
Mildly curious and true to my Tamil roots, I followed up on your films – the force-ful Kaakha Kaakha, “Raghavan Instinct” Vettayiadu Villayidu (which again had you revelling in the misogynistic torture sequences that Daniel Balaji unleashed on his victims), and Varnam Aaiyaram (firmly entrenched in Tam cinema love stories, where the hero is ALWAYS a stalker, and heroine is ALWAYS someone from North – Sameera Reddy’s last name is a technical detail I deign to ignore). And I don’t even want to talk about the trying too hard to shock Nadunisi Nayagal.
But my faith in you was reassured after watching the deeply personal and meta-filmy Vinaithandi Varuvaya. I was pleasantly surprised to find a guy next door falling in love with a girl next door. And NOTHING HAPPENING. The guy and the girl meet, there are problems, and like life, love doesn’t conquer. To be or not to Be. “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine”. What a pleasure to see Simbu behave “normally”, and the gorgeous Trisha, who surely was responsible for an increased sale of cotton printed saris at the Malai Mandir Pongal Fare.
Not to say that the film is without flaws (my mention of Cascablanca might have some film buffs snigger) but let that go for some other post. This post is not just about VTV (Translation – Will you cross the skies for me?)
This post is about every guy/girl from some small town in Bihar who are embarassed to see some fake “Bhaiyya lingo” mouthing character pass off as a Bihari/UP-ite (they’re very different I assure you) in a Hindi film.
About every Masters student studying in America, moon lighting as a McDonalds waiter to make ends meet, who sees that all NRIs lives in Hindi films are rose tinted.
About every girl who smokes a ciggerette and is offended at the potrayl of female smokers in Hindi films as either Powerful foul mouthed women or loose characters.
About every muslim who sees muslim characters in hindi films as either terrorists, or supporting character who has to give a kurbaan(i).
About every sardar who is almost always a Santa-Banta joke in a Hindi film.
About ….. you get the picture.
About why I will not watch Ek Deewana Tha having seen VTV. And I will go in true bullet point style like my compatriot Mr Rangan. I saw the trailer and was once again incensed.
At the evidence aplenty, that a nice Tamil picture has been massacred and gang raped – by the director himself.
- By a Diya Mirza-ish Prateik Babbar, who CANNOT say a line properly. A guy who has serious diction issues, who has lost out on the naivete of Karthik.
“Mujhe lagta hai ki main tumse pyaar karta hoon”.
Oh Really, sir ? You expect me to believe you ?
“Feel toh tum bhi karti ho par bolti nahi ho?”
Sir, pehle aap khud feel karke bolo na please.
- By a firang bad actress again. (From the Kaifs, Fakhris to Sunny Leones – surely we have better actresses in India sir) who will hem, haw, pout, make faces, eat up her lines, and do anything and everything under the sun except look believable as Jessi.
- It is telling that in the entire 2.21 min long trailer sir, there is not a single stay on either of your Romeo-Juliets. Not a single shot which lingers on them as they talk. All voice over. Or them mumbling the lines. As if they are scared their lies will be caught. Is it because you probably realised what fuck all actors they are on the edit ? That you made this wise decision ? That you will expect the audience to be drawn in, and inevitably feel cheated ? Is it a con that you are pulling off sir ? But why didn’t you notice that when you met them for the first time over that lovely Irish Coffee in Gloria Jeans? Because you were too desperate to make that film that you ignored you had to make it?
- By another legend Javed Akhtar, who matches the poetry of the original songs with as much sincerity as he did while writing songs for Jeans. The effect is in the same ball park as a PK Mishra (“Ungli jaisi dubli ko nahi chahiye Pharmacy“). How I missed Mehboob-ARR combo (Kehna hi kya, Rangeela). And, no, even a Gulzar has written a meter-less “Hansti rahe tu hansti rahe … Geeli geeli hansi” and killed Vairamuthu’s classic Pachchai Nirame. Sometimes I really wonder what happens to lyricists when they remake a superb tamil song ?
“Dost hai hum toh yeh bahana kyun ? Pyaar hai humko yeh chupana kyun?”
Seriously, sir ? Is there not a single hindi speaking AD you hired to make sure these “greats” got away with such expositional shit ? And to think Javed Akhtar criticized Kolaveri Di? A song which has more heart than surely the whole album of Ek Deewana Tha.
- And heck heck heck. How they have raped the gem of a song called Aaromale (Click here for the full song with English lyrics)
“Shubh Shubh ghadhi subah lagan…Som som hai tera darpan.. ..Shubh shubh sajni ka jeevan“
WOW. Sir issey achcha toh original mallu lyrics hi daal dete. Jaisa “Maangalyam” mein already kiya tha. I thought the the word “sajni” should have been retired from hindy lyricsdom after the brilliant Ae Sajni from Hazaroon Khwashein Aisi.
- Carter Road and Kozhikode alone don’t make an authentic film sir.
- Did K Balachander’s open letter to you after watching the tamil version spur you to make your own version of Ek Duje ke liye. At least that film had an Agnihotri and a Kamal Hassan sir. Yours ?
- Which is why nobody, nobody raises a finger on a poorly dubbed film like Roja in which the village is apparently set somewhere in UP. Because the performances are so effing engrossing, that we ignore the Baba Sehgalisms like “Chachi tujhe pyaar se chedha hoga chacha ne“.
And that is why I will not watch Ek Deewana Tha. Because it will embarass me as much as a Humse Hai Mukabla did. Waiting for your next and praying it doesn’t look like a bastardised “madrasi” film in hindi.
(P.S – The whole film with English Subs is on youtube here. Please do yourself a favour and watch it before you do plan to catch Ek Deewana Tha.
(P.P.S – Who is Mrs Mumble Kaur Iyer, you ask ? A. Doesn’t matter. Just a “madrasan” from the North of India.)