22 May 2017

'Hindi Medium': Review

A review of 'Hindi Medium':

Some people think a movie must not merely entertain but must also have a 'social message'. But movie is a fictional art and fictional art's primary purpose is to entertain. If it directly tries to give a 'social message', it will deviate from its basic purpose. It will become boring and preachy – and it will fail. But if it tries to do it indirectly – without deviating from its basic purpose of entertaining (by emotionally connecting with the audience) – then it can work. Now imagine an entertaining movie about big issues like society, development and poverty. Impossible? Well, writer-director Saket Chaudhary has achieved the impossible with his Hindi Medium.

A Chandni Chowk businessman's (Irfan Khan) wife (Pakistani actress Saba Qamar) wants to put their daughter into a prestigious Delhi school. So begins their Great Indian Circus: the School Admission – an endless merry-go-round of applications, consultants, interviews and lists. Hindi Medium starts off as a hilarious comedy about our education system. But it doesn't stop there. Saket Chaudhary has something much bigger in mind. He gradually widens the lens to look at no less a subject than Indian society itself.

Hindi Medium examines all the 3 sections of our society: rich, middle class and poor. The rich think modernisation means Westernisation and de-Indianisation. The middle class are desperate to become like them. And the poor struggle for the basic needs of life. Hindi Medium ruthlessly exposes our hypocrisies and double standards on every major issue – be it language, education or culture. It looks at Indian society better than any sociology textbook. It looks at development better than any economics textbook. And all this while being a heart-warming entertainer throughout.

70 years after getting freedom, most of our people still don't have a decent life. Hindi Medium brutally looks at this harsh reality – but never becomes even remotely depressing at any point. When you walk out of the theatre, you have a smile on your face. Why? Two reasons. First reason: though we still face grave challenges, we know that things are slowly improving. And second reason? It is right in front of your eyes – a movie like Hindi Medium has been made, and people are watching it (and liking it). Why does this matter? It does matter. Because if we can look at ourselves mercilessly – through the eyes of an honest and courageous artist (like Saket Chaudhary), then something must be right with us.

Hindi Medium is ambitious, brilliant and powerful. Watch it. Tell your friends to watch it. Tell them to tell their friends . . . (OK, you get the idea)

13 May 2017

'Sarkar 3': Review

Why did Ram Gopal Varma make Sarkar 3? (A review)

A. DRDO made him do it.
Sarkar 3 is a series of completely illogical scenes with absolutely no connection with one another whatsoever. I desperately tried to somehow connect them all together into a remotely logical story – but failed miserably. Further, the level of absurdity went on increasing at an exponential rate. So my head exploded into a hundred pieces. If you walk out of the theatre with your head intact, that means your skull is the hardest substance on earth. Then DRDO will harvest it and use it to develop a next-generation cutting-edge super-weapon – one that China and America can never hope to match. Of course, the easiest solution for all this is to simply kidnap people and directly test the hardness of their skulls. But that is technically illegal under Indian laws. So Sarkar 3 is nothing but a part of DRDO's top-secret weapons program.

B. A drug cartel made him do it.
Cocaine, heroin and meth can move over. They are now just for kids. Because a drug cartel has synthesised a new chemical that makes all these drugs look like chocolate. And they have been injecting it into their test specimen – Ram Gopal Varma – for the last one year. Then to market their new product, they told him to make Sarkar 3. Because after watching this mind-numbing sense-destroying brain-killer, people will know the power of the new drug. So Sarkar 3 is nothing but a 2-hour long ad for the drug cartel's new drug. The only question is which drug cartel. Sinaloa? Tijuana? Juarez? Which one?

C. Amit Shah made him do it.
In Karnataka, BJP is in such a great shape that Congress will easily win the state election next year. So Amit Shah had to make a master plan. He got his chance when Chief Minister Sidramayya announced he will reduce movie ticket prices to Rs 200. Then Amit Shah immediately told Ram Gopal Varma to make Sarkar 3 and release it on the Friday when the ticket prices were reduced. Due to the reduced ticket prices, the people of Karnataka will flock to the theatres and see whichever movie is released that Friday – ie, Sarkar 3. And after watching this ridiculous piece of shit, they will be totally outraged. They will be totally mad with Sidramayya. And they will overwhelmingly vote against Congress in next year's election – thereby giving BJP a landslide victory. So Sarkar 3 is nothing but Amit Shah's master plan to win the Karnataka election next year.

D. Nirbhaya's rapist-murderers (NRM) made him do it.
NRMs are desperate to delay their hanging. So they told Ram Gopal Varma to make Sarkar 3. Because after watching this atrocious piece of crap, the people of India will be so furious that they will demand the hanging of each and every single person who is involved in any way whatsoever in the making of Sarkar 3 – starting from the producer and going all the way up to the sweeper. This also includes all those critics who gave this monstrosity a score of anything above minus infinity. And that will be quite a few people to hang. So it will automatically delay the hanging of the NRMs. Thus Sarkar 3 is nothing but the NRMs' desperate plan to somehow delay their own hanging.

E. Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra made him do it.
Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra have made Bollywood's biggest blockbusters. But in spite of this, intelligent movie fans don't respect them. So they told Ram Gopal Varma to make Sarkar 3. Because after watching this worthless piece of garbage, even intelligent movie fans will agree that K-Jo and A-Cho are the apex of cinematic brilliance – second only to the great Satyajit Ray. So Sarkar 3 is nothing but K-Jo and A-Cho's amazing plan to somehow earn some respectability.

F. Ram Gopal Varma did it himself.
RGV is depressed that his Satya is just one of Bollywood's all-time greatest movies (along with Sholay, Deewar and Maqbool) – and not the all-time greatest movie. He wants a superlative completely for himself, one that will not be shared with anyone else. Hence he decided to make Bollywood's most pathetic movie ever, one whose record will never be broken. So he made Sarkar 3 – and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams (and our wildest nightmares) . . .