Ram Gopal Verma knows two ways of making movies. One is how to make a movie and other is that he does not know how to make a movie. The last time he was RGV was when he made Bhoot . I did not like Sarkar ; it was less likeable than the Godfather. And it was definitely far inferior than the book. Godfather the book was more about relationships, the aura , the undercurrent and human nature and its vagaries. Sarkar was more about Amitabh, the expressionless Abhishek , the mercurial Kay Kay and above all RGV, the middle name for which he presume was G for GOD not GOPAL. The actors became bigger than the characters and the movie for me ended up in sketches which were devoid of colours and life. Post that repeatedly our Darling RGV, tried to Phoonk away all his credentials for some entirely Agyaat reasons in his own RGV ki AAG. But when RGV decides to be RGV, few forces in world can join Company. Rann reminds you of all RGV is capable of . But when I entered the theatre , there were all of18 people inside it. Yes, I counted them. It reminded me of another aspect of RGV which he is capable of. He can scare people off theatres even without his darawane attempts. He will do well to remind himself that to keep his antics like GO and Shiva - to mention a few others - to himself , so that a genuine effort like Rann can generate viewership. Yes, Rann is good. And there are several reasons for that. One being his desperation to save a sinking ship. RGV that is. It is not in class of Company or Satya, but then a lot of movies we have been calling good were not there either. At least it is far better than classics like Darna mana hai and its sequel Aahat-Part2. (read:Darna jaroori hai.)
Moving on , I really do not remember the last time two ,movies as different as RGV and Vishal Bhardwaj released on the same day , and I walked out with the same heady feeling for the two. Ishqiya is like one of the dialogues in it,”Ishq mein sab bewajah hota hai.” A lot of things in Ishqiya is bewajah (illogical) , but still the movie is like Ishq- titillating, steamy, spicy, raunchy. To use another reference from the movie –the Ishq I am talking about is not like one feels for a Pari. But the type one nurtures for a Tawayaf. And for that very reason it falters . Like an elusive lover it occasionally and finally frustrates you. A sense of emptiness adds to that feeling of “What could have been”. Even though the film carries an unmistakeable watermark of Vishal Bhardwaj, the hands of a inexperienced director show up although a promising pair one must say.
Talking about watermark, let me return to Runn. The Film has got a distinct , almost opaque watermark of Sarkar. RGV could have easily named this movie Rannkar. Except for the fact that Kay Kay was better than Sudeep and Ritesh is far better than –ankhiyon se only goli mare- Abhishek Abhishek. And yes, did Sudeep put drugs in his cigarette and smoke? Please somebody take away cigarettes from the dude man. Cigarette chadhti hai us ko. Was not cigarette smoking banned on screen? On second thoughts, government should give out video of Jai smoking with every packet of cigarettes. More people will quit than they would if it was banned altogether. And talking of bans, why can’t Neetu Chandra be banned from Indian films? She is getting more irritating than when I get shut in room with friends watching stupid English sitcoms which are “Chandra-ishly” irritating specially so when they guffaw out loudly now and then and yours truly is left wondering what the big deal is.
Another reason I liked Rann was because how it surprised me. I had never expected this from RGV of AAg fame. And no I am not talking about the script. It is as predictable as Ekta Kapoor; I was able to guess almost every next scene. But still the movie retained its raciness for almost the entire length even for someone with a prejudiced mind like me. Now , that is an achievement and that is why it was a surprise. Another surprise was Mohnish Behl. Now do you remember him? Then you might remember when he did act as well as in Rann. May be before he jumped on the Rajshri bandwagon. Did he do any movies earlier? I really don’t remember , so please if anyone does, let me know. He just about manages to avoid being in your face, avoid being hysterical, in short just manages to avoid being Rajshri-ish. Another actor who is a surprise was Rajpal Yadav, but for entirely opposite reasons. In the performance of these two actors lies the maverick RGV. He can make Behl act as he has never ever had , and can make Rajpal Yadav a cringing force he has never been . All for the cause, but he comes a bit hard on senses. As for rest , Amitabh when he acts poorly is news and he has not done that since Lal Badhshah. He was passable even in Hum Kaun Hain. Apart from him , the movie has got a cast which is bigger than the one in even Kahani Ghar Ghar ki.And the best thing is that only Neetu Chandra is worse than Parvati Maiya. About the others, Gul Panag was gul for most of the movies, and anyway they all looked like cinematic version of Mayawati.
The talk of lady characters bring me back to Ishqiya. But first tell me that is there anyone, who writes dialogues better than Vishal Bhardwaj. and better than Guljar to weave songs around those dialogues? Of course we are presently discounting the dialogue writer of movie “Gunda” otherwise he will win hands down. You can’t ignore a person who gave gems like, “Main hoon Bulla , rakhta hoon sab kuch khulla” and “Mera naam hai Ibu Hatela, maan meri chudail ki beti, baap mera shaitan ka chela, khaega kela?” and “mera naam hai pote, jo apne baap ke bhi nahi hote.” But we will talk about that jab maine apne maathe se gunda nahi dekhne ka kalank dho diya hoga. I am getting senti here, so lets get back to the point.
I wanted to write a post on Runn , but see what I am talking about. Some movies are like that. Like Gunda, Like Ishqiya. One can’t help when one is so fresh in mind. Ishqyia has its rough edges, but they seem to be carved in perfection. Has there ever been a bigger tharki than Arshad ? Has anybody been ever able to portray that swift transition from rouge to suave better than Naseer? And will not talk about Vidya. It will sour the memories. They are best left untouched, unshared. But the movie trudges slowly, and its twists do not appear like twists. But still it has got a fleeting spark within itself, right from the disclaimer, which says that the characters are imaginary to a large extent. . But the spark is the problem, coz it is too intermittent, more so under the air of huge expectations I carried with myself into the theatre.
For me this week the seasoned player trumped the debutante by a thin margin, but I suspect if Runn will do well. RGV has created such a market which is keener on not buying his product because of his antics which he translated into movies. Here is the proof. Abhishek Chaubey comes with no such baggage. That is an advantage, more so , if you happen to be from Vishal Bhardwaj stable .