A Premature Edit – Rituparno Ghosh (1963 – 2013)

Image

This is not a well-designed obituary. I do not have the energy or interest to think about grammatically flowery and embellishing language. Grammatical correctness will just distance my feelings for the man whom I had always held so dear. It will be the writer in me who will be spelling the article out, one who is brutal and cruel and cares only about perfect prepositions. The human and ardent lover of Ghosh’s art that I am, finds solace today in silence.

I have never met him. He remains for me a guiding light just like Ray is. Or Tagore always will be. A man who was brave enough to have a voice, who might not always be appreciated or accepted, but was never ignored. Behind all his makeup, bejeweled accessories and prominent (and uncomfortable) effeminacy remained an exceptionally perceptive, intelligent, absorbent, and engaging individual. Rituparno Ghosh was never hated for his words. When he spoke, you heard every word and realized that he made sense. He had a voice.

Ghosh came into the Bengali film industry at a time when everybody was unsure of the goal and vision of cinema. The greats were fading away; along with stalwarts like Aparna Sen and Gautam Ghose, he became a part of the independent film triumvirate – making cinema that was unafraid, vocal, and had a mind of its own. His debut, Hirer Angti, must be the only film where he ‘aligned’ himself to the audience. All his other films coaxed the audience to rise to his level. Every film of his, some better than others, had a piece of him, affected heavily by his personal transformations. We forget that he was human – his work will be affected by his changing mindset. If the man wants to give wings to his sexuality, we always have the option to criticize – but not condemn. Yes, his personal changes might not to be our liking, but that does not take away his calibre, education, cinematic authority, and heightened sensibilities.

Almost all his films create magic. The emotional dynamics of Baariwaali, the chemical Utsab, firebrand Dahan, the macabre of Antarmahal, entangled Titli and Unishe April, stylish Shubho Mahurat, and sheer poetry in Chokher Bali and Raincoat. The latter urban pieces like Dosar, The Last Lear, Khela, Shob Choritro Kalponik, and Abohomaan might not be his directorial best but did uphold a change in psyche, and an attempt to delve into even more complicated relationships.  These films also broadened his popularity and gave him global acceptance. He returned with a bang with Noukodubi, one of his best films; a cinematic gem, which definitely proved that he, was one of the most trusted authorities of Tagore. He understood Tagore almost on a personal, visceral level and hence, was able to go beyond just the literature. His documentary on Tagore, when and if released, will surely prove this fact. Choosing to act in Arekti Premer Golpo, Memories in March, and Chitrangada (which he also directed) might be a debatable decision. While on one hand he flirted with the uncomfortable, his courage is to be commended. It takes immense confidence in one self to perform a deviant character which almost borders on taboo. He might not be an astounding actor, his writing had also faltered recently, but his directorial and cinematic genius is undeniable. He knew how to suck you right into his story – he knew how to affect you.

Ghosh’s ability to work and derive the best from his actors is exemplified by the likes of Prosenjit Chatterjee – an actor who was the leading face of crassy Bengali potboilers till Ghosh trusted in him enough to cast him in Utsab. If not for Ghosh, Chatterjee would have never found respect, or realized the immense talent he bore and was wasting away. The same could be said for Rituparna Sengupta (whose talent was also given wings by Aparna Sen), Raima Sen, and Jisshu Sengupta. Two of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s best performances are in his films. Even the much ignored Riya Sen became an actor in his hands. His actors and their careers bear testimony to the amazing director that he was.

I will refrain from discussing my personal relationship with his work. I am grieving the loss of a guiding light, an inspiration whose work I might have criticized in recent times, but have always been attracted by. I have never been able to ignore the allure of Rituparno Ghosh’s work. I am angry at the injustice of his death. He was meant to be even greater.

I pray Satyanweshi is released. Also Sunglass and the Tagore docu-drama. I hope he is kept alive and remembered through his work.

Anyway, I doubt forgetting him will be easy.

Advertisements

100 Years of Bollywood – Where is the Celebration?

Bombay_Talkies_2013_Film

Bollywood turned 100 this year. I have no idea what is the big deal about that. The industry is not a school which can hold a jubilee event and have the first Principal reminisce about the first batch of snotty-nosed boys and super-supportive teachers. The makers of Alam Ara are long dead and gone. The film itself remains more as a GK quiz question than a fond national celluloid memory.

What has 100 years of Bollywood achieved? Our global claim to fame still remains song-and-dance-and-glitzy-clothing-and-orchestrated-music-and-200-member-dance-sequences. True. Even an American TV show created in 2012 by the amazing Mr. Spielberg sees all these mentioned features as the manifestation of Bollywood. It is so funny to see white actors do bhangra in lehenga-cholis and kurta-pajamas! We are hardly mainstream attractions at the Cannes. Or the Oscars. Or the Bafta. Everytime the word ‘Bollywood’ or ‘India’ or ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is mentioned, people from other countries squeal “I love Bollywood music” and “I love Shahrukh Khan” and “jai Ho!” Our claim to fame still remains so heavily myopic. We still make grand 2-hour love stories. We still remake regional films in Hindi (We have moved on from Bengali to Tamil and Telugu. Next up: Bhojpuri). Our actors still suddenly break into songs in classrooms, instantly transported to Switzerland or Bali (if the producer’s purse strings are tighter) in dream sequences with multiple costume changes. There still is the jealous half-brother, the dying mother, the corrupt policeman, the drunk comedian, the pansy best friend, the arsehole boss, the bald villain in wrapping paper shirts – every single established stereotypes still remains established. Anything ‘slow’ or ‘intelligent’ or ‘brain-requiring’ is still terms art house and parallel cinema. We still recommend the audience to ‘leave your brain at home’.

Escapism still remains the underlying offering of Bollywood. And that is exactly what Bombay Talkies deals with. How cinema is the most prominent source of escapism in our lives. But what it scores with intent, it misses in execution. The hypocrisy is nauseous. For an industry that thrives on glamour, glitter, chandelier jhumkas, and Shahrukh Khan hand poses, the celebration of its centenary suddenly became slow, ordinary, and pseudo-intellectual. The grand celebration of the grandeur of Hindi Cinema was absent. The very intellectualism that the industry has always laughed at, sneered, and ostracized, became the language of its 100th birthday extravaganza.

Epic fail.

When your audience walks in to see you celebrate the industry they have grown up with, shagged off to, dreamed of, aligned their wedding theme with, they expect you to conjure every single one of their favourite cinematic memory. More so if not one, but four film makers are at the helm. The quartet consists of Karan Johar the wedding king, two-film old Zoya Akhtar, Niche dude Dibakar Banerjee, and Tarantino shishya Anurag Kashyap.  Now, I adore the three men individually. They have individual style and statement and are extremely confident film makers. BUT, barring Johar, none of the other film makers quite as much qualify to be the voice of the industry. Zoya Akhtar has barely proven herself as a film maker. Her brother would have been the right Akhtar. Or was it about gender representation? The very Dibakar Banerjee and  Anurag Kashyap whom the industry biggies have always undermined as ‘niche’ and ‘indie’ and ‘festival suckers’, are suddenly representing Indian cinema! Was it the sudden need to look good? Were the creative honchos actually embarrassed of the kitschy legacy they themselves take ahead every day just to hear the cash counter ring louder?

Karan Johar’s film falls hard and loud on its face. A man falls in love with his boss’s husband and tries to woo him with a street singer’s vocal renderings as the catalyst. Why did I not start the sentence with ‘a gay man…’? That is just the point KJo did not get. We don’t say ‘this is a love story between a straight man and a straight woman’. One’s sexual orientation is not a medal. It does not feature in our introductions OR is a way non-effete gay men assure women that even if they are tying their blouse strings, they are not going to jack off to them later at night. No one says, ‘Hi, I am Karan. I am straight, by the way’. The film is jarring; the sex-laden conversations thrust at you like Mallu porn belly tyres. And please, other than the Censor Board, a gay kiss is NOT a huge deal or ‘tauba-tauba’ moment for the Indian masses. We have had My Brother Nikhil and Dostana and I Am and Kal Ho Na Ho and innumerous other films with gay overtones. Grow up. Mr. Johar, you should have done what you do best – entertain.

Dibakar Banerjee hits the nail right on the head. Picking up an oft-repeated Bengali short story by Satyajit Ray, Banerjee creates a wonderful narrative of a failed actor reveling at the chance to impress his daughter, all thanks to a random opportunity to act in a Ranbir Kapoor movie. Banerjee takes his own time, almost emulating Ray’s style of storytelling and mise-en-scene, and creates a mini masterpiece with firebrand Nawazuddin Siddiqui. While individually it is a brilliant piece, like I have mentioned before, it does not belong in a Bombay Talkies.

Zoya Akhtar tells an uncomfortable story of a young boy who aspires to be a dancer a la Katrina Kaif. While the feminism is enjoyable, even the piercing gender-bending question – “what’s wrong with wanting to be a girl?” – the film remains a bloated problem sans a solution. The film ends precariously – after the boy performs so ravishingly in front of all his non-approving neighbours, how does his father react? I can only feel extremely sorry for the kid’s puberty.

Anurag Kashyap’s short glows with cinematic excellence, superb writing, and endearing warmth. The most celebratory of the four, it is a story of aspiration and how, sometimes, a lie is a more fulfilling option than the truth – only if served in the right jar. While the songs are too disruptive, the performances and the mania around Amitabh Bachchan ring honest and very human. It is understandable when Kashyap makes a film like this. When Gucci Johar tries to do the same, it appears pretentious because that is not his comfort zone. The credit song is irritating and unnecessary.

While the intent can be applauded, even if I can make myself accept the attempt, the execution fails to impress me. If I want a film to be the mascot of the industry, it will still be Om Shanti Om for me. The euphoria, melodrama, and razzmatazz are what Bollywood is all about. That film was brave enough to be honest to all of that.

The Great Gatsby – All Glimmer, No Soul

Image

I am not a fan of Fitzgerald. I doubt anybody is. The Great Gatsby, of course, is what reminds us of him. That, and his splendid supporting act in Mr. Allen’s Midnight in Paris. There are writers who do not dominate our consciousness (Read: pop culture) today, like Hemingway or Hardy, but that does not take away their literary genius from them. It is a mere testimony of the fading timelessness of their works. Their works represented a certain era, and hence, remained celebrated (often posthumously). But in a world riddled with capitalistic hunger, a critique on capitalism and opulence would hardly hold ground.

This is not the first time GG has been made into a movie. And I am sure this will not be the last as well. No, it is not the socio-politico-economic relevance that matters. Ironically, our society will increasingly connect with the ostentatious Mr. Gatsby. The point of view has changed. We do not castigate the lavish and grandeur of Gatsby’s parties – we yearn for them. And that is where the initial reception of the novel, and the purview of today’s audience will fundamentally differ.

Baz Luhrmann’s magnum opus is about the mysterious Mr. Gatsby whom nobody has seen, but whose parties everyone tramps into every weekend. It is the economic boom of America, Wall Street has men counting rising stacks of gold with every passing minute – it is the euphoria of the nouveau riche. There is the obvious divide between old and new money; the empty arrogance of one and the gaudy celebration of the latter. A young writer-cum-amateur stock broker, Nick, gets sucked into this mania and falls in love with the madness of it all. He soon realizes that he was only a medium for Gatsby to reach his long lost love, Daisy, Nick’s cousin, who lives across the river from Gatsby’s mansion with her philandering husband, Tom. As Daisy meets Gatsby and ignites hidden embers, the world around them becomes considerably crueler. Gatsby’s illegal dealings come into light, his shady relationship with Wolfshiem, Tom’s growing suspicion and eventual altercation with Gatsby, leading to the accidental death of Tom’s mistress, Myrtle. What follows is an obvious finale fueled by revenge, betrayal, and sorrow.

The story fails to hold interest for us today because we have come across numerous poor-boy-rich-girl-lost-love stories like this one in both literature and celluloid after Fitzgerald wrote GG. One could argue that he started the trend. Let us not get into that. When one picks up an oft-repeated story, it is the treatment that the audience looks for, because at least half of us were going in to see how Luhrmann ‘would do it’. And given Luhrmann’s eccentric style, I was expecting a treat.

Unfortunately, I did not get one. Under all his Bollywood-inspired glitz and shimmer, parodied music and burlesque costumes and buffoonery, Luhrmann always stayed true to emotion. He knew how to make you fall in love or hate his characters and then weep or rejoice at their rise and fall. All his previous movies are proof of that. For some reason, he fails to accomplish that in GG. You do not feel sorry for anybody. Even with the film’s tragic and disastrous ending, you muse simply at the eventuality of it all. Even if you wish to decide that everyone should be punished, the punishment is not satisfying. None of the characters pierce through the glitter and reach you.

While the cinematography excellently captures the grandeur and the hollowness of it all, the music fails to make a contribution. This is a second surprise from the man who gave us the iconic ballad-oriented climax in Moulin Rouge. He has always used music to elevate a scene. In GG, the music is a letdown. Though Luhrmann does dabble with pop music even in his period films, using Amy Whinehouse’s Back to Black in The Great Gatsby is just taking it way too far. And the continuous use of hip hop remains unexplained. The period was resplendent with jazz and broadway show tunes – why Jay Z? Did you actually believe people could not party to jazz music? That is simply shocking.

The writing is ordinary, with most of the monologues taken verbatim from the book. While certain scenes were absolutely ravishing in 3D, most of the film could well have been without the added technology. The editing and colour department should take a bow though. The film remains crisp and does not snag at any point. Yes, you are not bored. You are just left dissatisfied.

And that brings us to the performances. Leonardo is adorable. He is a visual delight, a grown up eye candy who used to be Jack Dawson once. Period. That is it. For an actor of his incomparable stature, he does nothing but look good in this film. You do not feel his longing, his anxiety, his frustration – even his tragic end leaves you unmoved. The supporting cast of Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, and Isla Fisher are passable. They leave no impact at all. Amitabh Bachchan has two-minute screen space. This movie adds nothing to his body of work. The biggest disappointment remains Carey Mulligan as Daisy, a character so confused and carelessly given to the diamonds of life that she fails to make a decision that could change her daily grind. She embodied the ostentatious emptiness of the time, an emotional and physical abyss that nothing seemed to fill. An extremely layered and cerebral character, which Ms. Mulligan failed to understand. Her Daisy is just confused, like a dissatisfied housewife, not knowing what to do. At the end of the film, you do not hate Daisy; and there lies Mulligan’s failure.

For a film that could have easily become a comparative study of societies now and then, Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby remains just what happened in that huge mansion every weekend – a big fat empty party.

A Refreshing Blast of Urban Cinema – A Zombie Movie!

Image

Human beings have a natural affinity for horror and gore. We enjoy being frightened and scaring other people, and there is nothing absolutely more delicious that blood – spraying, swishing, splattering blood. My partner in crime forced me to watch Evil Dead last night, with the whole switch-lights-off-cuddle-up-under-sheets-make-scary-faces-just-to-hear-me-squeal, and he was successful. I shivered and shuddered, turned my head away at pivotal moments, and screamed for my dear life. I just wanted the bloody film to end. It was pure exhaustion. He looked pretty satisfied but, I doubt his stoicism. The movie was all about beautiful, young people turning into supernatural beasts who (obviously) have to be killed. So, the audience is made to oscillate between sharply edited scenes of demon eyes and skull-crushing, knife-slashing murders. Friends murder their friends with sharp knives, broken chunks of the commode, pierce disposable syringes into their eyes – such shining examples of fellowship and bonhomie. People cut their own arms off to prevent spreading of paranormal gangrene. The climax has the female lead (with one arm; she had cut the other one off) drive an electric saw through the evil beast’s head, spraying fountains of blood, all the while  being drenched in a blood shower! Yes, it was raining blood. And a one-armed woman was sawing off another person into half. Let that sink in.

I will be subjected to more Evil Dead tonight. Unfortunately. My insides are churning already.

But the Evil Dead is not about zombies. And zombies are a whole different story. They are ugly, sluggish, and perpetually hungry. They feed on human flesh and innards like hyenas. It is one thing being possessed by a spirit; whole different story being eaten alive.  Imagine watching an ugly scum-of-the-earth gnawing on your fleshy leg, chomping calf meat with relish. The thought is revolting. Hollywood has done a variety of movies with zombies – scary, stupid, and downright funny. They have even created zombie love stories. Not satisfied with small scale zombie attacks, Brad Pitt brings us World War Z this year. The canvas of gore and meat-eating just got bigger.

India has always been happy with pathetic attempts of aatma possessions, scary young girl in old apartments, graceful female spirits avenging their murder, vicious crows for no apparent reason, and the recent super-plaited daayan. Zombies do not belong to the Indian mythology and folklore. We are quite clean when it comes to the dynamics of death. You are either alive (protagonist), the dead evil spirit (antagonist), or the friendly ghost (wing man). Hovering somewhere in between is not to our taste. Nor is afterlife cannibalism. Therefore, introducing zombies to the Indian audience is definitely a tricky job.

And that is where Go Goa Gone scores brownie points. The movie seamlessly introduces you to the whole problem and makes it extremely smooth and easy a watch. No one throws unnecessary metaphysical jargon at you. Simple fact one: Zombies are dead people. So, a new drug goes beyond ecstasy and kills the individual, leaving only the sense of hunger intact in the brain. Hence, all they want to do is eat.  Simple fact two: You can only kill them by shooting straight into the skull. Simple fact three: Saif Ali Khan has blonde hair and could manage to make Russians believe that he is Russian.

Zombie loyalists would say that is not how zombies are formed. I say, who cares? Do we debate about vampires glimmering under the sun? Or whether Priyanka Chopra has had a nose job ? No. We accept what urban legend has to offer. So, rather than getting into the technicalities of zombie manufacturing, let us just accept that this is another way by which you can turn into a zombie. And, the solution that the film provides at the climax is another way by which you can fend them off. If you can accept that humans can have half-vampire babies, why not this?

GGG is about three friends – the horny, the lovelorn, and the nerd. Horny wants drugs and sex. Lovelorn wants drugs and sex. Nerd wants to attend a very important meeting for his company in Goa – the hub of drugs and sex. Horny and Lovelorn tag along. They eye the same babe who invites them to a party on some remote island. The three dudes land up, party, sleep around, hit on women…In the morning they realize that other than them and Sexy Babe (thank God for that), everyone else had turned into zombies. They run helter-skelter, avoiding chomp-chomp and crash into blonde, bang-bang Boris. Boris and his henchman ‘keel dead peeple’. Lots of running around and escape attempts follow, including the mistaken death of the Nerd. The climax reveals the actual intentions of Boris, ending with some ‘drug-induced’ solutions.

Like all zombie films, the story has nothing to offer. But, what works for GGG is the frolicking and casual treatment. The writing is top-notch – clean, edgy, and funny. The dialogues are not forced at all, and seem extremely natural and inherent to the situations at hand (and that is a challenge with the improbability of the plot). It is a balanced script with the ha-ha not overpowering the events. Thankfully, the film does not turn slapstick. It was also extremely intelligent of the writers to place the story in Goa where the firang population is considerably high. Turning firangs into zombies is definitely more believable. Indian zombies would just look like Ramsay brothers characters and that would be ruinous to the film. Good thinking.

The makeup and fake blood department do a very good job. So does the hair colouring department. The film is very well shot, with active participation of the camera crew, exalted by excellent editing. The film remains crisp and clean-cut, holding your attention.  The music stays with you too, quirky and peppy.

While all the actors do a proper job, being true to the script, Kunal Khemu shines in this film. He is extremely natural in the role of the horny, ganja-smoking arsehole, and not for one moment does he fail to keep you entertained. Kudos to all the actors who became zombies. Good job playing dead. Anand Tiwari and Vir Das fit the part, though it is becoming increasingly boring to watch sleepy-eyed Das do the same idiosyncrasies on screen in every film. Saif Ali Khan shines in the role of the producer.

At the end of the day, that was a good welcome to zombies in India. And from what I see, with films like GGG, I am sure zombies will have a long and ‘meaty’ career in Bollywood.

Wish me luck for tonight’s session of Evil Dead by the way.

That Unnecessary Film I SaW Today

Official Poster of Shootout at Wadala, featuring that infamous roar.  Image courtesy: koimoi.com

Bollywood is not new to abysmal films. The audience has been subjected to absolute rubbish since time immemorial. But our anticipation for a new film ceases to surprise me. For some unknown, indistinguishable, and absolutely baseless reason, the Indian moviegoers are filled with an undying hope – the next one will be better. And with this hope, we tramp into movie theatres, hoping that after the national anthem, Vicco turmeric and home loan ads, and the gruesome narrative of anti-tobacco poster boy Mukesh Harane (who, I believe, is a very bad looking actor whom I will definitely bump into some day at Prithvi. I remember bumping into the stammering jackass from Special 26 at Prithvi itself. His play was being staged that day. He was playing a king!), the movie that we had settled down to watch would be one of the ‘Top Ten’ in our lives. If not for any other reason, we at least want our money’s worth.

And that is exactly the problem. Every single individual in the movie business is trying to figure out, what precisely will ensure our money’s worth – most importantly, the majority’s money’s worth. And in the quest for that unattainable wisdom, a string of film makers have made a string of disastrous mistakes. Some say sex. Others say Shahrukh. Put them together and catastrophe, thy name is Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. The latest fad of course is remaking South Indian flicks. It seems, script writers have created a certain algorithm to churn the perfect ‘money’s worth’ screenplay. So, they first write at least four ostentatious, vehicle-crunching, man-flying, blood-splattering fight sequences, with enough bone breaking and hurricane-inducing foot stomps. Then throw in five songs (one: first mulaaqaat of hero and heroine; two: a comic/chauvinistic/festival sequence which will include alcohol; three: a touchy-feely track to which hero and heroine has synchronized sex in slow motion under pristine white sheets. This song can take place before or after their wedding; four: A raunchy item number in rugged valleys or underground caverns with skimpy women singing lyrics with triple entendres; five: Sad/unplugged/acoustic version of first mulaaqaat number when everything finally becomes hunky-dory. There will also be a credit song, which generally will have everyone in ‘sexy’ clothing, dancing together, even the sad old wheelchair-bound grandmother) and a silly love story. Push in a family feud or philandering step sibling somewhere, a corrupt cop/politician, a dying mother, an unmarried sister who is most definitely the bojh of the family. Ensure numerous pallu slips, unbuttoned shirts, boob and arse close ups, rippling bicep and back zooms, thunder thighs, sexist jokes, and toilet humour.

The second trending flowchart is even simpler – Muscle, Sex, and Gaali. In other words, ‘raw cinema’. These are made by film makers who are ‘not afraid’ to show anything. They want to ‘emulate reality’ and show things ‘just the way they are’. This is the new slice of life. And Shootout at Wadala is the perfect example. There’s lots of muscle (women, calm down, not a pretty sight), lots of gun-toting young men with comebacks for every comment, sex (in the form of THREE item numbers and two absolutely ravenous love making sequences), and an unending supply of colourful to creative to downright crassy abuses. The men either talk about how amazing they are at ‘banging’ people, how their enemies’ parents should never have procreated, whether to abuse in English or Hindi, what kind of women to fuck, detailed descriptions of fucking with the metaphorical aid of fruits or car tools, rampant piss-and-poop remarks, resolute promises of revenge, and I-can-burst-your-eardrums-and-explod-your-brains-you-mother-fornicator roars. Oh, the roars. They are unforgettable.

SaW is the story of Manohar ‘Manya’ Surve (John Abraham), whose brother is entangled in underworld loins. Manya is the good boy, who studies and has a good girlfriend and is good to good mother. He has a good boy haircut and wears good shirts with the buttons goodly done up. He is lean and thin and has good khaata-peeta body fat with a good talisman around his good neck. Suddenly, after a very important good exam which would get him a good job, he gets tangled in a murder, is imprisoned for life (instantly; the Indian Judicial system is extremely effective in Hindi movies), is saved by a Tusshar Kapoor from being stabbed by a brute, starts body building training, escapes from jail, puts on fancy dress shirts (multiple buttons unbuttoned to flaunt perfect pecs) and visits the reigning underworld king and his heir apparent (Manoj Bajpai and Sonu Sood) only to anger them with cocky you-are-lion-in-your-galli-tomorrow-I-will-bark-in-it-dekh-lena remarks, decides to make a gang of his own, and so – visits the red light area for item song number one.

The boys are selected – John, Tusshar, Bald body building guru who is perpetually shirtless, and super shooter with an abuse for a name. Yes, fantastic four. They threaten people, collect hafta, beat other gang members, make them pee in public, beat some more people with wooden furniture and gola making machines, and for no apparent reason choose to partner with another gang and bump off Manoj king of Muhammad Ali road. Heir Apparent Sonu is furious and all hell breaks loose. He starts collecting information from Manya’s pals, beats up Tusshar but is unable to kill him because roaring and shirtless John Abraham comes surging towards them hanging from – a BEST bus.

Oh, I am so sorry. Item number two and three has also happened in between. Priyanka Chopra asks you to focus on her breasts with a very breast-focusing step in the number. Her illuminating outfit illuminates them. The other number has a cowboy theme. Also, during all this, Manya’s college sweetheart, Virgin Kangana, has become a restaurant manager and has been torturously ravished by Manya. Twice. He also states how the painful fornication stands for his immovable love for her. Yeah, it all happens somewhere, somehow, during all the bangitty-bang-bang.

And, there is idealistic, honest Police Inspector Anil, who, whiplashes criminals at dhobi ghat with wet clothes. He is out to get Manya, unable to do so. He finally beseeches to Good Kangana, gets her help, surrounds Manya, shoots him, puts him into a van to take him to the hospital, starts probing Manya about his life AND the misery that is this film, begins in flashback.

The actors do a fine job in ruining their reputation (except Tusshar Kapoor. He does not have one for roles that require him to talk). John Abraham should stop acting. Or roaring. Or taking his shirt off. Anil Kapoor should do umar ka lihaaz and respect himself and exit such scripts. Kangana Ranaut should at least now go for a diction course. Manoj Bajpai – why? Sonu Sood, you deserve better. Sanjay Gupta, apologize.

SaW remains a forgettable film, with no story, no direction, and absolutely no necessity.