Fan

fan

Vampire Owl: We are looking forward to our fans. I am going to call them my friends, brothers and potato chips.

Vampire Bat: No, we are not. Our policy is against having fans.

Vampire Owl: Oh! What about one special fan?

Vampire Bat: No, especially not one special fan.

Vampire Owl: But they are all poor, brainless zombie minions in my case.

Vampire Bat: It is the same problem with the fans. They are also mostly brainless.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I have seen them posting “bomblastic”, “elastic”, “fanta-stick”, “amaze-singh” and all for their favourite stars’ movies even before the flicks release.

Vampire Bat: You do see the problem, don’t you? And after the dumb movies release, they abuse people who say that a dumb movie is not good enough.

Vampire Owl: Yes, the lack of brains. Can they grow some? We can provide the nutrients.

Vampire Bat: We are still discovering a special magic for the same.

[Gets three cups of tea with tapioca chips].

What is the movie about? :: Gaurav Chadana (Shah Rukh Khan) is a big fan of the popular Bollywood superstar Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan in the second role). He has managed to keep a certain obsession with the superstar for such a long time, that he often forgets everything else in his life. His career or the people around him rarely becomes his priority in a life filled with strange obsession. Even though a lot younger, his face has some similarity with that of Aryan, and that helps him to win local competitions and talent shows talking, acting and dancing as Aryan. He has a crush on the girl in the neighbourhood, Neha (Shriya Pilgaonkar), but his big passion and admiration is for the superstar whom he had grown up watching. He has been thinking about the same only, and one day goes on a journey to Mumbai in order to meet Aryan in person.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: Gaurav reaches Mumbai, and resides in the hotel room where Aryan had lived long ago before becoming a star, and begins his attempts to meet the superstar – but he just can’t get past the top-level security. As a younger rising superstar makes some rude remarks about Aryan, Gaurav gets into his place, posing as his fan, and beats him up – he also makes him apologize for talking against Aryan. But as the video is uploaded on the internet for the world to see, Aryan retaliates by getting him arrested. After getting beaten up by the police, Gaurav is only so happy to meet Aryan for the first time in his life. But Aryan scolds him, and tells the boy that it was he who got him arrested, and it is better for him to leave for Delhi. An angry Gaurav is not happy about it, and decides to retaliate – but how? And where will this angry revenge lead?

The defence of Fan :: This is the movie of Shah Rukh Khan as he single-handedly makes this movie successful, as he conveys the message against dumb fan worship perfectly. It is him versus him in two roles; Shah Rukh Khan against Shah Rukh Khan as both wins here – two grand performances here. Everyone else might be there, but the focus is always on him, and he plays these character with such honesty that one really feels the need to applaud now and then. He also makes us see that these fans make their own families and loved one suffer, and it is a major really relevant in this age. The whole thing is done nicely and quickly, with no drag. There are no silly songs to slow down things, and there is no dumb humour which had the chance to be here. So, this one becomes Shah Rukh Khan’s best performance in the last few years, and one of his smartest movies in the same period of time. Yes, Waluscha de Sousa and Shriya Pilgaonkar are good too, but this is a Shah Rukh show in full power.

Claws of flaw :: Even though one side of the movie feels so real, there are part of the movie that are overdone, especially with a simple boy from a common family with so less number of friends able to cause this much trouble to a very influential superstar – something which would be near impossible to do undetected in real life. Some sequences do make one wonder if this particular person has been doing the same for many years – maybe he has a habit of bothering people all the time, but sometimes, fans are really good at that, aren’t they? There was the need to keep this one completely within the realistic angle, and the failure to do so has also hurt here. This could have also been done as a thriller, with the superstar as well as us knowing what hit the man only later. To add that, the fans who usually watch a movie twenty five times might have not watched this movie either.

Soul exploration :: There is one major reason why this won’t be a major hit like the other movies of Shah Rukh Khan or even the rest of the big names – it is because this is the most honest attempt by any actor in Bollywood to make people understand the evil that exists in the form of fans. This is not brainless thing like Chennai Express or eternally overrated like Dear Zindagi; for the kind of audience that likes Dilwale and Happy New Year, this was not the case. People still want a million sequels to Dhoom and Krrish and its keeps being proven again and again. This is the only reason why this movie didn’t gross more than these other movies; the increasing need for people to grow brains is there. Without that, when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives, there will be nobody to eat these people – just think how sad that will be for the zombies; no you only think about yourselves. Brains and fans – too far away from each other, unless one day, there is no hate and abuse, but only the desire to do good in the name of the superstar.

[A few minutes after the movie].

Vampire Owl: There is another way, you know.

Vampire Bat: No, whatever you are thinking about, drop that idea right now.

Vampire Owl: We could be someone’s fan. Then we can do no job throughout our lives and tell everyone that we are fan club secretary of Transylvania wing.

Vampire Bat: Did you not understand anything from this movie?

Vampire Owl: Yes, I understood the easy way.

Vampire Bat: Who are you going to be a fan of?

Vampire Owl: What about Uncle Dracula?

Vampire Bat: Dude, his existence is Z-level secret. That creepy old dude Van Helsing will come back from the dead if he knows that Uncle Dracula is alive and has a fan-base.

Vampire Owl: I wouldn’t want that. He smells bad.

Vampire Bat: So, keep it a “no fan” area. Keep every fan away.

[Gets on the Vampire Bat Mobile and travels to the tree-top].

Release date: 15th April 2016
Running time: 138 minutes
Directed by: Maneesh Sharma
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Waluscha de Sousa, Sayani Gupta, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Deepika Amin, Yogendra Tiku

fan

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Dear Zindagi

dearzindagi-1

Vampire Owl: This is not acceptable to the vampire community.

Vampire Bat: I see no problem in some vampire censoring here.

Vampire Owl: There is too much about life here. If they get too much caught up with life, how can we recruit our minions?

Vampire Bat: Consider this life after death.

Vampire Owl: That would be beautiful, even though these people don’t look like zombies.

Vampire Bat: Well, beauty of life after death is more than just about zombies.

Vampire Owl: To that, I can drink tea.

Vampire Bat: We are drinking tea to that.

Vampire Owl: And we are watching this movie only for that.

Vampire Bat: In the end, I am sure that most of us will end up watching this for different reasons.

[Gets the tickets with cheese popcorn and vegetable puffs].

What is the movie about? :: Kaira (Alia Bhatt) is a rising cinematographer who wishes to shoot a full movie instead of the smaller projects that she usually does. Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor) is the person who becomes her chance to get to the big scene at New York, and it is with him that she is cheating on her boyfriend, Sid (Angad Bedi). But things don’t go on as planned, and she ends up in Goa, where her parents are – as many other people in her life, she can’t get along with them too. She is unable to sleep and except for her very few friends, she is angry at most of the people. But one day, she comes across Dr. Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) whom she figures out as the right choice to solve her problems. She decides to be open to her therapist, and he has a few sessions with her, and life will never be the same for her again.

The defence of Dear Zindagi :: Here you get another inspirational movie. There is no shortage of messages, no matter how they are presented – it is more about claiming back one’s life while getting rid of the ghosts of the past, and the rest of the messages can be discovered by oneself. There is some humour here and there, but nothing that remains memorable enough. The visuals work nicely, and the songs are okay, with “Love you zindagi” being a clear winner. There are also some dialogues which you can use as a quotation on another day. The fact that this movie made this much without much of a plot is actually interesting. Then there is the cast which is another big advantage for this movie. It is also an interesting thing to notice that Bollywood is thinking differently these days – we had many movies with difference this year, and that is a welcome change; but the fact that this was so close to being a lot better movie should be rather disappointing.

Claws of flaw :: Well, we get so many of inspirational movies here; if you take a look back, there are enough of them to keep some extra inspiration for later use – there are separate movies for children like Philips and the Monkey Pen, for women like Rani Padmini and also for many different categories of people. It is near impossible to relate to the character played by Alia Bhatt too, as we get too much of a world which is less ours. This could have been more fun if it felt more real with its happens. We see that something unreal comes up here and there even in an inspirational movie – a bad habit without doubt. This certainly goes exaggerated, and thus that bad quality of Bollywood is also retained. There are slow parts and you know the unconvincing side – not easy to feel for the characters; our protagonist herself has too easy a life and no pain. The drag makes one feel that this an even longer movie, with an already big run-time – too many dialogues there too.

Performers of the soul :: Alia Bhatt’s character does spend a lot of time buying things from e-bay and cleaning the roads with her clothes as she move around in them, but you see that she plays this interesting, but irritating character very well. Her long speech about her childhood might be the boring side of the same though, followed by her anger at her parents. But the energy that she brings to this character is a lot. Still, it is only when Shah Rukh Khan’s character enters the scene after an hour, that things get interesting. After that, things get going, until that climax which is nothing more than ordinary. Even as Alia Bhatt remains the soul of this movie, it is Shah Rukh Khan that holds the parts together, and whemever he is there, we are cent percent glued to the screen. Among the supporting cast, it is Yashaswini Dayama who plays Jackie that scores the most.

Soul exploration :: The protagonist’s problems are also more Bollywood kind, as she keeps falling in love – one has to wonder if she actually does anything else in her life; too much falling in love and leaving them behind. Then she also gets to be rude to her parents living in the past. There are moments when one feel that these kind of people don’t deserve a movie at all, unless provided with a warning in the beginning. But Bollywood’s aversion to common man goes on as it looks only for special people. As usual, for a Bollywood movie, there is also too much melodrama in this one, and the real solution of this problem was there so early – as the problem in this movie for Alia Bhatt’s character is she herself. Some people have to be taught how to be good to others, even when their life is actually going very smooth, and that indeed is the problem of this world, isn’t it?

How it finishes :: There is one thing that we keep wondering about – why is the Bollywood movies too much about the aspirations and disappointments of people of another level? At the same time, the Malayalam movie Kattappanayile Rithwik Roshan is running in the theatres, and this one is closer to the common people despite it focusing more on the comic side without feeding advice with brains. You saw the same with Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, as the heroes just had to travel all around the world – maybe Bollywood wishes to tell less about the common man and make its stars people with a lot of money or special skills? Meanwhile, movies like North 24 Kaatham and Mili could easily tell such stories of finding oneself, that too with the common people as protagonists. If you have watched Mummy & Me with Archana Kavi being advised by Suresh Gopi on how to get her life better, you will know how such movies can be done with realistic protagonists with whom we can relate to. This one will work, but the theory to “overdo things for attention with less focus on the story” is here with Bollywood.

Release date: 25th November 2016
Running time: 150 minutes
Directed by: Gauri Shinde
Starring: Alia Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan, Ira Dubey, Yashaswini Dayama, Rohit Saraf, Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Ali Zafar, Aditya Roy Kapur

dearzindagii

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.