There were at least 100 people waiting outside. It was Saturday and the time was past 9:00 PM. The temperature was probably in the 70s. “Should we just drop the idea and may be go home?”.
Better thoughts prevailed and we walked into the movie hall. There were 2 Indian movies being screened in that theatre (the other one being a Telugu movie) and the large crowd can be attributed to that and not just the Mangal Pandey fever.
If Aamir Khan is such a perfectionist as the media claims he is (or has made him to sound like one), then his decision to do this movie, in my mind disproves all that. He may have done a decent job as an actor in the movie but how on earth such a “thinking actor” chose a script that is largely a collection of loose scenes connected rather incoherently, is a question that all non-hardcore-Aamir Khan fans will ask.
I would not like to pay any importance to all the furor the Historians are creating on the authenticity of the Mangal Pandey story (much like the “Bose” controversy) because I do believe that a movie is generally someone’s interpretation of something – be it history or fiction. But even by leaving aside that controversy, I still couldn’t digest the movie entirely.
The agony was worsened only by the fact that my main reason for watching the movie on the second day of its release was not justified. A R Rahman apparently had 3 period movies offered to him around the same time and he chose Mangal Pandey only because of Aamir Khan. I guess I feel disappointed for Rahman. I have never seen a Ketan Mehta movie before but I can tell now you that I don’t have to worry about having missed something and I can also tell you that Ketan Mehta did not deserve Rahman’s music for this movie.
Every single song in the movie was butchered in one way or the other. If Rasiya, Main vari, Holi Re and Takey Takey found no room in the script but were still forcibly included, then the title song looked ridiculous on big screen with those 4 strangers riding atop and chanting “Mangal Mangal” with no absolute sense of any purpose. The director lacks any kinds of imagination and creativity in filming songs. Al Madath was the only song in my mind that fit the flow of the script. The movie would have been 20-30 minutes shorter (that much less agony) had not been for those songs that were butchered.
My disappointment is echoed by a few other reviewers who loved Rahman’s score for the movie. But many reviewers and average movie goers have shunned the music after seeing the movie. I cannot expect an average movie-goer to be intelligent enough to differentiate direction from songs. But the net result – as it seems obvious now is that the songs have not reached the audience.
For the beauty of this album’s sake, I hope the movie does not fall in the box office quickly. At least, the longevity of this movie will make the music being aired/promoted a little longer thus giving a chance to be appreciated.
Well..this has turned out to be an “out and out Psenti-Philmi” blog!