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Open Letter to Indian Film makers – We deserve better cinema than “Baar Baar Dekho”

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Dear Indian Film Producers,

The trailer was a tease so seductive, we counted down the days just like an actor would count down to his movie release date.

The ‘Kaala Chashma’ music video with the hot-as-hell Katrina outdoing herself just when you thought it wasn’t possible, gyrating in perfection to the foot-tapping Kaala Chashma number refurbished by the ‘Badshah’ of rap himself was enough to have us checking our calendars by the hour.

It was the Eid Al Adha holiday week here in Abu Dhabi and we had spent two nights in Dubai with some friends. Eager to get back and finally watch the much-awaited movie, we boldly booked an evening show on Saturday so that we would drive back to Abu dhabi and head straight for the movie. Such was the excitement and frenzied anticipation.

Nothing had prepared us for what we were about to endure.

As we settled in to our seats, popcorn and pepsi propped in place, the show started…and the headache followed.

The proclivity of a Dharma Productions movie to deliver a somewhat above average performance at the very least was a satisfaction tucked away in the recesses of our minds. But when a dumb-founded Sidharth Malhotra went back and forth in time a few mind-numbing times, it was clear that in reality, WE were the ones getting duped by that Pandit and his ‘mauli’.

The fault lies not in the stars (pun intended) but in the execution of a poorly crafted story. There was only so much the actors could do with a script that, ironically, like the ‘mauli’ that gradually revealed itself to become the real protagonist of the story, was knotted very poorly with each time jump sequel.

The music was undeniably the saving grace of the movie with the winning number being pushed to the very end of the excruciating journey. It was the final nail in the ‘baar baar’ coffin. And yet it was the only thing keeping us from walking out of the theater. A strategy that the movie makers must have been high-fiving each other about.

I suppose theirs was certainly not the last laugh.

Do film makers really believe that they can feed their audiences just about anything and it will be lapped up in the name of entertainment?

With remakes and spin-offs becoming something of a continuing trend, innovation and originality seems to be creeping its way out of the script writers den in Bollywood today. Well-executed remakes are not a bad thing if they are complemented with the occasional nail-biting, intellect-stimulating and novel script that Bollywood can boast about for a change. Even the leave-your-brain-behind movies now seem to have hired unimaginative dialogue-writers whose idea of humor is a thickly accented Lisa Haydon, for example,   saying “ek baar ghadi ke upar” for “Once upon a time” in Houseful 3. Bad jokes, anyone?

Today is the age of Salman Khan – a legend despite of his poor acting skills and even poorer dancing ones. But the box office moolah that his presence on the screen alone rakes in is unparalleled. But while we hoot and clap along to such specimens of mainstream cinema, are we as an informed, entertainment-hungry audience asking for too much if we want to invest in cinema that will at least make the effort to deliver quality entertainment instead of a head-pounding?

After watching Baar Baar Dekho, I certainly wanted my money back. If Katrina and Sidharth’s hot bods and Badshaah’s titillating rap remix was all that we were put through the ordeal for, I would have stayed home on my very comfortable couch and put on Youtube.

So dear film producers, this is a desperate appeal by an avid cinema lover – tap into that creative grey matter and I know there is hope yet for more magic in Bollywood. The golden era in cinema that was helmed by exemplaries from the black and white era created magic with less than half the resources, technology, creative prowess and flexibility bestowed on film makers and even creative artists today in any field. By that logic, can you imagine what can be achieved today if we just tried hard enough?

For I am ready to watch a Bollywood movie again that is so good that I can turn around and say I will watch this “Baar Baar”.

Yours Sincerely,

An Indian Movie Buff

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