Death by music
For those few hours, I found myself trapped, both mentally and physically. The chair I was seated on, although comfortable enough, was not conducive to easy escape. The demi-darkness served to further alienate me…making the combined assault on my senses all the more unbearable.
I was in a living hell.
The only small comfort…I wasn’t alone in this nightmare. All around me, I perceived a struggling, squirming mass of humanity, all part of this confusion, all similarly trapped.
Ahead of us, covering a significant portion of a vast 70mm screen, lay the culprit - an image of a face, magnified so as to be larger than life, frighteningly close-up, each bristle of facial hair standing out in utmost clarity.
And then came the real terror…the sound. From the Dolby Surround Sound speakers came forth a somewhat baritone, mostly nasal and completely tuneless voice, shouting out the lyrics of a song with unbridled gusto…and the image in the screen zoomed back to show a shortish heavyset man, guitar in hand, breathlessly jumping up and down on the same spot, surrounded by swaying, adoring masses screaming “MonTY….MonTY..”
So there you have it. I was at Prasads, watching the Himesh Reshammiya flick, Karrzzzz.
Before you go on to read the rest of this post, heed this dire warning – if you value your life, and more so your sanity…stay away! (Umm...I mean from the film, not the post). For the love of God, stay away!! Go spend 3 hours sniffing the aromatic waters of Tank Bund and you’d be less traumatized.
Now I’ve always perceived Satish Kaushik as a somewhat irritating, rather loud slapstick comedian, but didn’t really know he was mentally imbalanced. I mean, why oh why would you take a timeless classic with an excellent musical score, and try and remake it with Himesh Reshammiya in the lead?? I mean, alright, Bollywood has had its share of stars who couldn’t act to save their lives, and I remember being similarly baffled by Karishma Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan at the start of their careers…but…and here’s the key point…none of them ever tried to drown their bad acting with terrible singing.
Not so with Himesh. He sings, and he sings, and just when you think it’s over and done with, he sings some more. Delights in belching out song after soulless song in an unending sequence, so that after a while the end of one song seems to coincide with the start of another, and the whole movie melts into one bewildering hodgepodge of unintelligible sound.
I mean…picture this…each time Monty does a concert, he starts to have flashbacks of his previous birth, and each time he does that, Himesh starts to sweat. And his face typically covers at least 30% of the screen at such moments, so while I’m frantically trying to squint and avert my gaze from the screen, I hear these horrified whispers of “He’s going to start singing now…I just know it. Oh shit oh shit…its going to start any moment now” and then we all mentally brace ourselves for the horrors to follow.
And then…suddenly…as I’m pulling my hair out and groaning in agony…I hear this simple, divine sound…one that floats down, grabs hold of me and pulls me out of the darkness. Its stark simplicity and haunting melody are in such contrast to the rest of the proceedings that you realize that music can, after all, be a divine gift. And in the few short seconds when the tune is played, my faith in humanity is reaffirmed and I find myself more able to withstand the rest of the movie…because atleast I now have something to cling to…a hope that the tune would be replayed sometime later. I’m talking, of course, of the original Karz tune…if ever there was a thing of beauty, that was it. And judging from the way it was hummed at the exits, it was evident that the only thing the audience cared to remember about the movie was this tune.
Which is a shame, really, because if only there had been someone else playing the lead, and someone with actual singing ability doing the songs, the movie would have been watchable. Of course, there were some silly bits involving Gulshan Grover which were completely unfathomable…I still have no clue who his character was, why he kept playing notes from an oversized tiffin-box type keyboard attached to a metal hand, or why, indeed, he was in the movie at all…but still, it would have been watchable. The only real saving grace in the film…and a big one at that…was Urmila Matondkar. Looked gorgeous, acted superb and played her role to perfection. Pity it had to be wasted on this farce.
But…at the end of it all…I do have one positive takeaway. I can live the rest of my life fearlessly, knowing that the sins of all my previous lives have finally been washed away by this movie experience :-)