On 12th Aug afternoon, I noticed an SMS from one of my friends:
'Watching KANK. Re-inforcing stereotypes'
Damn, I thought, KJ is at it again like he shaped up the character of the righteous arrogant father in K3G, or the tomboy-turned-feminine female who finally managed to hook the guy with her saree tantrums in KKHH....
I was wrong...very wrong...and then realized that stereotypes were better than confused, self-pitying individuals. At least, they either endear or anger the audience....and not confuse or frustrate them and spoil the rest of their day.
Also, the tag line - For those who have loved and lost...is wrong...it should rather be 'For those who have married and might be contemplating divorce' or something like that. Saying this because the group of guys in the row before mine stood up at half time and said,'Just can't understand what's wrong with abhishek and preity that their spouses want to leave them'. Apparently, the director wanted to show that even two wonderful people can have a unsuccessful marriage. However, most of the audience, esp the unmarried ones can never understand and appreciate the concept of compatibility, and the director makes it even more difficult by making the respective spouses even more gorgeous, funky and filled with highly-caffeinated-energy than the straying partners.Most people who have not been in marriage or live-in relationships will need a stretch of imagination to realize that 'gorgeous and happy partners' don't necessarily translate to 'happy relationships'.
So, the intentions were good, and I am happy that the respective spouses of those who 'strayed' outside their marriage were not shown as incarnations of vampish-Bindu or cynical-and-psycho Arbaaz Khan.
I was also happy that the loose characterisation left space for different people with different nature to interpret the characters in their own way. Over the Indian blogosphere, I found people giving different adjectives to the characters (for e.g. some thought the leads were losers, and rani was a fool to not like someone as charming as abhishek, while personally I found abhishek good for being a son, friend, lover or co-worker, but as husband...naah), and for a KJ movie, which usually has strongly defined characters, with no room for interpretation, this was different.
However, what put me off was the characterisation of the 'straying partners'. Two people, who were unhappy with their spouses, come together, and remain unhappy, except, maybe, at the last scene, where I could barely make out a smile on SRK and Rani's face and one tiny scene where SRK brings Rani flowers and they talk over the phone.
What's the use?
The intention now seems to be that as extramarital affairs are a sin, the ones indulging in it can never think about being happy. All right, point taken.
But if so, then why portray them as great lovers and star-crossed soulmates, and try to manipulate audience reaction by showing the last scene at the train station where Rani tries to locate SRK, and the train slowly pulls out of the station?
If love between them was not great enough to overcome the guilt and unhappiness, then how great was it?
Is this film a love story? A moral preaching? A thought-inducing film? Or simply exhausting?
I was left confused, exhausted and frustrated at the end.
As someone who admits openly that she thinks too much, it is very difficult for me to pin-point why I am feeling the way I am....so in those times, I turn to my husband to be led by his unerring clarity of thought. This time was no exception. My husband, on replying to my query about the movie, said, in his limited vocabulary, that the movie was SICK. For a while I wondered if he was alluding to his condition for the last ten days, when he was in and out of fever, cold and allergies, but he repeated the word when he found me staring at him - SICK!
Sick - because Rani was behaving like a glorified sweeper who only wanted to weep, sweep and keep house, and then blame herself some more, and weep and sweep...ok, you got it.
Sick - because Shahrukh was a person who can never be happy and can never make anyone happy with his grouch and big ego.
Sick - because Preity had massive swings of priorities depending on the situation - now career, now family... and also a nice chip on her shoulder as to how it is difficult for 'ordinary' people to meet her, etc.
Sick - because however suave, hunky, madly-in-love Abhishek was, he really was an oversized kid....who seemed to bulldoze over others opinions, except his dad's.
Sick - because of Bachchhan's characterization.
My husband is a HUGER than HUGE fan of AB sr., and had taken his screen persona in this film pretty badly. And what put him off more was AB's talk about missing his wife and also, later, advising Rani.
(Pssst....I enjoyed it, he provided the only relief.)
So, that was it....Sick...according to hubby.
According to me? Well I would prefer to say - MESSY....in every way. And that's including the remaining evening's conversation when we discussed the movie and also including the way my nose ran due to the high AC in the movie theatre.
As an afterthought - Ms. Zinta's red gown was mmm...delicious...wish I had it. Wrong - wish I could fit into it and look as good. Is my hubby listening?Update:
As per general consensus, mostly girls, Abhishek was a great model husband in the movie. Overheard by my friend in the office shuttle:'Abhishek was too good yaar - handsome, well-dressed, rich, brought her flowers, loved her madly....come on what more did Rani want?'
(How about Rani being in love with him? Clothes, looks, flowers and love doesn't always beget love, right?)
However, guys have not been that forthcoming about Preity's character. A case of the male ego put off by a highly successful woman? Or is it simply that Ms. Zinta is not attractive enough?