In an industry where mindless crap rides on the shoulders of over-hyped ‘star power’, it has always been extremely difficult for smaller films to make a statement. Worse, most of these small, ‘independent’ films are badly made themselves, not by the standards of their production values, which can be ignored, but in general. The promise that Hindi film industry will soon go through a revolution remains unfulfilled and the biggest reason is the lack of content. But once in a while, there is a film that makes you notice that spark yet again. And the optimist in you starts believing that the much-needed change is just round the corner. Lately we have had quite a few of such movies. And I try to catch all such movies in a theatre.
Earlier, that was not the case. Going to the theatres was rare and not having a laptop did not allow the luxury of following all the latest releases. During that period, many movies went unnoticed, mostly those that, ironically, lacked ‘star power’. One such movie was Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II, released in 2003. I finally saw it today and the least I would say is I was thoroughly entertained.
It begins with an eight-minute prologue called Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part I, and ends with a one-minute epilogue called Part III. Between them lies the main body of the film, or the film itself. Before Part I begins we have a disclaimer:
“This film is a mindless work of fiction. The characters happen to be fictional, despite our sincerest efforts. The locations, however, are real. The story has been plagiarized from several films.”
And Part III ends with acknowledgements to Ram Gopal Verma, Ramesh Sippy, Mahesh Manjrekar, Takeshi Kitano, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers and the dancers and stuntmen in the film, and to “all those who provided their moral and immoral support.”
Although it is mostly a funny adventure, it is no great cinema. And the best thing is that it never intends or pretends to be one. Critically speaking, there are some moments which could have been written well and edited more crisply. For example, there is a track of a gang of Sardars, which is more irritating than the fun it provides. But I would still recommend it. Grab a DVD copy of it and enjoy yourselves. In spite of its inconsistencies, this movie is better than most of those being made in Hindi. As a title board in the end says:
“This film is a reaction to Bollywood.” Need I say more?
P. S. The director Shashank Ghosh’s next offering was Quick Gun Murugun (2009).