November 30, 2009

A Reaction to Bollywood!!!

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).


  1. you stirred up a memory there :)..i remember catching this movie with quite a few friends in college..mostly because of the cheeky brashness in the movie title and also because i had read some movie critic proclaiming that Saathiya soundtrack had overshadowed other good musical works ( like WBHH-II ). So , I started off with quite a bit of scepticsm and a hint of cynicism , eager to write off the movie at the first invitation . But a few reels later( yes..the prologue thing mostly) i realised that instead of an exercise in futility , i could sit back and enjoy this not great but refreshingly different hindi movie. I had recently watched Pulp fiction and Snatch ( by guy ritchie ) and cold not help but notice the uncanny overtures WBHH was making to those films . But then , it was not pretentious and was rather celebrating this fact. So by the time the credit rolls arrived , we were all excited not because we had seen a great bit of film making but because we had found a reason to believe again in the new wave of hindi cinema( which has a habit of false dawns). We started digging up ignored gems of hindi cinema in the aftermath .This movie acquired quite a cult status in our college hostel in a very short while .

  2. By the way love the movie links you post here ..particularly the link to 101 best screenplays ...always wondered at the difference between story and the screenplay ( highlighted so boldly in hindi movies as in "STORY, SCREENPLAY and direction by ....." )