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7 khoon maaf – Let’s slaughter

21 Feb

Trying to write a movie review after ages, actually watched a movie after many months, that was actually worthy of putting an effort to write by its worthlessness.

And it’s worthless because it pretends to be priceless; holes so big in the plot that a crowd can pass through them standing on each other’s shoulders.

But why do I have so many problems with it?

If you have seen 7 khoon maaf, you would know the movie is not an inane entertainment, it is definitely not a thriller since the murders are so simply executed that there is no thrill, it is definitely not a horror film so much so that it doesn’t boost of a single on the edge of the seat moment, it is not a mystery with everything happening in front of yours eyes, it is not ambiguous film where you are never sure as we are shown and told that she killed her husbands. Since we know what it is not, the only safe assumption we can make is that the movie thinks that it is a thinking film.

Even with this premise, to be honest, I normally don’t think much about movies or their shortcomings but this movie has at its heart a concept that fascinates me a lot that is the concept of an idea called love. The journey of the main character is a quest for love, that’s what the movie claims and throughout the story the fact is reiterated by multiple characters in, no no not in various forms, in the same form uttering the same words like a parroted witness in a court trial. Insincere and dishonest.

I doubt anyone older than a certain age has not considered or dwelled upon the topic of eternal love and its illusiveness, and internal reconciliation and compromise with the fact eventually. But here is a character who searches for it from the age of 20-65 and never loses hope.

Commendable.

Or is it unrealistic premise?

Or maybe insane and a sign of mental instability?

I could have applauded the belief of the heroine and understood her motivations and compulsions better if I could have answered some of the questions in my mind better. And don’t think these are inane questions, love eventually is a test of time and not the heights of passion. In love how far the point of end is pegged that defines its depth and not its height at the beginning of the journey.

1. 6 marriages in a period of some 45 years, almost 7 ½ years in each wedding. Can I take that as an benchmark or maybe around 6 years per wedding keeping other things constant?

2. Or did each marriage have a different life span, ranging from few months to decades in some other case? But none of the marriages point to longevity in any case. They all seem to be extremely short lived. Few weeks to maybe some months and maybe 2-3 years if one really stretches the limits. What was the lady doing in the interim periods? She seemed quite a passionate woman and her need for physical closeness endless. How did she quell her needs during that period? Was she in illicit relationship with her servants to instill such a strong sense of loyalty?

3. Except for the first wedding and we will come back to that wedding again, all other marriages were her own choices And she did not come across as morally so uptight that she would not get into physical closeness before wedding. So how did the marriage with Irfan Khan happen? How could she be so ignorant about that aspect?

4. And someone with moral ambiguity as she, what exactly was her problem with the Russian spy? That he cheated on her?

5. The weirdest of them was murder of the doctor; she already has been shown as foolish with money for the sake of “love” so why did he have to kill her for that?

And now we come to the main issue with the problem.

What exactly was her quest?

Let me start with the assumption that it was love. And now let’s look at her life from this filter. And we shall also murder them all one by one.

1. “Major” problem – Except when she calls him incapable of fathering, the man is never shown to be cruel to her. He seems to enjoy spending time with her, he has not shown to be greedy of her wealth, he seems to be so much in love with her to the point of insanely possessive. So what exactly was her problem with him, that she actually was an alcoholic and couldn’t drink or that she was a woman of loose morals and she wanted to have sex with many or that she killed him because he was cruel man? Let’s assume he was cruel and not very understanding man.

2. Love “Drug” problem – Hmmm… except for the fact that he was a druggist and hence victim of a habit, what was her problem. I am assuming that she understood that it’s important to be compassionate and understanding (refer to husband no, 1 note above) in relationship, she too was one. But then obviously she wasn’t, she was impatient and killed a helpless man. I would like to remind that poor drug addled brainless, nightgown wearing boy at no point has shown to not love her, like gentleman no. 1, and even in his helpless state he tries to make her happy.

3. Love “hurts” – This I have already explained why it makes no sense. Except remember the way the man is killed. Buried alive. This from a woman who couldn’t bear the pain of slaps and bites. And like gentleman 1 and 2, he also loves her and they seem to spend actually very loving romantic moments except for that time in the bed.

4. Russian roulette – Actually this one deserved to die, Mr. Master Spy, did no check on the lady he was marrying and the organization that knows everything didn’t do the basic background check and psychoanalysis to find out if the lady was sane. There is only one explanation to this irrational behavior Mr. Spy actually fell in love with the lady.

5. “Why gaya re” – Passion of the youth, holds on till the old age. And when he gets she is old, with all signs of age reflected in bloated body. He divorces wife, marries her to find grave for his ardor for the lady. But she was not looking for a man who loved her but the man she loved. Right? Wrong.

6. “Mushrooming” love – She loved him, he loved her money. He wanted to kill her. She killed him. But look at husband no. 5, to find why the reason is faulty.

In a nutshell, we know the following –

1. She doesn’t love a man who loves her but she doesn’t love him

2. She doesn’t love a man she loves but who doesn’t love her

3. She doesn’t love the man she loves and he loves her but also love someone else

4. She doesn’t love the man she loves and he loves her but is helpless in front of internal compulsions

5. She doesn’t love the man she loves and he loves her but is helpless in front of external addictions and needs help and support

6. She doesn’t love the man she loves and he loves her but doesn’t love others

The truth is that the lady in question loves three things –
1. Herself
2. High of falling in love
3. High of taking life rather watching others die

She is a fucking addict.

What about those snakes?

Was it some ploy to show strength of character?

She is so helpless all the time. It’s her servants or helpers who kill, for she cannot-

1. Say no to a husband who mentally abuses her

2. Face the pain of her husband

3. Say no to a husband who physically abuses her

4. Say no to a rapist

The mistake the film maker has made is to peg this as a “thinking” film but unfortunately if you “think” even a little about it, you find that it is a bloody thoughtless film.

Film(s)y Heroine

11 Feb
People say a man is intrigued with a woman till they have sex.

So say people not I.

But what ‘people’ say seems to find merit for the Hindi film heroine. But the sex is not literal here but metaphorical and finds its expression in what every actor dreams of achieving atleast once in their career– a role that moves the audience, makes them love you, hate you, lust you, despise you or whatever the performance requires – the moment when actor transcends the threshold which the mortals aspire and the God’s trapeze.

But unfortunately this moment of perfect union of the actress and the audience is also the most tragic one for the actress. It is the end of the love affair. The beginning of the end of the career.

If you look from the wide angle, an actress’s career traverses a particular path and as we will see would hold good for any name, irrespective of the era.

There is particular movie in which the ‘man’ (audience) ‘sees’ her for the first time (and this need not be the first movie) and falls in love. Then the chase begins wherein she teases him, promising the world but still playing elusive and one day the moment comes when sex happens. A role where she gives her all – sweat all moment –orgasmic, perfect, pure.
In that moment the enigma disappears.

The smarter actress ensures she has a headache as long as possible and has a little more prolonged careers, than some who had it all but lost it in the heat of the moment – deceived by lust once again.

Now I get down to the brass-tacks – proving the hypothesis right.

Sridevi the seductress managed her career well but her moment of weakness was ‘chandani’. That is the role which catapulted her as the serious actress. Ideally ‘Lamhe’ should have been her moment of glory but the audience enjoyed that role but her moment of toasting was long over by then.

Rani Mukherjee after playing in the fringes for a number of years was discovered in “Chupke Chupke”, teased in her next couple of movies, her moment of glory was “bunty and bubli” and then it was curtains. You might see her around for some more years but the unadulterated adulation she received before would never be achieved again.

I can probably have multiple other examples, but you will find a similar chart everytime.

A career leading to that perfect moment, followed with a downward slope.

While male counterparts manage maybe 4-5 immortal roles, women at best manage 1. Two is an exception never a norm.

Sridevi – Chandani
Madhubala – Mughle Azzam
Madhuri Dixit – ????
Hema Malini – Sholay
Rekha – Umrao Jaan
One exception has been Kajol. Then when she first came to screen, she took the best possible persona that ensured her longevity – my favorite sister. So when she wore that white short short wet mini-skirt in DDLJ one was not aroused but rather disappointed. No wonder she attracts audience despite, the cardinal sin for a hindi film actress, being married.

How about the male actors?

There life is simpler – it boils down to straight hair.