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Dec 3, 2008

Hello

If Atul Agnihotri is to become a director in his own right, he'll have to come out of the shadow of his illustrious brother-in-law, Salman Khan. Till then he has no chance of redemption as a film-maker. Compromising creativity by keeping it all in the family doesn't seem to be the likely path to success.

Hello, what was with the helicopter, Salman Khan and a team of safar-suited security guys surrounding him at the start of the movie? Even J.K.Rowling, she of the wizards, witches, evil Voldemort and a billion dollar empire travels less obtrusively. Salman Khan conveniently forgets the character he has to play. This is the trade mark of all his movies - he is never the character, he is always the megastar, Sallu Khan. And the opening song - whoa! I'd assume the fantasy of a writer would more be in line with writing a best-selling book or winning the Nobel for literature or at least a Booker and not gyrating bare chested with a bevy of blonds on the dance floor. But then writers are not Salman Khan, what do they know?

Blame me, I had some expectations for the movie after reading Chetan Bhagat's novel, One Night @ The Call Center on which the movie is based. The story was tailor-made for Bollywood. In the hands of a good director, it'd have been a definite hit. The theme was contemporary, the characters were young and vibrant and to the gratification of the Indian psyche even God had a role!

The script by Bhagat and Agnihotri is patchy at the best. There are some good lines but they never find their mark. The casting is horrible! When you read the book(yah, reading is the crime, I should've skipped that and just watched movie), the characters were in the 20-25 age group - right out of college and straight in to the BPO band-wagon, thanks to big bucks.

What do we have in the film - a group of aging lions who are trying to fit into teeny bopper clothes. Sohail Khan and Gul Panag are the worst. Gul Panag is a good actress, but what is she doing here in the clothes that belongs to a roadside show-off ten years younger to her? And Vroom, the character played by Sohail Khan, was a dare devil biker in his early twenties. Early twenties and Sohail Khan?!!! That was a lifetime ago that he might not even remember how it felt like. Sharmaan Joshi is bearable. Esha Koppiker and Amrita Arora could be easily forgotten. The only success achieved by the casting team is Sharad Saxena as military uncle. Dilip Taahil as the evil boss is ok. But none of this is as bad as casting Salman Khan as an author. His father might have been one, but Salman clearly didn't inherit his writer genes.

The movie outplays the book when it comes to anti-American rhetoric. (My review of the book is here.) Maybe it was a ploy to get the money from the nationalistic crowd, looks like that didn't work either.Review: A complete letdown.

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3 comments:

i did not even bother to watch this movie as I had guessed it was a family thing like u said, the character mismatch....Vroom is a tall character in the book (both literally and figuratively and Sohail Khan -the little that i have seen of him irritates me a lot (especially his comedy) somewhat like our own suraj venjalamoodu....so i kept off this movie.....1nite@call center was a book which i loved...i could relate to Shyam very much....being a graduate who landed bpo job even before getting his final result, i got in the skin of character from the first page itself, the second half was filmy.....i recommended this to my uncle who liked it and posted it here....http://theplatonic.blogspot.com/2007/01/gods-voice-and-mine-short-review-of.html....

this was the first book i actually read, so i also picked up 5 point someone, it was ok...then i read "3 mistakes of my life" and to this day i consider it as one of my mistakes in life (picking it)....just threw a cursory glance at his latest book last year..."2 states" and put it back as i could see the same pattern that all his stories were following....3 mistakes and 2 states both are going to be made into movies....2 states has become a best seller i hear....

I read all of Bhagat's books on a recent trip to India. To me Bhagat's success comes from a market he created where none was existing before. In this context he joins the ranks of Eureka Forbes and Maggi noodles.

All of his books are Bollywood material, like Dan Brown, he probably has actors in mind before he churns out his stories ;-)

Yes, One Night at the Call Center is something the new generation could relate to a lot, like you did, the movie, to say it in Hindustani, "kachra kar diya"

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