Saturday, September 17, 2005

in which the audience was better than the movie: No Entry

My local art theater showed No Entry today. This is because sometimes, here in the midwest, even in the cultural and intellectual oasis that is Chambana, something passes for "art" based solely on it not being made in the US. Let me be perfectly clear: No Entry is not a good movie. It is not a horrible movie, but it is definitely not good. The clear moral universe of Bollywood has crumbled here - stupid men do stupid things, and their stupid wives only vaguely figure it out, and no one is really punished, and no one really makes any decisions to change their lives. The wives sort of realize the truth of their husbands' skank-taculuar and/or dimwitted behavior but quickly forgive them, just because they happen to be stupid enough to almost fall to their deaths of a cliff. The final scene shows the men with their tongues lolling out of their mouths. No one is any the wiser, although now they have some kids to drag through the muck as well. The acting was fine, and even Salman was under control, but the story and plot twists were just too much for me. Not helped by the fact that I just didn't care what happened to any of these foolish people, as it was clear the whole time that they were just very silly. It was like an episiode of Friends on crack, all the lying and wacky mishaps.

This is not to say it was not enjoyable, becuase it was, but that was at least as much becuase of the audience as the movie itself. While not as packed as for The Rising last month, there was a fair crowd here, most of whom were South Asian. And for the most part all of us were seriously into this movie - we were going to enjoy ourselves, dangit! The first scene of Salman Khan, wearing something insane of course, brought a room full of groans and guffaws. The scene of him in his itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny cutoffs - like, 70s porn shorts, see? -

was met by gales of laughter. The first shot of Bipasha Basu brought sighs and "Hot!!!!!!" The aforementioned cliff scene, especially when some kind of scary-looking snake appears to threaten Salman as he dangels from a rock, Anil and Fardeen dangling from his fade-front jean legs, brought down the house. The rows in front of me were giggling most of the time, while the row behind me kept saying "Why are they laughing?" It was fantastic.

And even better was the news that the next Indian movie to grace our fair city will be Salaam Namaste!

Aside to dialogue writers: I'm not certain, but I think it might be in questionable taste to make jokes about the World Trade Center attacks. I promise you I am not a paritcularly patriotic American, but, really, is that necessary? We don't make jokes in our movies about people having mental problems becuase of the assassination of Indira Gandhi, right? I support the global right to comment on global events, I support edgy humor, and I support pushing the envelope. But all the same, tacky at best.
Second aside to dialogue writers: excellent joke about saving us all from the fourth Devdas.
Aside to Esha Deol: stop scowling. If you're upset about your heinous highlights, well, that I can understand. But that's easy to fix. You're a movie star - cheer up!
Aside to Salman: as much as this startles me to think, I believe this was your best wardrobe yet. Except for the cutoffs, you were attired no more strangely than anyone else, especially compared to your backup hussies in the beginning - what were those denim things? Dear god. You even looked quite fetching in the irridescent turquoise shirt and purple tie, dancing on a bar. Good for you to be aging so well.

0 comments: