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Showing posts from January, 2012

Darr

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How did Yash Chopra manage to make Darr creepy from the very first scene but so brain-bashingly stupid? A story that uses fear to contrast definitions and depictions of love would be so much more effective if the romantic pair (Sunil/Sunny Deol and Kiran/Juhi Chawla) did anything to protect themselves from it. They're too stupid to be as afraid as they should be (and therefore cannot act with intelligence), yet somehow they're also too stupid to do much about that fear once it begins to sink in.
They've got no street smarts, which I guess is to be expected of a girl who still wears a knee-length plaid skirt and white socks to school, but what's the naval officer's excuse? This is a guy who thinks it's funny to pretend to attack his girlfriend from the depths of a dark swimming pool, after the stalker (Rahul/Shahrukh Khan) has shown up at her home and called her, giving her a terrifying thirty seconds of panic as she thinks the stalker is trying to drown her. (…

Just say yes! Charas

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Reader beware: extremely picture-heavy post.

Also a note on the title, before we get started: the subtitles translate the word "charas" as opium; a friend in Delhi told me it means heroin; and the Oxford Hindi-English dictionary says it's a kind of resin-based preparation of cannabis. I'll just say "drugs" and be done with it.

Charas is fantastic. It's glorious, giddy, jam-packed but streamlined 70s masala. I am simultaneously incredibly grateful to have seen it and saddened by the knowledge that for each movie like this I see there is one fewer remaining to discover. Overall, Charas comes off as an action- and comedy-leaning masala with well-implemented touches of James Bond. Moralizing is all but absent; the movie is loosely about drugs, but here drugs are simply an illegal thing that smugglers export to Europe for cash rather than something evil masterminds are going to use to to enslave the innocent of India and bring the moral downfall of a cultur…