Friday, December 18, 2009

IFAC #18: Love, then and now - the Saif fangirl conundrum.

I was going to rehash another Livejournal post, one about my favourite Indian actors, and just repost it. But then I got all troubled about the list being years old, and which changes I'd have to make to it and whether I could really put everybody in order of preference in the first place.

The main problem was that the list had Saif Ali Khan as my favourite Indian actor. Now, maybe in 2007 that was easy enough, but since then my relationship with Saif as an actor has become very difficult and bizarre and strangely problematic for somebody who's seen over 20 of his films (more films than I've seen by any other actor, I should point out).

I wonder if it's just the films he's been in and the picks he's made. Like I said in my 2006 post, it's really easy to be a fan when the guy does movies like Omkara and Being Cyrus. But since '06? It's a list of disappointments of varying degrees.

I did not enjoy Eklavya much. I had a major problem with Tara Rum Pum. Race was absolute garbage, and no amount of shirtlessness could save it (yes, that bad). Tashan is a movie that makes me bipolar - one day I love it to death, the next day I sigh at the wasted opportunity. Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic is actually the most recent movie of his that I really love. Too bad I'm the only one (poor Kunal Kohli - if I ever get to meet him, I'll buy him a cup of chai and I can tell him, "I get what you were doing, yaar. I get it.")

Now there's Love Aaj Kaal and Kurbaan, two '09 releases I haven't seen yet and honestly, I don't know when I will. I feel obligated, in the same way I feel obligated to follow the careers of my other big favourites. Only it's a lot easier to watch a Vikram film or an Aamir film. With Saif I've sort of tied myself into this weird fangirl continuity, because there's an emotional investment, however small, in how his career's going. Not just in terms of box office, since I'm BO-ignorant in general. It's more about how good the movies are, and how well he does in them. I have no clue whether I'll even like LAK - something tells me I won't like Kurbaan.

Anyway, this is way too many words on quite a simple subject at the end of the day. I'm a fairly critical person, but poor Saif, with his godawful early career, often gets me on my most critical. I just don't want him to go down the Crapola Path again. And so I'm continuously overly harsh. But it's love, really.

Well, most of the time, it's love. Other times, it's complicated.


Anita said...

Can't comment on Kurbaan because I haven't seen it, but when I saw Love Aaj Kal I was like "yay, a really good Saif movie, finally!! \o/" because I totally agree about TRRP, Race, Eklavya and TPTM. Never saw Tashan.

But LAK is most definitely in the Hum Tum range and NOT the Omkara/Being Cyrus genre, so there's that...

Anonymous said...

There's a couple of Saif moments in Love Aaj Kal that make me cringe -- mostly involving dance choreography poorly-suited to his skills. For the most part, though, he does a very good job. It's worth the risk to watch it.


Pessimisissimo said...

I didn't love TPTM, Veracious--it actually made my list of disappointments--but I did think that Saif was its redeeming feature. (OK--the kids, too.) But like you, I think he's gone a bit astray of late (those bandanna roles).

For me, none of his recent films hold up to Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho or Hum Tum, all of which had good scripts. And somehow I don't think Race 2 or Agent Vinod are going to make me feel differently...



Vivster said...

Veracious, don't worry ! I may be the biggest Saif fan out there but I feel the same way you feel about him. He has done so brilliantly in some movies but wasted our time in so many stupid and useless movies. He has disappointed me so much on so many levels but I am still hoping he will bounce back one day.

Love Aaj Kal - I like a lot but Kurbaan was really disappointing with the story and even his performance.

I think the trouble with Saif fangirls is that we are sensible and not fanatical. We don't make excuses when he is crap.

I am eagerly waiting for Agent Vinod. I am hopeful that Sriram and Saif will serve up something good for us. So I remain hopeful.

Beth said...

I've said publicly at least once that I think Saif could be the finest actor of his generation, and the fact that he tried things like Being Cyrus speaks so well of his smarts. But like another Dil Chahta Hai actor you and I both like, he needs to choose better much more consistently. Kurbaan could have been a fascinating role, and I can see how it'd be hard to predict the mess it became just from any sort of script. I thought he was really wonderful in both roles in Love Aaj Kal and agree with Gulbahaar that his bad moments are dance-related (and they still suited the character, oddly, I thought). Too bad you have to sit through Deepika to get the Saif.

veracious said...

Anita - I know you liked it, and I'm glad of that, but I've heard conflicting views which worries me. :(

Gulbahaar - Thanks!

Pessimissimo - Oh Race 2 is sure to be a dud but Agent Vinod has something going for it - namely the director, Sriram Raghavan, as Vivster pointed out.

Vivster - Too true on us not making excuses when he's crap. :D

Beth - LOL! I'm sure I can live through Deepika..