Thursday, September 27, 2012

Somebody give Shaad Ali a second chance!

The ways of film industry financing and personal relations are always a puzzle to me, as an outsider occasionally peeking in and trying to make sense of all of it. I understand that Shaad Ali, son of Muzaffar Ali (director of the original Umrao Jaan as well as a lot of documentaries) had a hit with Bunty aur Babli and continued his relationship with YRF with Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, which was a commercial and a critical failure, despite being quite a serviceable movie. But I'm still astounded that he's not directed anything since, and has clearly moved to work behind the scenes, back in Mani Ratnam's crew, working the assistant director's job.

Is nobody willing to give this guy a second chance? Clearly JBJ was a bit excessive - wild in more ways than one, and the story perhaps unnecessarily twisty, but that's partly why it gained its (dare I call it) cult following. It's a funky little film with charm. BAB is not perfect, either, but charmed audiences, and most of us who love the movie don't even care for the Kajra Re item number. 

And if JBJ was excessive, well, isn't this the cinema of excess? If it isn't, explain Karan Johar to me. I rest my case.

Like them or find them mediocre at best, it's hard to deny that Shaad Ali's films had style and flavour. He gave Abhishek Bachchan some of his career's funniest performances. I understand YRF wanted to give new directors opportunities, and given their success at bringing fresh talent to the foray, I appreciate that, but Shaad Ali didn't deserve to be kicked out of the stable, I don't think.

And critics would do well to re-visit JBJ, because if this quirky charmer of a film is what a bad film looks like, then I'd like to see more "bad" films made, thank you very much.


Annie said...

I agree! I adore JBJ. It even charmed my not-Bollywood-enthused husband. I am perplexed as to why it tanked so badly.

veracious said...

Annie, I haven't the slightest! I think it might've been hated by the few who saw it, maybe Indian audiences were moving away from the kind of masala it was serving up, and some reviews called the twist it has inane.. And then it died based on the reviews and whatnot. Still, it's a fun film!

Amaluu said...

One more JBJ lover here! It was fun and charming. I'd watch it again right now if I owned the DVD. Hmmm, time to fill that online shopping cart ...