No Smoking


The movie was alright. Probably a bit pretentious in that Kashyap even chose to do such a film, except for that there's little in the movie that is self-indulgent (or, again, pretentious) as claimed by Rajiv Masand and a few other "critics". He even went so far to call the movie "one of the worst of the year." Some "critic" he is. Interestingly, the scenes which seemed to impress him the most were the ones I found hackneyed. (Well, he is, after all, the one who gave 4/5 for 'Black Friday.' It showed how much he loves manipulative BS.)

Given the kind of dreams I have myself I have had little trouble 'enjoying' movies like this. I just love the screenplay. But again there is a scene that was self-indulgent: the last part where Kashyap is probably trying to say "huh, you thought you figured it out?" and you feel like going "well, I don't give a damn, really!"

15 comments:

Juvvi said...

Pretentious or not, it gives us more choice as consumers to see such movies being made. I am going to watch it tomorrow. Critics were unnecessarily harsh on poor AK. Actually I couldn't even watch 'Black Friday'. I thought the movie went on for a long time and switched it off. I should try it when I am feeling better about watching a movie. But since I like what he writes on PFC, I should give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that the movie should be good enough to watch. If its not boring, then it should be fine. Even its bizarre.

Did you watch 'Manorama Six Feet Under'? I liked it.

Suresh said...

This guy Rajiv Masand obviously wasn't too sure of panning the movie. So he said something like "there's going to a lot of debate over this movie in the coming months." He knows that the movie might win some international awards and the critics. including him, could be made to look like idiots. So he's given himself some leeway for a potential ass-biter. Wimp.

No, I haven't been watching as many Hindi movies these days (or any movie for that matter). And it got worse when DesiTorrents was shut down. Then I realized that you get almost all new Hindi movies in 'regular' torrent portals like thepiratebay.

I'll probably get MSFU soon.

Juvvi said...

Are you even watching Federer getting owned by Nalby? Federer tried hard and lost. I love Fatso Nalby. I am now only concerned for Gasquet. If Federer can't beat Nalby, surely Gasquet can't at the moment. huh!

Suresh said...

illa pa, the timings are all messed up and I hardly follow tennis. But I would like to see both matches at least in youtube.

Juvvi said...

The madrid masters highlights are already on youtube. Yesterday's match should be there soon. I am excited now about 2008. I am sure there should be atleast 10 guys fighting for the top 5. This year there were only 3 guys playing in ATP. Rest all sucked. Biggest sucker of the year award goes to - Gasquet.

Suresh said...

I saw the match just now (just highlights, that is). I couldn't find anything particularly informative in terms of how Federrer's usual 'strategic' play failed. I found Nalbandian's forehands a little stronger and faster than Nadal's and he seemed to return serves better. But I still think things will be different in a 5-setter.

Anonymous said...

Ah, you mirror my thoughts. You're right about Masand, who after all gave "KANK" 4 stars! Btw, NS is "indulgent" and "hackneyed" as confirmed by Kashyap himself, and I agree completely. I personally love "Indulgent" films which chooses to have a label, "Hey look I'm so full of details/undertones", Or in a QT way, "I have watched more films than you ever will" with visual cues throughout (in that vein, check out "Johnny Gaddar" for list of homages that Sriram raghavan pays), Or maybe to wear "look I'll get so philosophical" tag, Or perhaps be self-referential (like Charlie Kaufman) - But the problem is, as you said, an average viewer simply gives back "I don't give a damn anyway"! But for someone as Weird as I am, it's exciting to be a voyeur with such personal efforts, a part of why one likes Lynch or Bunuel. Forget all that, the scriptwriting is fun. The surreal sequences are written for a reason, and not thrown just like that, the filmmaker doesn't take his audience for granted here. This is where the likes of Karan Johar or his kind (whom Anurag himself rebukes) fail!

Aside: "Black Friday" appears manipulative, like any other film which has touched on such issues, it also has long tiring sequences, but it's an interesting film nonetheless. I suggest you read the book..

Juvvi said...

Well, there goes your usual assumption that Federer is the ultimate chess player. True his results are great, but its not always directly linked to his superlative strategies. Sometimes he wins because his opponents suck more than him on a given day.

First, Nalbandian has a killer backhand that is perhaps flawless on his day. Then, Madrid masters is played at around 1000ft above sea level so the ball travels faster through the air. This is true for everybody. And the stupid Spanish organizers in the hope of pleasing Nadal slowed down the courts so much that its a disadvantage to Federer who likes low bouncing fast courts. Nalbandian, also if you notice has one of the best footwork in the game of tennis. His forehands are flatter, deeper and more precise than Nadal.

Nadal is a fool who puts top spin on hard courts when he knows its not effective. His forehands are never faster, in fact his forehands are among the slowest. They just kick up and bounce higher than most and is an easy kill for a good player on a hard court.

Nalbandian is also a very good returner of serves. Especially second serves. He just kills his opponent on his day. I am not sure what strategies Federer can use than hope that Nalbandian has an off day. Federer and Nalbandian are evenly matched as far as I can see. In fact, I give a slight edge to Nalbandian based on his returning skills. Federer can never dream of returning like Nalbandian because he uses a one handed backhand and its impossible to change grips midway through a serve to hit an aggressive return.

Federer's usual strategic play works with one dimensional players like Nadal, Blake, Djokovic et al. Nalbandian is a different case altogether. He is truly good.

Have you even heard of Nadal losing 6/1 6/2? I am sure Federer playing at his peak cannot beat Nadal with that score. Nalbandian is a monster, like Safin. Nalbandian has a weakness. His first serve is atrocious, but in the past two weeks he served reasonably well.

Juvvi said...

Anon,

'Johnny Gaddar' is a wonderful film. I truly enjoyed it. I am not that much of a film buff, but what you wrote sounds true. I would watch an indulgent movie if its classy.

Suresh,

Here are my predictions for 2008. Gasquet and Murray will rise higher and Djokovic and Nadal will fall by the wayside. Berdych hangs in there in the top 10 and Becker and Cilic make decent strides into the top 20. Losers like Blake, Gonzalez, Ferrer all barely stay at top 20. Federer will barely win a Grand Slam.

Anonymous said...

Correction above:

Btw, NS is "indulgent" and "hackneyed" as confirmed by Kashyap himself, and I agree completely.

Read as:

Btw, NS is "indulgent" and "excogitative" as confirmed by Kashyap himself, and I agree completely.

As the film such as this one, could hardly be "hackneyed" as a whole. And why Anurag feels he has excogitated, as he aptly put it, is that he overestimated the audience..

-K

Anonymous said...

Juvvi,

I would watch an indulgent movie if its classy.

Yeah, The "classy" as in an "engaging" narrative, with events which has a deeper resonance to the context of the film, and not just doing it for face value as such. NS has a distinctive experience to offer, that one hardly gets in mainstream hindi cinema. It would either a) disinterest the viewer to the extent of pushing him away, or, b) engage him till the end, or c) present the convoluted theme which is ever so ostensible. This was a c) in my estimation. As we might know, it's flawed inherently, but it's such a delightful product otherwise..

-K

Suresh said...

It's not the "average" viewer perspective that I was trying to highlight there. It's the point where you get bored with "figuring out" -- partly because you've seen enough of this kind and partly because the movie in itself stretches it too far. It doesn't make one weird for liking such movies, but it probably does make one a lot more 'tolerant' and relatively unmindful of what is now clichéd patterns that repeat themselves a little too often. As much I like Lynch movies myself, I don't think I can 'enjoy' another Lost Highway like I did the first time. This is where a "different" thing, albeit done "differently", has been done too many times and there's a set pattern that makes one expect a tangibly disconnected yet abstractly connected flow of sequences. While these movies may be a lot better than the mainstream nonsense we get to see (and I don't see at all) it's got its own trajectorial influence. So yes, I can sit through the movie and let myself be immersed in the screenplay, but when the movie tries to give me last minute trivia to be explore I say what I had said. I would probably return to the movie some other time, out of curiosity, but I'm done now.


Subhash,

{{Sometimes he wins because his opponents suck more than him on a given day.}} - This line of defense is a little too silly and "youtubish." It's the "Tendulkar plays for records" argument. Just go by random probability and tell me why the reverse hasn't happened? You know the flaw in the argument yourself, so I'm not stretch the question further. I didn't try to mean opposite either - that Federrer's strategy is unbeatable and if it failed it's only because he didn't execute it right. After all, execution is still part of the strategy. He's a bad history with Nalbandian in general, so his 'strategy' may never work, but again there have 8 games that Fed has won, as opposed to the 6 that he has lost. If the past doesn't count, we might as well add the last 2 victories of Nalby to that list. But yes, I'm glad that things are shaping up for more close games with exciting-tangential-rivalries building up. Like, I loved Nalby for kicking Nadal and Djokovic before he did Fed. So the next season, especially the grandslams, should be much more exciting than the past 3 years. And I would still place my money on Federer.

Juvvi said...

haha... so 'youtube' too became a verb now. Damn google!

But that wasn't an argument. That was just a lengthy pointless rant diverging into various topics in tennis. The reason I am critical of Federer is because I still remember fondly the games in late 2003-2005 when Federer played flawlessly almost every game. So that 'suck' term is relative. Imagine living through the transition of a 1999 Federer (who I watched by the way) with just a slice backhand (very bad one) slowly transform his backhand into a reliable top spin weapon in 2005. I feel like saying good old days. I used to like Kuerten and thought looking at Federer that here was one guy who moves so gracefully around the court and hits splendid winners off the forehand. When Kuerten got injured and his level dropped, I got stuck to Federer. Until 2006 Aussie open.

Interesting comparison though, Tendulkar and Federer. Both play the game with a lot of passion and play it with a simple technique.

Did you ever watch Kuerten play, Suresh? I would place my money on Gasquet because though the returns are next to impossilbe, if it does materialize, it will be orgasmic. I hope he fixes his forehand before the next season. Or may be place a bet on Kuerten. He may make a surprise comeback and win the French open for the fourth time.

Juvvi said...

I meant 'youtube' being an adjective. And I just got your disease of being terminologically correct.

marginalUser said...

yemma ungga mahabaratham pesukirathu thodarai kaivittuteengga ?

yethu unkalai distract pannudhu ? -kaathalaa, verriyaa, alladhu panna aasaiya ?

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