Thursday, August 10, 2006

First "psyched," then "geeked," now "kanked."

Dibs on using KANK as a verb! Doesn't it sound liked "crank" and therefore should mean "geared up, wound up, excited"? Try it out. And ten points to whomever best uses it in their review of the movie tomorrow.

I spent my morning drive to work thinking about my excitement level for KANK. It is minimal, even with the onslaught of gorgeous visuals (and Abhishek - SRK looks gaunt and drawn) in the previews and the chance to see TB on the big screen, partly because I have no idea if I'm going to get to see it any time soon; the local group that organizes screenings of new Hindi films has been silent so far, so I'm assuming I'll have to wait for DVD (or haul my sorry self up to Chicago, which I might do if Abby or Si want to [and a hearty welcome back to both!]). But it's also because I have a really complicated relationship with Karan Johar - I know, you thought things with Akshaye were tricky! Of course I love KKHH, but I find K3G bloated and manipulative (although with pretty moments, to be sure) - I completely don't get its appeal, and it's one of those times when I feel like I've watched a completely different movie than everyone else has - and KHNH ridiculous and manipulative (although with pretty and very funny moments, to be sure, and some fine songs). With that one, the more I watch it, the less I like it, which might be true of K3G too if I ever put the DVD back in, which I don't.

Basically I feel that the people in K3G and KHNH make really stupid choices and I have a hard time putting up with their histrionics given that so much of their suffering is entirely self-caused. No doubt this is true of predicaments of other characters in other movies, but KJ seems to get such accolades that I feel someone needs to shine the torch of "can't you people see through your wadded-up kleenex and realize what this man is doing?!?" on his work. If his movies were seen for what they are only - emotionally manipulative, visually pretty - that would be fine with me, because there is room in the world of movies, especially Hindi movies, for beautiful emotional roller coasters. But that's about all I'm willing to cede him.

So anyway, I am not kanked for KANK. (Or maybe I should change the meaning of the word to be "repulsed" or at least "nonplused," but there's something about the "-ank" sound that to me smacks of an extreme feeling.) But maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. I already have an unexpected soft spot for "Where's the Party Tonight" because it was on tv all the time while I was in India, and Rajan would walk up to me singing it at least once a day, and I would have to come up with a different answer every time. On the day we left for the airport, I said it was somewhere down the road. Sniff. At the very least, I can picture Rajan waiting in line to see it tomorrow night, somewhere in Delhi, free of his childish, childlike American charges, out with his friends, loving SRK and Rani, and that makes me really happy, and I can always be kanked for Rajan.

4 comments:

cathy said...

I feel the same way about KHNH, about big parts of KKHH, and from what I know about KKKG (enough with the acronyms, geez), I think I would feel the same about it as well. There's something not just fluffy, but PLASTIC about these movies. KKHH kind of transcends it for me, mostly because of Kajol's incandescently good performance. But in general, they're so calculated, so shameless about stealing from themselves and other movies, so formulaic.

I feel like that about a lot of the Yashraj stuff, in fact. I recently bought a dance compilation of nothing YR movies, and it really soured me -- these movies just seem so slick and insincere and empty, and they all have the Western-pop item number; the big shaadi number with a song that's blatantly ripped off from another movie (Mujhse Dosti Karogi's "medley" went so far as to not even pretend they were writing their own songs, but also see Shaava Shaava and Bole Churiya, which are in large part note-for-note copies of other filmi songs).

I guess it's silly to expect authenticity or depth from Bollywood, but a lot of the movies I see DO have some real emotion behind them, some feeling of genuiness. And I don't get that from Karan Johar, even though I really like parts of KKHH and even KHNH -- mostly because I like the actors, I think. Oh, and Mahi Ve kicks eleven kinds of butt, I can forgive him a lot of other sins on the basis of Mahi Ve.

Beth said...

Cathy - yes yes yes! Thank you for preventing me from being all alone on this one. I haven't reached that point with Yashraj stuff yet but I know exactly what you're talking about. And "Mahi Ve" is genius. I've just now burned out on the song itself, but the picturization I could watch forever.

Totally Basmatic said...

I dunno - KANK always reminds me of CRANKY instead of CRANK. As in: "I don't know about you, but I haven't even seen it yet and already I'm kanked out."

Si said...

Well, I'm totally down with going to Chicago to see KANK, despite any tepid reviews, as long as it's not next weekend. I know I should e-mail this to you instead of putting it in a comment, but I'm too tired to scroll down and click on the e-mail link. This is what I get for moving to a new place the day after I get back from India. "I'm so tired" is my new mantra.

Doesn't KANK rhyme with something closer to "honk"?