Sunday, May 06, 2007

Avoid, yaar! Avoid like the plague! Jigar

This movie is repellent.

It's so awful that I can think of only one remotely redeeming thing to say about it, which is that the "meet cute" between Karisma Kapoor and Ajay Devgan is indeed cute, starting with his accidental sighting of her on a balcony, then a very fine girls vs. boys wedding song, and then the usual hiding behind trees. The rest of it is absolutely not worth watching - although I have no qualifications to talk about the numerous fight scenes, which for all I know are really good.

My objections about the story are based largely on the morally bankrupt bad guy characters, who premeditate a rape merely to entangle Ajay's character into acting rashly out of revenge. To make things worse, the rape victim, still lying in the street in front of a crowd of dozens of onlookers who did nothing while all this was happening, sobbing and alone, then kills herself with a shard of glass. It's horrible. There are things I will put up with for the sake of a story in a movie, and there are things I cannot, will not, handle. If I thought Jigar had anything worthwhile to offer - timely political commentary or finely crafted character development or a couple of memorable songs - I might have been able to make a very uneasy agreement with myself that I would move past the rape scene, but it doesn't. It's possible that the movie was maybe trying to say something about how women are treated in Indian society - Karisma has a short speech at the end about men and women needing to be treated equally under the law - but to my mind nothing else in the story supports this idea.

Veeru Devgan, father of star Ajay, is credited with the idea for the story; I think all his years of action/stunt/fight directing must have clouded his judgment about plot devices that can justify and contextualize fight scenes. (And why on earth would you want your child to be part of a project like this? Ugh.) At some point, if you want to make a movie about guys who train in martial arts and then beat each other up, can't you just have them do that and not even pretend to have another story? I guess this is where the general Bollywood tendency to have something for everyone in each film can be problematic, pressuring one specific story to have offshoots that are irrelevant and maybe even damaging, just to spice up the mix.

2 comments:

Aparna said...

Saw some parts near the ending on television...i jsut remember Karishma's saree when she comes to 'help' Ajay Devgan gain concentration when her father was teaching him tricks....it was a saree with flowers sewd on...and she wore it so high, it was like a many layered mini skirt...the screen cap would be priceless!

Beth said...

How did I miss that? I'll get you a screen cap! :)