Thursday, January 08, 2009

Copy Chris, Paste Ghajini

Teja decided to take Christopher Nolan with us to see 'Ghajini'.

I said: "Is that a good idea?"

Teja said: "Well, it's a copy of his film, so ... "

I said: "Yes but, do we have to be the ones to tell him?"

Teja shrugged: "It's too late now. I have already asked him."

I said: "Then you'd better sit in the middle. I'd like some distance between us when he starts getting angry."

A long note on short term memory after the opening credits totally went past Chris who was still shuffling around in his seat, excited at being in an Indian cinema house.

The opening scene with a computer graphic map of the brain, and a medical college lecture that went "The brain is the king of all organs. The brain controls all the other organs" invited a small snort from him.

Medical student Sunita finds a file on Sanjay Singhania. She pretends interest in his condition of short term memory but actually she thinks he's cute. Her professor rightly judges that and asks her to stay away as SS is a police case. 'But, but ... ', she says. He glares at her, she looks down meekly. She wonders what SS is doing right now.

SS was on a killing spree.
He took out his Polaroid, Chris gasped.
SS made notes, Chris stopped breathing.
SS went home, Chris made a small gurgling sound when he saw the maps on the wall.
SS went to the bathroom, and a note asked him to remove his T-shirt. His 6 pack body was revealed with tattoos all over it.

* Drawing from 'The Star' series by Teja 

SS's eyes popped out, and he made growling animal sounds. Chris's eyes popped out, and he made growling animal sounds.

He flung himself out of the chair and stomped out. Teja's tub of popcorn was scattered all over the floor.

I hissed: "Does he know that cost 65 rupees?"

Teja remonstrated: "It's not a huge amount for him. And he's angry right now, Banno."

I said: "I don't care. Go get me more popcorn. And get him to pay for it, if you can."

Teja found Chris stalking before the uniformed boys lined up before him, in their uniform 'Ghajini' haircuts.

"What's with this haircut?", he was saying. "Do you know my film is about memory and how it plays tricks on the best of us, and how it's the basis of the identity we create for ourselves, and who we are, and all that? What's this hair got to do with it?"

Teja calmed him down and said: "Haircuts are an important part of actors' performances here, Chris. They are crucial to the actor's interpretation of the character."

Teja led Chris back to his seat. I skulked in the furthest corner of mine, keeping the new tub of popcorn well beyond his reach. Chris was better behaved for the rest of the film though he continued firing questions at Teja every few minutes.

1. Chris: "Do ad agencies in your country work like this? With in-house models who get promoted to head model if they have rich imaginary boyfriends?"

Me: "I wish."

2. Chris: "There is no photo of Kalpana in SS's diary. Then how come the police officer who is reading the diary know what Kalpana looks like? How come when Sunita reads SS's diary, she too knows what Kalpana looks like?"

Teja: "Because Kalpana was a model. She did the Hamam soap ad. She was famous."

3. Chris: "Are those tattoos? They look like they have been written with permanent marker pens. No, they don't look like tattoos."

Teja: "They are meant to be tattoos. So tattoos they are."

4. Chris: "Why is this Ghajini character such a sidekick? Isn't he supposed to be the main villain?"

Teja: "He's the star's friend. And all the star needs is a sidekick. He doesn't need a powerful antagonist who may steal the show away from him. It's all about the star, Chris."

5. Chris: "Is this Sunita chick dumb? Which psychiatry student asks a patient - 'So what happened to you? Did you get hurt? Who hit you with a rod? Who killed your wife? So sad, no.'"

6. Chris: "Is this Sunita chick dumb? Instead of going to the police, she goes to Ghajini, has a look at his slimy self, and the 6 goons behind him, flourishing their knives and their knuckle-dusters, and says - 'Sir, I think I should warn you, this mad man SS is going to kill you.'"

7. Chris: "Is this Sunita chick dumb? When SS has had his tattoos wiped out and can hope to start a new life, she reminds him of Kalpana's murder, and provokes vengeance in his heart all over again?"

8. Chris: "Is this Sunita chick dumb? She leads SS to the villain's den and then says - 'Hey, I think we should come back another time. This is so not safe.'"

Teja: "Her brains have seriously been affected by studying very hard to get 97% in the Board exams so that she could get admission in medical college, and then listening to such illuminating lectures as 'the brain is the king', so forgive her, Chris."

9. Chris: "Is this Kalpana chick dumb? When confronted with Ghajini in the middle of the night who tells her that he has just cut 2 girls to pieces and will do so to anyone who threatens him, she answers him with - 'It is because of people like you that girls cannot go out of their houses. Who all should girls protect themselves from? Their teachers, their bosses?' Then she turns and walks away, and goes back home. And he lets her?"

10. Chris: "Is this Kalpana dumb? When her police informer tells her that Ghajini is going to kill her, and that his people are already in her house, she uses a power failure to go further into the house, rather than just leave from the door right behind her? She doesn't think to call or SMS anybody for help? Not the police? Not her innumerable friends? Not her boyfriend? And of course, like all the idiotic members of the audience who never switch off their cellphones, she doesn't think of doing that either."

Teja: "Chris, Kalpana is an angel. She helps people cross the street, and gives them street directions, and gets them jobs and such like. She has to die. And if to die, she has to be dumb, so be it. She is too good to live. She cannot, must not live. That's the rule, you see."

11. Chris: "Is the police informer dumb? Why does she wait for Kalpana to reach home before calling her?"

12. Chris: "Are the people in SS's employ dumb? When he was normal, a convoy of 4 BMWs accompanies him even when he goes to pee, and when he is ill, all they can manage is an ineffective, 'Why don't you come back home, Sir?'. No bodyguards, no nurses. They just leave him to roam around mad on the streets, killing people?"

Teja: "Maybe the manager wants SS to die and get a hold of all his money?"

13. Chris: "Is Ghajini dumb? He is the owner of a huge pharmaceutical factory. Why then does he indulge in small, sidey rackets? And even if he does, why does he get down to street fights with iron rods, instead of hiring people to do his dirty work?"

Teja: "Because those are his roots. He's a humble man, he hasn't forgotten his roots, where he comes from. He believes in equality, he believes in getting his hands dirty. He wouldn't have his men do anything that he wouldn't do himself."

15. Chris: "How come the police woman knows the details of Kalpana's death, if she was not there herself, Kalpana is dead, and SS has lost his memory? When SS regains consciousness, who reminds him about Ghajini, and sets him up in Kalpana's flat with the essentials like a walker and a punching bag, for those crucial 6 packs?"

Teja: "It's called poetic license, Chris. Suspension of disbelief. How else can you make a film, or watch it?"

By then, Chris was convinced that 'Ghajini' was a better film than his own. Thanks to Teja's patriotic defense of Indian cinema. Chris was also convinced of the merits of copying. After the film, he stalked off with bulging eyes and puffed up face, like SS.

I said wearily: "Is he going to copy that now?"

Teja said: "Yes, he's even going to get the 'Ghajini' hair cut."

I sighed. I knew I should have concentrated on my own abs rather than go to watch someone else's photo-shopped ones.


Manjushree Abhinav said...

Both of you are really really cruel.Why didn't you warn him in advance? Let me guess. You like drama, suspense, surprise, don't you? And of course you wanted maal for the blog.
Very funny. Couldn't stop laughing at the dumb chick questions.

dunkdaft said...

Ha ha ha ha...
Though I din't like you pulling leg of My fav film. But still *enjoyed* this very very much

Fab fab job. ROTFL completely.

Anonymous said...

Nice one. Though I could sense the pain!

Memento was a great film. And then I watched the Tamil Ghajini. *SPOILER* It was horrifying. Suriya was good in the role, but the movie was shit. And the twin villains were so 1980s.

But we must be naive, looking for logic and sense in an Indian film. It's one the biggest hits ever. I guess it is us who are stupid!


Quirky Indian

a ppcc representative said...

Wait, really?

You know Christopher Nolan?!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to accompany you and Teja to a bad movie. I promise to leave your popcorn alone, but I will no doubt pester you with questions.

This is just hilarious, Banno. Great review!

Anonymous said...

and forgot to say---another great drawing :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the plot analysis. Doubt watching the movie will add anything to what you've already listed.
Memento was nice, what I remember of it, at any rate.
Didn't really expect post-TZP Aamir to be involved in anything that would do justice to it. Besides, we have a terrible history of porting otherwise awesome movies to a Bollywood setting: Kaante/Reservoir Dogs and...Dus(was it?)/Usual Suspects.
Still waiting for someone to try a Bollywood Pulp Fiction.

Anonymous said...

ROFL!! Thoroughly enjoyed that. Why does Bollywood (Indi-wood if I may say so) assume that all viewers are dumb? Probably, dumber than the stars of Ghajini.

And, may I blogroll you?

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

LOL so funny! I STILL skulk around the house with bulging eyes, swatting at: the air, my husband (ive asked him to be alert and jump like the guys in the movie when i do that). I love Aamir all mad and angry :) I wish Ghajini had killed Jiah- then we'd thank him.

Anonymous said...

Brilliantly written as usual, Banno! Freaked out title!

Unknown said...

Great review of the dumbest film of the year. Couldn't stop laughing!

dipali said...

This was absolutely hysterical!

Banno said...

Grasshopper, yes baba, bad films are goldmines. No?

Darshit, you are certainly tolerant. Both of the film and my review.

Quirky Indian, oh yes, I do feel awfully stupid for having parted with those 300 odd bucks.

PPCC representative, we move in exalted circles.

Memsaab, that will be the day!

Kk, hope I didn't 'spoil' the film for you. TZP is another scam, as far as I'm concerned.

Writerzblock, what's to ask? Please blogroll me.

Shweta, yes, I was waiting for that Sunita babe to die. But then, she's too irritating to be killed. You know the golden rule. Only good people are killed early in Indian films.

The Third Man, thank you. Wish I knew you though. No links?

Monish K, thanks. You don't link either. ;-(

Dipali, ;-)

Sue said...


That was fab! Very, very nice.

the mad momma said...

awesome. I want to say something more profound but I cant stop laughing. damn - and i did want to watch the film but now I cant... not after this.

SUR NOTES said...

and the award for the best review of a bad film goes to....drum roll... oh damn, but that review of the mummyji-papaji made film for their harman son was almost as good...

next time you are going for a bad film take me along- i will buy the popcorn.

and please can we have an auction of the star series...

Nino's Mum said...

the best r.i.p ghajini could get.

Anonymous said...

this was absolutely great, great reading..., thanks gajni, without you i won't be able to read this...there is gajni 2 coming up. gajni himself has 'SHORT TERM-MEMORY LOSS'. gajni is tracking down ss. ss is already going through 'stml' syndrome.
chris has to see it. i would like to accompany him and you if possible.
we won't be facing the 'stml' syndrome. we would remember gajni for a long long time. both part 1 and 2. its been an unforgettable experience.

Anonymous said...

Poor, poor Nolan. I think Ghajini - II should be about Nolan battling amnesia and pursuing Aamir for doing this to his film! I havent seen the movie but will eventually, if it comes out on DVD (I am not getting trapped in a dark theatre with Aamir battling memory loss on a killing spree - not without a FF button!) and if its even half as amusing as your review it will be paisa-vasool. :-D

Unknown said...

thank you so much for making me feel normal. i was having doubts about my sanity when i heard the whole world and its dog gushing about this horror show!

ajnabi said...

OMG, this made me laugh so hard I heard my kids grumble about it. You rock.

My word verification is chess. Chess? That's... a real word. What kind of verification is that, Blogger?

Crtical turn said...

lol... couldn't help but write to commend u for an excellent review... i was rolling on the floor all the time... Gajini is the biggest slam of the year and the sorriest villain in the history of Indian cinema of which I am a fan...

best luck
red earth

Unknown said...

Hi Banno,

Loved reading it. Thought I had a link to my blog somehwere here, couldn't spot it.


Beth Loves Bollywood said...

Sitting in internet cafe in London and trying not to laugh too loudly. Faaaaab! And clearly you must join us on our next international/multi-time-zone DVD watchalongs!

Anonymous said...

Ah, delightful. And three and a half hours of it, too. I'm thinking all of us who've seen it deserve some sort of a reward for sheer patience - or at least some way of wiping out our memories of it!

Unmana said...

Extremely funny, Banno. Teja's answers take the cake. May I ask how much of it was true? :) (Nolan getting the 'Ghajini' hair cut"?)

Dr. Ally Critter said...

and thus it is decided the film shall e seen quoting bits of this excellent review....

Banno said...

Sue, Thanks. OK. Understood ROTFL. But what's MAO? Sorry, am clueless with abbreviations.

The Mad Momma, Aww, I'm sorry I spoilt your movie going plans.

Sur, Thank you, with a gracious bow and all, as deserved by the drumrolls. Teja won't auction, though he will give away the drawings if you ask. Art for art's sake, and all. Wish that would pay the bills, though. :-(

Nino's Mum, Thanks.

Well, Mr. Prakash Kutty, I have finally got you out from undercover. That is the biggest compliment I could receive. :-)

Bollyviewer, that's a great movie idea! Yes, FF is the way to go.

Maneesha, one still has doubts about one's sanity, given the super hit that it has become.

Ajnabi, please say 'sorry' to your kids on my behalf! Thank God, the word verification was 'chess' and not 'GHAJINI'.

Red earth, I know, a really pathetic villain.

John, thanks.

Beth, oh yes please. Would love to do that.

Dustedoff, uh ... maybe you could remember the review, and forget the film?

Unmana, what do you think? Truth is stranger than fiction.

Alankrita, :-)

Unknown said...

Ain't I lucky to have missed it ? I'll wait for it to show on some channel 5 years hence :P

Sue said...

My Ass Off


Tazeen said...


lol@ photoshoped abs.

wordjunkie said...

That was hilarious!!
Hi, came over from Indiequill, after seeing your comment about Deepika's outfit. Actually, came over to look for a pic of the room you mentioned..:)..And will definitely be returning - for posts like these.

Banno said...

Eve's lungs, Yes, this film may improve with age. Nostalgia value.

Sue, right.

Tazeen, thanks. Still not able to comment on your blog however. :-(

Wordjunkie, OK, some photos of Green Room up soon.

Banno said...

Ok, because I'm a hoarder, and like everything all organized, I want my comments in one place, so this is what some people said on Facebook.

Rajaraman Ganesan at 1:56pm January 8
I enjoyed this.

Aliasgar Mukhtiar at 2:20pm January 8
me 2

Irene Malik at 2:53pm January 8
I'd love to see Chris's version of Ghajini now :-)

Paromita Vohra at 11:45pm January 8
this is so so funny! Madam you are a genuis. And I am boycotting the film

Vivek Philip at 12:58am January 9
Thanks for reminding me of this 'historic hit'. My big fat headache is back. But i really enjoyed reading this. Banno youre too good :)

Manisha Lakhe at 12:48am January 11
banno tera jawaab nahee! bahut copy paste kiya isko! hugs!and i am not saying this so i can hog the jhoola again. but at the same time i cannot resist asking, when can i come for chai on your jhoola?

Suniti Joshi at 9:22am January 11
Banno, bahut mazaa aaya!
that jhoola is mine manisha!!! but I dont mind sharing!
Lets all meet!

Banno said...

Thanks, Raja and Ali :-)

Irene, that would be fun, no?

Paro, no, you'll make me feel guilty now, for hitting the box office records of the film.

Hey Vivek, sorry for giving you back your headache :-(

Manisha, Suniti, come over any day. I'm so VELLA, it's not funny.

Banno said...

And some more stuff on Facebook

Jhumur Ghosh at 10:16am January 11
Thank you Banno.....I finally meet someone who hated the movie as much as I did!! After all those ads about the 'historic hit', I was almost apologetic about the headache this movie gave me!! One thing Chris couldn't have figured out though is how this felt like a South Indian film in Hindi. Its sensibility, sidekicks, even extras.......everything felt like this was a dubbed film or at least, it should have been.

Junaid Memon at 11:32am January 11
Ha ha ha, Banno i really loved it. main baki sab jagah galiyan de de ke thak gaya tha, it's first note on which i am laughing ........ and you are not going to be well for so long .... film shuru karne ka waqt nazdeek aagaya hai .. jaldi hi mulaqat hogi ...

Sutapa Sikdar at 4:30pm January 11
shit this always happens to me i contemplate hazaar times before going to this see these hits and then get to know the truth..shit.. never eventually get to see any film .thanks for saving the money in the recession times tho...

Mayuri Sharrma at 5:12pm January 11
I gave ‘Ghajini’ a miss. I wasn’t sure if my senses would be able to withstand the assault of a bald, angry, midget with an 8-pack and convenient amnesia thrashing away at almost everything in sight.

However, I am really glad that I didn’t give your review a miss! It’s such a novel and viciously funny piece that had me frequently pause as I read it, to laugh till my sides ached!

I love the title and Christopher Nolan’s thoughts the most. Your dialogues with Teja and especially the popcorn bit were delightfully hilarious!

Thank God you watched this crap movie; we got a brilliant review out of it!

Pawan Sony at 7:49pm January 11
quite funny. cool stuff:0

Tappu Mehta at 11:30pm January 11
hi banno.....Gajini pe itna gehra Adhyan....tumhe to ISRO mein scientist hona chaahiye tha....what about rab ne.....

Ravi Deshpande: "Hey Banno,
What fun!!!
Now tell me why does Banno, Chris & Teja continue sitting in the theatre through the insufferable film till the end???
Why does Chris return after having walked out?
How come Banno is so attentive to all the flaws in the script?
Hey, but this is such fun - when someone does something with a blatant "a meri maar" baseline...
I had a blast reading it.
More, Banno, more if you are so velha, write more."

Rahul Deo Sengar emailed:
"Dear Banno,
I had the pleasure of reading your review just now.
I am not exaggerating, I would really like to play out this review of yours on stage with Tom Alter and Shahnaaz Ahmed Abbas from my batch. IT WAS FUNNY INDEED!!
I never expected a review in this kind of a format. You must be a girl with a trmendous sense of humour. In future please do keep me posted on your reviews and any other humourous writings.
Only one problem: why does it take so painfully long for your blog to open?? Anyway, it was worth the wait.
Thanks a lot and please keep winding the laughing machine.

Banno said...

Jhumur, Glad to be on your side. Even the music was like that, no?

Junaid, Aap ke munh mein ghee shakkar.

Sutapa, Sorry to have spoilt your movie going plans. What about buying me coffee with the money you saved :-)

Mayuri, Thaaank you.

Thanks Pawan.

Tappu, If I was in ISRO, I wouldn't have so much time to do what I love. Watch bad films. Hmm, Rab ne. Should I confess? I quite liked it.

Ravi, Banno never, never walks out of a film. Except maybe once in 6 years. Chris was persuaded by Teja to come back inside. Teja does whatever Banno asks him to do.

Rahulda, Thank you.

Toon Indian said...

Chris: "Is Ghajini dumb? He is the owner of a huge pharmaceutical factory. Why then does he indulge in small, sidey rackets? And even if he does, why does he get down to street fights with iron rods, instead of hiring people to do his dirty work?"

Teja: "Because those are his roots. He's a humble man, he hasn't forgotten his roots, where he comes from. He believes in equality, he believes in getting his hands dirty. He wouldn't have his men do anything that he wouldn't do himself."


I knew I should have concentrated on my own abs rather than go to watch someone else's photo-shopped ones..well that is quite a contentious statement :P

Mizohican said...


Laughed out soooo much! Forwarded this link to my colleagues too. Love it, love it, love it!

One more time, *BOWS*

:-) u rock!

ammani said...

Duh, Chris! Are you dumb or what?

Loved it!

Sujatha Bagal said...

Hilarious! Will watch the movie on DVD here, with a bag of popcorn. And will relive every moment of your review when I watch!

Shoaib Daniyal said...

That was brilliant. And I'm totally with you when you say that Rab de was better than Ghajini.

Although, picking one of the two movies is sorta like picking which way I'd commit suicide (jumping of a tall building, if you must know. It'll ne so much fun--for some time, at least)

Anonymous said...

Banno, you should write more movie reviews! This is quite hilarious.

Can you get Chris to watch some more movies with you? For instance, Saawariya? I'd love his views on towel guy et al ;)

Pitu said...

Hahahhaa! Poor Nolan. And someone really *should* have killed Sunita. Ugh.

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