Sunday, October 30, 2011


All my blog fans might look at the title and think what a dumb title. Yes unlike most of my posts, not much thought has been given to the title. The title is merely a word play on the actual subject of the post - the movie Damadam.
While I usually don't write about movies (except for one article four years ago about a changing Bollywood), I do watch a lot of movies in 3 different languages. Movies are merely a way of quick entertainment and I prefer not to spend time thinking or writing about them. So what happened today to get me to write about movies... Nothing special. Thanks to some utter dumb-witted sibling banter and useless show of bravado - I ended up in the movie theater to watch this movie.
The ordeal that followed, ensured that this movie got its own share of fame on my blog.

Rewind a few weeks:
Me and my bro - two couch potatoes are in front of the idiot box and a promo of this movie shows up. Some banter ensues around the worst movies each of has endured and in trying to prove the ability to take on more crap we end up agreeing (in fact challenging each other) to a Ghatiya Film festival (GFF).
(For my non Indian readers - Ghatiya is hindi for "lousy")
The promo in question was none other than "Damadam".

So what is a Ghatiya Film festival. Take the usually entertaining Movie Hall visit to the next level by planning a series of "badly rated" new releases and watch them week after week. Being a fairly regular weekend movie goer means that GFF can happen simply because one drops by the movie theater by force of habit and watches any of the available flicks (ratings don't matter). In the words of Mogambo ka bhatija - the great Gogo - "Aaye hain - kuch na kuch dekh ke jayenge".

This was of course the first time we actually agreed deliberately to a GFF.
It wasn't hard to plan one as there are a bunch of lowly rated flicks releasing this time of the year. Of course Damadam (long before it was released or rated) made it to the list simply because it was a Himesh Reshmiya (HR) movie.

After postponing the start of this festival for various reasons like vacation outing, diwali, cleaning day (I think the real reason was both me and my bro were simply afraid to take up the challenge), we finally agreed to start of the GFF - thanks mainly to the release of Damadam. Minutes before leaving for the movie both of us were showing signs of weakness. The stakes were high - one who goes through the whole GFF whilst retaining sanity and consciousness wins the title of "Connoisseur of Crap". So acceptance of defeat meant that I lost claim to title and of course the bro gets the bragging rights which by the way - is a huge thing in sibling banter. Guess same thought was going through bro's mind as well.

Minutes later there we were at the theater, entering a dark near empty movie hall - wondering if we were the only 2 people who turned up for the movie. After taking seats we looked around (and heaved a sigh of relief) to note that we were not the only people in the hall. I had spent some time without pulling my hair. Then I looked at my watch. To my dismay what felt like at least half an hour in perceived time, was only 7 minutes on the watch. Suddenly Einstein's special theory of relativity had a new meaning. I am not sure if traveling at near velocity of light slows down time (as postulated by the great physicist). Watching HR certainly does.

After about 15 minutes in the movie (which seemed like an eternity), the only silver lining in the movie happened. Enter the boss's hot sister (Sonal Sehgal).
The rest of the movie was made more bearable thanks to that female who kept flashing her beautiful smile ever so often (and of course looked sexy in mini skirts). Despite that the torture, of watching HR display his ever so blank expression for pretty much all emotions and a drab script was so immense that I kept pulling my hair and staring at the watch. I even offered to my bro that we call it a draw and walk out at intermission (with both still in contention for the title).

Dumb pride can be a suicidal and we both proved exactly that to each other when we both returned in the hall after intermission with a bucket of pop corn and couple of cold soft drinks. I was returning with a mild headache - but the title contention meant we both dared to continue. The popcorn and soft drink gradually helped in drawing my attention away from the head ache and made the movie more bearable. A few more songs and several badly emoted scenes later the story went through a few minor twists and turns. The ending was with a song that censor board should perhaps adopt as an anthem (it has wordings like "no kissing noo kissing - only seeing .. only seeing").

On hind sight, I think the story was a little like one of those "ordinary" man Amol Palekar / Farooq Sheikh romantic comedies of the late seventies and early eighties. The comparison though is an insult to those movies (which I consider amongst some of the best comedies of bollywood). Over the years, I have seen my fair share of bad movies but this one challenges the worst of those movies.
When we both eventually walked out happy that we were both conscious and sane, we agreed that we both stood at same level with respect to the title contention. Perhaps we should not bother continuing with the GFF and hopefully Dumb-a-dumb has bestowed some common sense. Guess we'll really only know when we engage in our round of sibling banter.

To end this post - I would just like to say this - in the interest of the benefit of brave man kind who choose to watch "Dumb-a-dumb" - "You have been warned"

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