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Sunday, June 26, 2011

180: An ode to randomness

Take a bowl, fill it with wheat flour, add some water and make a paste out of it. Then add a handful of sugar to it. Then take some chilli powder and spice it up. Now add a teaspoon of salt and top it up with finely cut bitter gourd. Now transfer this to your mixer and grind it well. Finally add some tomato sauce, mix well and taste it. How would it taste? Bad and RANDOM? That’s precisely the kind of taste 180 leaves in your mouth after you’re done tasting one half of it.

The first half is an assimilation of half-baked, beautifully captured scenes carrying well-defined characters speaking horribly childish dialogues. The movie’s got some beautiful music by debutant Sharreth, agreed: but does the director have to slip into romantic melody mode every now and then to keep reminding us of the composer’s prowess? Yes, the crew has been gifted with a brilliant cameraman but does the director have to resort to ultra slow mo gimmicks every seventh second to remind us about the overabundance of latest gizmos and gadgets in his camp, especially after the overkill in the IPL? The scene where Nithya Menen goes about clicking pics of the newspaper kids is the height of gimmickry! Priya Anand is hot and a hot heroine is a rare commodity these days. Why didn’t they capitalize on it, especially with so many songs in the movie? Instead we see her crying throughout the movie, the lesser said about her acting the better: what a disgrace!
What was Nithya Menen doing in the movie? Siddarth himself was a big disappointment: the usual flamboyance and the opulence of on-screen energy was definitely missing. His acting too, was surprisingly below par. The movie had a decent storyline going for it but it’s the atrocious screenplay that ruined it.

I loved certain small things about the movie though (spoilers alert): the girl proposing for a change. I am tired of watching men propose. Secondly, Sid’s symbolic re-birth in Varanasi. But one major thing about the movie kept bugging me: fear of death is constant and independent of geographical location. The American Yamadharmaraja (funny fellow, unintended humour) stops haunting Sid as soon as he shifts base to India. Initially, Sid is shown as a person completely flabbergasted, thanks to the medical reports that predict a premature death. There is no emotional angle to it at first; his wife doesn’t come into the frame. It’s just an image of a man unhappy with the supposedly unfair end awaiting him that we get to see: which implies that his premonitions regarding death shouldn’t cease to occur even if he moves to another location because it’s an inner devil that’s haunting him. The inner devil functions independently, with third-party emotions, people and place of existence having no-bearing on it whatsoever. But Sid becomes a different beast once he shifts to India: the happy-go-lucky, live for the moment person with no emotional hindrances, with absolutely no memories about the love of his life.

The purpose of Nithya Menen’s character was bamboozling and if the director intended to make us feel sad for the character at the end of it all, sorry boss: big failure. And I wonder if the box-office result is going to be any different!

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