Last week was rich with movies of all sorts ..
Blood Diamond .. a poignant tale of human victory in the midst of greed fuelling the illegal diamond trade across the world .. bringing to us some amazing actors and more than anything else the stark realization that our own lives are so far moved from heartbreaking realities such as the everyday deaths of millions that are so mundane now, they almost go unnoticed.
Salaam e Ishq ... a pointless tale of human beings trying to inflict misery upon an unsuspecting audience in the name of love and entertainment ... bringing to us some otherwise amazing actors reduced to their worst and most irritating selves (Priyanka - I really loved u in Bluffmaster .. what could anyone possibly have paid you to ham the way you did?, Vidya Balan - i still think ur one of the best things to happen to Indian cinema, Salman - need i even say anything? Govinda - Im sorry i always judged u.. u almost made this movie worth watching, Unknown brit girl who plays Govindas love interest - wow!!! but why this movie???, Isha and Sohail - im sorry u were deemed unworthy of a full story track and pushed out midway thru the movie, John Abraham - yeah u still look great but how long will that suffice in the wake of mediocre acting skills? Juhi - Ur pretty but why put up with a shithead who thot of cheating on you? Anil Kapoor - which company pays you for sitting at work all day and staring at the clock? Akshaye Khanna - ick ugh yuck!! What happened to the Sid from DCH i almost fell in love with? Random girl who played his love interest - ummmm, why wud u wanna be with him at all? No man is always better than a loser like Shiven or a coward like the Canadian guy)
Sorry - had to do the monologue with the actors - venting is established as being good for the soul - anyway .. had to walk out of the movie before it ended .. after everyone made a mockery out of the sentiment that is love and carried it on for an unbearable 4.5 hours .. the parathas at the desi joint under the cinema hall did make most of it worthwhile .. but net of it - SEI sucks like few other Bollywood flicks have managed to ... DO NOT SEE IT!!!
And now coming to the one superlatively awesome movie that still keeps my faith in cinema strong :-) Babel - a 3 fiery stories running in parallel and converging in a way that only the very attuned Adrian (co cmker and good friend on Olay) could articulate beautifully and clearly ... Before that - u need to know the legend of Babel and what its all about ..
The legend of Babel cites (and forgive the shoddy rendition of the lyrical Biblical story) that mankind once decided to climb to heaven by building a tower that would bridge the chasm between the earth and the sky ... God in his magnificient kingdom thought this would completely destroy the status quo of his superiority to man and hence invented language ... every man who was building the tower was given a different one making it impossible for communication to occur between the tower builders ... since no man could understand what any other was saying .. the tower couldnt ever be finished .. and all was well in heaven :-)
Babel after a cursory viewing does have to do with language .. set in 3 different time zones of the world each 6 hours apart, it has parallel tracks running through Mexico, Morroco and Japan. Following from this are the 3 different languages prevalant in the movie - Spanish, Arabic and Japanese with smatterings of English thrown in where required.
But the true insight of the story lies a little deeper within ... Babel symbolizes and laments the breakdown of communication in its most basic form ... nothing to do with the semantics of language .. simply to do with the loss of communication .. at various levels .. a broken marriage between Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt with the inability to talk about their childs death, her wounded isolation in Tazzarine owing to a failure of 2 governments to communicate, a 14 year old deaf mute girl driven to sexually disturbing behaviour owing to her inability to communicate with the 'normal' world, the inability of a nanny to communicate with the parents of the children in her care who shes on the brink of losing...
At the risk of being a tad philosophical (yeah i dont care much for judgement anymore) may i just say that its ironic that communication - the very thing that comes most naturally to most human beings is the very thing which when it fails can cause most rifts to appear and deepen over time ... in relationships between nations, friends and lovers alike .. nothing to capture this better than a well made movie :-)
Do catch it if u havent yet .. and i reiterate .. avoid Salaam e Ishq unless someones paying you to watch it ..