03-Sep-2007

Time will tell

There is a dialogue in Shrek 1 that goes like this

Shrek: Ogres are like onions

Donkey: They stink?

Shrek: Nooo. They have layers

I think the audience relationship with Bollywood is somewhat similar. Most people think the movies stink but frankly it is about peeling the layers. Take for instance Waqt – The race against time. The first glance would have you believe that it is a torturous melodrama about father – son relationships. Peel its layers and then the subtlety of the message hits you. The two key themes are – corporate planning and advanced medical research.

Rich industrialist Easwar Thakur (played by the omnipresent Amitabh Bacchan) wants to teach his spoilt brat son Adi (Akshay Kumar) to become responsible and independent. This lesson needs to be taught fast since Easwar is dying of cancer. A fact which Adi learns just as he is about to get on stage to perform in a competition that will launch his film career. Adi promptly cancels his stage performance and puts his dad in an experimental research programme for increasing longevity of patients in advanced stages of cancer. He takes the mike and makes an appeal to each member of the audience to spare one minute of their lives so that collectively the life of his dad can be extended till his son is born. Voila! It works. Easwar lives for about 23040 minutes just long enough to see his grandson’s naming ceremony. *

This movie I think will finally put to rest any arguments on the ability of Indians to think laterally and innovate path breaking new methods in medical science. You can almost see Adi laughing all the way to the bank as the milestone payments for successful completion of Phase 1 clinical trials come in.

Going back to the movie – At the 23038th minute Easwar looks close to death but is still unsettled by one niggling worry. After all Amitabh probably knows from personal experience that rarely does an actor make a good businessman. Son Adi is clearly going to join the ranks of Bollywood. At this point, Easwar’s wife pips up and says that she and her daughter in law will manage the company. Easwar looks happy, the credit rating of Thakur enterprises moves from BBB to AAA, PE investors in search of a good story begin peering through the Thakur mansion windows and all is well that ends well.

* Accurate number of minutes arrived at by assuming naming ceremony happens on the 16th day from the day of birth.

1 comment:

rj said...

jeez...who would have thunk?

simble solushun to a comblex probblem.. please be sbparing 1 min of your life..

jeez... is the story really like that or u made it up?