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Senterfold: The Reader Review Champions

By Raja Sen
March 18, 2009 10:24 IST
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Several columns ago, I asked you guys to put on your Cruella boots and stomp all over a movie, writing a really nasty review for a movie you hated -- and doing it inside of a hundred words.

The only reason I'm responsing this late to The Reader Review Challenge is primarily because it took ages to sift through all your entries, and secondly 'cause I was inadverently clever enough to not give you guys -- or myself -- a deadline.

So here are the winning reviews:


Kuber Bhalla, writing on Mela:

Can you imagine a movie where the main villain makes his entry in 'only' his underpants, Johny Lever is made to drink Aamir Khan's pee and Faisal Khan plays hard-to-get with the heroine?

With Mela, Darshan achieves the unthinkable: a film decidedly worse than his fluke superhit, Raja Hindustani. Mela sets benchmarks in cost-cutting: an assembly of out-of-work actors/composers, the action director doubling up as the baddie, the heroine's voice shamelessly dubbed and the tackiest sets imaginable.

Only ingredient missing from the director's trademark campy and regressive melodramas? The Wet Kiss.

Sarah Yasin, writing on Love In The Time Of Cholera:

Love in the Time of Cholera is a feeble movie that castrates the book from which it was adapted.

The film's disfiguration of the book appeals only to the tender-hearted who might not draw meaning from its message. I can still taste the vomit in my mouth from the saccharine closing scene. Besides, who wants to see two septuagenarians getting jiggy with it if there's no magical realism, or even any significance to attend it?

This ho-hum film is an apostasy for anyone who has tasted the synchronised beauty and ugliness of the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Sarah Yasin, writing on Salaam Namaste:

'Shut up and go bring me a beer.'

The film propagates the outdated notion that if a woman is patient then her self-centered man will eventually settle for her. Zinta's screeching did nothing to empower women and if anything illustrated a need for misogyny. Who wants to listen to that? She could have demonstrated the beauty of pregnancy, and not the hyperbolic burden of it.

This film tried to be edgy, but threw the image of womanhood backward. There are single mothers in the world who do not depend on the affection of men in order to thrive.

Arjun, writing on Awaara Paagal Deewana:

Gotta have guts and a well stocked maikhana
To sit through the farce called Awaara Paagal Deewana
A cocktail of famous scenes it was, that's all
Wonder when the director started his freefall John 'The Tulip' Tudeski on pot

Guru 'Gulab' Khatri... I kid you not
Mixing and matching of partners galore
If life was that kind, wouldn't it just soar?
A lame imitation of The Whole Nine Yards
All we were left with were some tardy shards
Three hours, I'm never getting back again
I got a solution to get rid of the pain
Just gimme Andaaz Apna Apna again

Raj, writing on Black:

Dear Mr Kieslowski: I hear you stumbled out of your grave the other night. I hear your apparition had a haunted look. Passersby heard you utter the word 'Black'. Apparently, you wanted to meet the great Indian director, Bhansali, so you could choke him. You were trying to make sense of the pretentious, blabbering, hysterical mess you had seen. The setting, storyline, over-the-top acting and bathtub in the middle of nowhere didn't make sense. You searched vaguely for subtlety and subtext. But who is to blame? You! Why didn't you appropriate all colours and spare us?


It was really tough narrowing it down to these guys, and I must give special mention to a really scathing take on DDLJ by Shomiron Nag, but he went almost double the length of the 100-word limit. To him and everyone else who mailed in, many many thanks -- and I hope you had as much fun writing 'em as I had chortling over the results.

Now, all you folks who have won, please write in to me again with the quickest way to reach you online -- gtalk usernames, twitter addresses, etc -- even if you'd rather just correspond on mail, and based on our conversation I'll pick fun DVDs you haven't watched and will hopefully love. Looking forward to it, folks.

And, in closing, here's the last bad film I watched that I feel deserves a 100-word putdown, Zack And Miri Make A Porno:

Why, Kevin Smith, why? You used to have a gift for smutty dialogue, but now you come across as just another Judd Apatow wannabe trying to smut up Be Kind Rewind. Painfully lazy writing, a ridiculous set of characters, and the kind of comedy that Adam Sandler would turn down. How you can make a sexy premise this worthless beats me. Damn. I'm off to chase me some Amy while you best stay silent, Bob.


Want to tell me you could do a better job in a hundred words? Or that there shouldn't be a limit? Or want to write a review anyway, albeit prizelessly? Go ahead, write in about anything you want at and keep watching bad movies -- if only to keep me company. Cheers

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Raja Sen