Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What's wrong with Amir Khan movies?

I saw Three Idiots and laughed my guts out. I loved the movie. A super entertainer.

But if I have to vote for the fifty good movies I’ve ever seen, will I vote for it?

The answer is NO. As for that matter, I wouldn’t vote for Lagaan, or Tere Zameen Par. The latter would perhaps just about make it into the 100 best movies. But I’m not sure.

Why is it so, I asked myself. I never go by the critics review. For me a good movie is what I enjoy and what keeps coming back to my mind long after I have seen it – you know like the taste of a dish you have eaten, or is a regular part of your eating habit which you want to think of with longing?

Yes. Now I realize that’s what’s wrong with the Amir Khan movies I have mentioned. They are all forgettable movies. They have no lasting impact on me. Good while they last – and then - - well that’s it.

So I decided to look into my response to these films and find out why I feel this way, why I cannot wax eloquent about them. And these are my conclusions:

· These movies have greater commitment to the box office than to the art form. In the bargain, art suffers. Clichés, stereotypes, slapstick formulae, the usual formulaic fare that cater to the perceived demands of the audience (I always feels the directors underestimate the audience) take away from the internal consistency and the cogency of the theme of the movie which becomes heavily diluted, and sometimes run haywire. This also compels the director to resort to simplistic, shallow execution of the project, totally sidestepping the nuances and subtleties that cause a film experience to rankle in the brain. All the three movies in question here have great themes which could have been explored in an infinitely more sophisticated manner. But the makers decided to keep them basic, naïve and one dimensional. Of course, one cannot blame the film makers for focusing on the box office considering the mammoth investment. But that is no excuse to compromise the internal demands of an artistic piece.

· The second reason that I find these movies not up to my expectations is the obsession with Amir Khan. Again this supports the earlier point that I made. His market value has to be exploited – even at the cost of compromising a potential classic which explores the gray areas of an issue and gets closer to human reality. The movies revolve round the superhero Amir khan, and not the character he represents. The plots, episodes, the script and all – all made only for Amir Khan, the actor who can garner crores on account of his superstardom. Art is compromised to narcissism. Amir Khan is going the Dev Anand way. The latter became a very irritating actor- director ‘cos of his self love which made him impose himself on the audience irrespective of whether the role and the film demanded it.

How else would I have it? I told you these movies hardly impacted me, and so I cannot really recall details. No frame is etched permanently in my mind. Yet I remember thinking that in Lagaan, the strategies used to carve BHuvan into heroic proportions were silly. The final winning shot in the cricket match was most laughable. Perhaps if someone else had done it, it’s have been less comical and I’d have been more willing to accept it. The dyslexic background of Amir Khan (TZP)violently yanked into the film towards the end is most irritating. This probably was done to prevent the little boy from stealing the show - which he still did despite the production efforts. The attempt to blow up Amir Khan into superhuman proportion is so blatant, naive and inartistic. In Three idiots, all loose ends are neatly tied up. But the purpose is not to enhance the theme of a faulty educational system but to enlarge the Amir Khan cutout. The end result was that the blow up was so disproportionate that it spilt outside the screen space.

Amir Khan should show a greater willingness to share the screen space with the other actors, if the story demands it. To manipulate the script to revolve round only himself will bring huge profits to the investors, but will cause the movie to be reduced to just another bollywood bash. Classics are made of different material.
You might argue Ami Khan movies are terrific hits, and that’s what movies are all about – acceptance by the audience, entertainment for the audience. I suppose there is a lot of truth in this argument. But I am one of those who want the film to remain with me subliminally long after the laughter or tears subside at the end of the show. Flat characters, formulaic plots, total reluctance to plumb the depths of human experience – all these make Amir Khan movies a very forgettable experience for me. Fills me with a sense of terrific loss, of what might have been if if if - -


  1. hmmm? may be the generation gap, but I tend to disagree strongly.

    Amir Khan movies have left a lasting impression on me, and I can vouch the same for my peers as well. Be it Rangeela (incidentally the first movie I saw bunking school), the trendsetter Dil Chahta Hai, the volatile Sarfarosh, the epic Lagaan, Rang de Basanthi, Tare Zameen Par or the recent 3 Idiots, they've all been refreshingly different. I can still feel myself in the cinemas watching Rangeela or DCH as I reply to you. Amir Khan creates the same interest as a Shankar movie or a Rajnikanth movie and they've managed to stay in our hearts.

    The quality of Amir Khan movies are so high that even a decent masala blockbuster like Ghajni has disappointed me. Amir movies have a purpose, except from making money, and he is the Midas of Bollywood, if you ask me. :)

    PS: Are you a SRK fan? :P

  2. I agree in parts to what you say.

    While most of his movies do come across as 'This is so much more intelligent and sensitive than the average Indian film' type, I must admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed watching a couple of his movies, such as Rang De Basanti and Dil Chahta hai. Perhaps it is because the presence of other actors diluted the Aamir Khan effect to some degree. But it is surprising that not a single movie with Aamir Khan playing the sole lead has remained with me in the way so many SRK movies have. (despite the overacting and stereotypical roles)

    BTW, it would be interesting to know some of the movies that would make it to your top - 50 list. :)

    - Simple

  3. I kind of agree, aamir khan movies are hits but forgettable, and yet he is called the classy actor vis a vis shahrukh's massy immage, at the end of the day both are the same..its just that the media with a lot of help from the actor has defined him as a perfectionist, an involved, etc etc therefore hyping his image as a classy sort with an intellectual bend..but after all they are there to give hits and make money..I thought ghajini was a completely idiotic movie to say the least..so much for Aamir..but yes..there are moments in his films when he does kinda look cute..hahha!!

  4. I do not know but I like 3 idiots very much especially the chatur speech and the dialogue Rajuuuuu... ha ha... see still I can laugh a lot remembering it.

    I think it depends on our character that decides our likes towards a movie.

  5. No I think there is a prejudice here... I agree Amir gets more focus... but its producers, directors everyone else involved too... !

    dont tell me Rang De Basanti didnt leave a lasting effect... dont blame the movie for Amir... it was a fantastic movie...

    I didnt think Dil Chahta hai was bad either... and apart from the dyslexic feature of Aamir in TZP it was a very very believable and convincing movie... every movie has its guffaws... but I dont get it if y people decide to pull out the scalpel and scrap the fun.. !

    3 idiots is not and will never be the best... half the jokes are sms forwards or email forwards... but as a package when we go to the movie hall it leaves us laughing...

    I mean you cant just rip off movies for trying to earn ??

  6. @ hitchwriter
    the superstars call the shots when it comes to matters related to their roles.
    didnt see rang de basanti.
    yes.movies must earn. my point is when you hold the power in your hands to earn AND produce quality stuff, why not do both?

    guess u r right - it's our nature that decides - and that's all i claim in this post

    aren't all superstars the creations of media?

    @ simple
    best of the bad lot eh?:-)

    @ scorpiogenius
    generation gap - mebbe:-(
    no.am not a SRK fan.

  7. You have a point of view.
    But,the only thing that matters is the box-office collections annd nomination at the awards functions.

  8. I am agreeing with author, he takes credit from others , actually the TZP was directed by some other person and Aamir took credit. 3 Idiots he took the story 5. someone and destryoed whole content of the novel, if you have read the novel 3 idiots you will hate, Kareena kapoor was marginalised.
    There were twin villains in Gajini in Tamil but Aamir reduced to single and Tamil Gajini is better than Hindi Gajini Surya has given better performance than AAmir, Gajini is a copy of Christopher Nolen film Momento. Surprisingly it was the villain who showed the DVD to AAmir but his role was reduced to take milage of Aamir.

    Also its irritating sudden introduction of Aamir in TZP with a bakwaaz song and it destroyed the ambience of the movie.

    But Aamir is here to stay for long, if not as hero then producer director, he has brains and his selections are better. He is able to give valuable inputs.

    Ashuthosh Gawarikar failed to make any impact in Jodha Akbar after Lagan, Reng De Besanti director churned a useless movie Delhi 6, Dil CHahtha director is also getting obsessed with himself and is trying to become a hero his films later are not as good as Dil Chahtha hai. SO that means Amir is giving creative inputs and has a role in giving good films.

    I am disappointed with Aamir for another reason, he dumped his lovely wife whom he married after love relations and married to his asst director Rao now. There was a news that the lady was not given alimony she now travels in local trains in Mumbai.

  9. I'm personally not at all a movie buff & I don't know about you, so take my comment with a pinch of salt. I generally don't enjoy movies of any of these superstars when they begin to portray 'larger than life' characters!!! So I relate totally with your feelings. I enjoy the movie, laugh a lot but alls forgotten in 2 days ;-D I so wish actors weren't narcissists!

  10. I think we get the movies we deserve.
    Why do the really good movies not make as much money?
    Or why do films like Ghajini break all box office records?

    It's sad that "we" always represents the majority.

    But if we look beyond the superstars, there are plenty of good movies in Bollywood.

  11. @ deepak
    we deserve? i'm not sure. the candyfloss stuff - do the audience demand those or does the industry create the taste buds for those in the audience? it's lke the which came first theory - the egg or the chicken.
    welcome back:-)

    @the lostworld
    i dont know when the industry will realise it cant fool all the people all the time. this happens not only in bollywood. malayalam films too have gone down the drain as they are still in the grip of the double M stars.the audience has no choice. no point in blaming the audience.

    @ arushiyude lokam
    looks like u agree with me fully. good to know am not the odd one out

    you couldn't be more right

  12. I think I just got disillusioned!! :O

  13. so here you are!! I've been missing you on the broken muse- and decided to go digging to find you. :)

    As for movies- I like those which impact me- but I also appreciate the ones in which I don't have to think. Daily my life is often filled with reality- and it is nice to just turn my brain off and enjoy nothingness which I will later not remember....however, that said...as mentioned earlier, I do enjoy those movies which linger with me for years and years.

    All said- I much prefer books- then I can create my own 'actors' :)

  14. @ anjuli
    flattered to think you took trouble to hunt me out!
    yes. you have a good point. a film which makes you enjoy it while it lasts - 3 idiots is that. no doubt.so my analysis is faulty i guess. there's something missing - cant put my finger on that.

    @ dhanush
    believe it or not didnt know the right spelling till u pointed it out!

    @ prathik
    disllusioned? with movie or my take on it?

  15. I had thought that I was a big fan of amir khan. Well, I liked his films more than most of the crap we get from the Bollywood industry. But what you said, makes sense, a lot of it. About the movies, and about Amir. And hence my comment that I got disillusioned.

  16. I am waiting to see some names from your top 50, as requested by simple.

    scenes from Dil Chahata Hai got etched in my memory, same with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak(my furst intro to Hindi movies). same goes for SRK's Bazigar /AB adn Jaya's Abhiman /Mammotty's Vadakkan Veeragatha / Mohanlal's His Highness to name a few. I am nto sure it has anything to do with the star. a good cinema is a good cinema. But my 'good' may not the same as your 'good'. To me cinema should be entertaining-makes you laugh,dance,cry-wholesome drama don't care much about the message.

    now can we have your list please?..please?

  17. i disagree!

    2 of my most fav movies are dil chahta hai and rang de basanti...all one has 2 do is see RDB and see how a debut actor (siddharth) is given the same, if not more, prominence than one of the biggest stars in the country just coz the script demands that!

    3idiots is a fabulous entertainer all the way through and all i did was laugh non-stop for 3 straight hours! n that's all i ask of a movie! but i do admit that 3idiots would have been just as fun even if aamir wasn't one of the leads.

    hope the comment isn't too huge (or too contradictory 2 your opinions) 4 your liking :)

  18. inspite of all the comments, i just say that i like the movie very much bcause in this film the subject was very good there is a good message for all the students,parents also our n also for our teachars that dont force your childrens to become 1st go nd learn in this movie very finely he mentioned this point and amir khan did a very good role of ranchordas(rancho)and i think nobody can do the that what amir khan do shahrukh also can't do this kind of a role.The movier is absolutely excellent nand R-Madhavan and Sharman Joshialso did a goog supporting role with amir khan in this film,wish tem best of luck for his upcoming films do the best n show that "AMIR KHAN IS THE BEST".

  19. I tend to agree with you. I too laughed and enjoyed the movie. But thats it! I would certainly not call it great!

  20. The teller is a cow,ass,dog.So as an animal you have no right to comment him(great aamir khan).

  21. i agree 3 idiots wasn't the best... but be it blowing up his superstardom or focusing on him all thru the movie, i still think he is one of the best actors in bollywood - i always think of aamir as the actor, shah rukh as the performer.
    it's amazing how aamir can so effortlessly do every role he takes up - look how different his characters in DCH, lagaan, RDB, TZP, ghajini n 3 idiots have been! and even though the script is imperfect in lots of places, aamir as an actor has done justice to his role everywhere.

  22. Guys..

    Just wondering !! This is an entertainment industry and With Aamir Khan's Movies, I must say.."It's Entertainment + A Social Message Associated with it", Specially the recent movies starting from Lagaan.. The earlier movies were same as that of any other traditional and stereotypical as that of any other actor.

    I really appreciate the kind of movies he is coming out with. Hats off..

    So "Just Chill" as from "All the Best" and enjoy the movie and pass on the social message.

  23. I agree with what you wrote even though I do like all of Aamir's movies. But the blowing up of bollywood's actors on screen is nothing new. It will keep happening. Look at Saif Ali Khan now. When he started first, people did not pay much attention to his acting but now people do. I also think being a successful Bollywood actor or actress has it's perks or more like downfalls which are becoming narcissist. As far as Aamir khan's personal life goes, I can care less. Although Shahrukh has done a better job in being a good husband. But who wouldn't want to stay with him forever for all the fame and riches come along with this actor.

  24. I agree with you. Especially 3 Idiots, considering the deviation from the novel Five point someone. But I think Rang De Basanti is an exception…

  25. hey sunil,nephew dear
    welcome to my blogs. visited your maiden blog and left a comment for you.
    yeah, see everyone raving about rang de basanti. didnt see it. but the story reminds me of FOR THE PEOPLE. any similarity?

  26. Thanks for the comment :-). Actually just started working on the blog and it is still under construction. Will keep you updated.
    Rang De Basanti is similar to For The People (But just the story base). But the screenplay makes it a different and an enjoyable movie to watch. Background score for the movie done by A.R.Rahman is one of his best work till date (in my opinion :-).


Dear visitors, dont run away without leaving behind something for me :-)
By the way, if your comment does not get posted at the first click, just click once more.