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Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

January 23, 2011

I happened to watch this Bollywood movie Johnny Gaddaar last night and most of you Bollywood fans may be wondering, “Hello, Tera Kya Hoga Johny release ho gaya aur yeh bhaisahab ab tak Neil Nitin Mukesh (NNM) ke pahele film par atke hue hai.”  But you see, the former movie released at a time when I was still coming to terms with the intricacies of Graduate life and a lot of good movies made their way unnoticed by my erstwhile filmy eyes.

So yesterday as I perused through my portfolio of potentially good movies that I perhaps may like, I decided on watching Johnny Gaddaar, which as per Wiki has been hailed widely as a path breaking film in the Hindi movie industry. The film begins with a dedication towards Vijay Anand and James Hadley Chase and works of both personalities make their presence felt as the movie progresses. But, I feel the movie is also an ode to Big B. The introductory music piece is very Don-ish and the plot keeps referring to Parwana – one of Big B’s pre-Zanjeer movies. Its amazing how Big B’s movies are still a source of inspiration for the Bollywood fraternity. Be it Farhan’s version of Don or the soon-to-be-remade Agneepath. In fact the night after the Philadelphia marathon, we were having dinner at a desi dhabhi-like place close to downtown. And in the sitting area, a tiny TV-VCR was setup showing Big B’s Hera Pheri. I was reminded of Shanky’s famous dialogue, “All the way you came here to do what – sit in a dhabha and watch Big B’s movies’ on VCR.”

All in all, I was highly impressed with Johnny Gaddaar. There are a few flaws and assumptions but the movie moves swiftly from scene to scene and one is sucked into the plot through some wonderful performances by Vinay Pathak, Dharmendra, Zakir Hussain (not the table maestro) and last, but not the least, NNM – playing the protagonist. I was in fact surprised by the veracity of Johnny’s character who has to make impromptu decisions as he makes his way through crime and commotion. It reminded me of the game Mafia that is so popular at most pot-luck parties.

There is one scene that I particularly liked where NNM asks Dharmendra, “Sir, itne paise ghar par rakhkar aapko darr nahi lagta, aapki umar bhi toh… ?” but before he can complete his statement Dharam twists NNM’s hands behind his back making NNM go into spasms of pain. Dharam in his inimitable style says, “It’s not the age, it’s the mileage.

The movie also briefly flashes scenes of the Pune Railway Station and the Pune Airport bringing back some sweet memories of both. For there was a time where my life revolved around transiting between Pune and Hyderabad, be it by plane, train or bus.

The fifth and final ODI is about to begin soon. Will India create history by winning it’s first ODI series in SA? Will the Weather Gods make their presence felt again? Or will SA triumph coming back from a 1-2 deficit? For the sheer love of the purity of sport, I hope nobody knows yet – Na Tum Jaano Na Hum…

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