Teen Maar

27 04 2011

Teen Maar is a decent attempt at remaking a Bollywood flick. But there surely are certain glitches. The biggest drawback, in my opinion, is that it failed to recreate the magic of the original Love Aaj Kal.

I personally feel that the kind of hip-hop, modern, metro lifestyle shown in the movie hasn’t really gotten itself infiltrated  into the Telugu society. While it was easy to watch Deepika and Saif do all sorts of things, I can’t say the same about their counterparts in Teen Maar. Both Michael (hero) and Meera (heroine) are so unconventional with respect to Tollywood that I feel there had been a certain mental block to accept them right away.

I am still baffled by the inconsistency between my own reactions to the two versions. The reason might be that by Bollywood standards, the lead characters aren’t atypical at all. Surely, I loved Love Aaj Kal and was awed by the characters. I enjoyed myself a lot. I don’t remember contemplating on the virtues or otherwise of the characters at that time, as I’m doing now in the case of Teen Maar. I don’t say that Teen Maar has been a complete shocker for me but I felt that it somehow seemed unreal, close to fantasy.

At some point in the movie, Michael wonders before Paresh Rawal/Sirji (any idea why Pavan choses to address him as “Sirji” instead of just “Sir” or something else? [Updated much later: “Sir Ji is a colloquial word used in North India. It is ascribed to a person who is enterprising, resourceful, seminal, approachable, respected and above all a Realist. ” Source: E-PAO. So it was just my ignorance. 😛 ]) on the relevancy of the marriage in current times. According to him, marriage is just a fad which appears to be out of fashion these days.

This monologue struck me as odd and absurd. Nothing can be farther from truth than his statement. Marriage is still very much relevant, at least in my society.  Attitudes like these were what gave the characters the fictitious touch and made everything seem far-fetching.

Coming to the other drawback which spoiled the show was the first half hour (I missed the credits and hence anything that came before them). The chemistry between Pavan and Trisha wasn’t established well and the scenes looked like something badly put together in a hurry. (I’m not sure, but I might be talking about Editing too). The whole episode until their breakup was so pale and bland. The sizzling chemistry and the comfort levels between Saif and Deepika couldn’t be replicated for Pavan and Trisha. What a let down!

However, the movie on the whole gets better in the second-half. I noticed that Trisha’s character has been changed minutely in that she seemed reluctant towards the break-up and the director projected as if the whole thing happened only because of Michael’s confusion. I don’t know whether I can trust my memory, but I remember that Deepika too was keen on the break-up and in fact it was she who blurts out the words. If I’m right in my observation, I can only attribute this discrepancy to the distinct Tollywood touch.

I really liked the performances of the lead characters. Trisha looked very pretty and stylish. She carried herself very well. Pavan Kalyan was too good. As Arjun Palvai, he was mind-blowing. I liked the whole flashback episode. I liked it better than that of Love Aaj Kal’s. Kirti looked well as Vasumathi though I must admit that she wasn’t any special. I didn’t like her close-up shots.

The background music was lovely, especially during the flashback. I liked only two songs – Aley Baley (which has been inspired by LAK’s Chor Baazari) and the love song that comes in the flashback (I forgot the lyrics).

While the whole episode of the street fight, rescuing the girl and throwing curse words at the boss by the hero seemed a bit absurd to me, I (as a devout follower of Telugu movies) would rather ignore the illogicality of it all and prefer to just grasp the underlying message the director is trying to convey out of it. Consequently, I’m not so appalled by the failure of the NYPD to appear at the crime scene in time (as some of my friends living in US reacted). Things like this are happening since time immemorial in Telugu cinema. Aren’t they?

The movie is undoubtedly a visual feast and what it’s missing is just the “oooh” factor, which LAK successfully managed to generate. The strongest plus point is Pavan Kalyan. It’s his show all through the movie. On a side note, I certainly think that Teen Maar is a lot better than Pavan’s previous hit Jalsa.

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