Movie Review : Paanch : Motion for Demotion
The "A" certificate of the Great Pathetic Pinheaded Censor Board of India gives way to a pumping background score arm in arm with various snap shots of Bombay flashed on the big screen. Pumped with a high dose of adrenalin, the background score and the vibrating stills behind the opening credits set your heart on fire.
Six years after it was ready, twelve years after its first version was written - the curtains are raised finally... You enter the hall with a clenched fist (for the Censor Board), grinding jaw (to chew anyone who dare make a sound during the show) and a heart beating at bullet speed.
The police inspector has an open case to crack. Members of a rock band in front of him look as if they are waiting for the barman to serve them the next round of drinks. Instead they are served tea and cigarettes. Inspector-jee seems to have graduated from a raddi shop that was well stacked with Hardy Boys and the Three Investigators. Pray he goes what happened?
Flashback to when the band of 5 are struggling to make ends meet. The band's leader a Mr. Luke (Kay Kay Menon, energetic performance) seems to have burning coals under his ass, is the proud owner of a ready to explode volcanic head , beats to pulp those who mess with him - which usually is everyone on Mother Earth, smokes pot, drinks Rum and cuts open Barbie Dolls as a poetic expression. Mercifully, Chucky doesn't rise nor does Paapi Gudiya.
Add to this team a Ms. Shiuli (Tejaswani Kolhapure, bearable at best) who dates more men than the total number of hankies you may have lost in your entire life; a Mr. Pondy (Vijay Maurya, plays the role of Dawood in Black Friday) who seems to possess two expressions in his fucked up life - anger and idiotic, make it three expressions if you would like to count the facial contour of a person, whose ass is kicked every five minutes of his/her living life; a Mr. Murgi (Aditya Srivastava)- one who swings between a confused mind and sane insanity; and lastly a Mr. Joy (Joy Fernandes) who seems more of an ideal fit for the WWF. By WWF, I meant the World Wrestling Federation and not World Wildlife Fund, incase you were thinking of the later. Now that I think of it... it doesn't matter.
Long story short, in an attempt to set their rock band rolling forward, a plot is hatched, plot goes haywire which leads to murder, mayhem, more murders, more mayhem, more... of something which you give a miss to answer the call of nature and nicotine or perhaps a fresh air of normalized sanity flowing freely outside the screening theater.
The days of "he must be good" are over and it's time to see the real goods. Unfortunately Anurag Kashyap, writer/director of Paanch doesn't do justice to the mantle he was placed on by the MSM, Film journalists, Bloggers and Discussion Board enthusiasts.
You search for logic; you have your brains on high gear when you sit for a "realistic" movie. Or even a "realistic" approach. Sadly logic is thrown to the winds time and again throughout the flow.
The purpose for sticking around in a house for a dance after the theft has been committed - is mind boggling, so is the logic where one of the characters is dead, not dead, supposed to be, truly dead... FOR GOD SAKE IF HE ISN'T DEAD NOW YOU WANT HIM DEAD AND IF HE IS DEAD THEN YOU WANT TO BRING HIM TO LIFE AND BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF HIM.
"Don't use logic" was what Anurag had to say to me, after the movie when I asked him about these scenes. But it's impossible not to. Had one been watching a "Paap ko jala kar rakh kar doonga" or a "Masti" or a Johar/Chopra/Bhansali film, the brains will without doubt be shut off before one walks into the theater.
But when one walks into a movie termed as "realistic", one is looking for a thinking film. It's tough. Using chopsticks for your tomato soup. It's tough.
Yet there are parts sprinkled throughout the film that show Kashyap's eye for realism and shock. Stark and served sharp. The feeding of the birds, Kay Kay's outburst at his friend's godown, the sharp cutting edge scene between the band and a cop (Sharad Saxena) are a few which are brilliantly captured on camera.
The story movement from one part to the next, sadly, fails. The connections between them are weak, hazy and to put it mildly... amateurish. The pace of the movie is like Babaji's 1925 Ford that moves, goes dead, sputters into action, goes dead again... until you prefer to walk rather than drive in it.
Its understandable that Kashyap was frustrated with the ever increasing demands of his producers and financers to change the original script, yet, the alternatives and modifications he's came up with are stale and soggy. It's tragic, because there was a lot of potential to make another hard-hitting "Satya".
B Minus C Plus. Paanch in the end turns out to be the gunpowder that went dank. Expect no cannonball explosion in here.