october third, 2008 : Drona – the adventure begins :

let me begin by keeping the cards on the table: Drona is not merely a bad movie. its also long. and boring. and pedantic. and tacky.

and loudandscreechyandgarishandpreachyand incomprehensibly loaded with banal background music and tacky special effects.

what can its greatest sin be? its absurd casting, myopic dialogues and 2-micron thick plotline? k k menon’s tongue darting around inside his mouth? or the bizarre contractions of his orbicularis oris and his superciliary muscles, not to mention his poor overworked levator labii superioris alec nasii? abhishek bachan’s inability to move too many of his muscles, and show off fancy dishoom-dishoom moves that wud herald his coming-of-age as superhero? jaya bacchan, with her waxy mummy face, dropping corners-of-mouth, and face-twitching aphorism-spewing performance?

can it be the ludicrous black-hooded extras floating around the screen like so many death-eaters, cursing goldie behl for making them faceless, no “look maa, that’s me getting hit by abhishek on the jaw” to be recounted later as the family gathers aroung SET Max for the nth rerun? can it be the insipid action, and the moral quandary of the stunt director who has to showcase abhishek bacchan as a superhero? (he gets around it by focusing for not more than 12 seconds on any action shot of abhishek’s and even then preferring to show off AB’s awesome upper torso swinging efforts)

can it be the senseless storyline, the poor hindi diction of the lone representative white people in the story, the empty holes in the plot left to be filled by frau bacchan (Sr)’s dreary monologue (mostly spouting banal predictions about hunting dresses, horses, swords and jaadui cities) ?

can it be the sad comic relief track in the middle, the awfully tacky special effects or the constant invocation of her “baauji” by Priyanka Chopra?

no. i’d say all these, in spite of their grave errors, stop just short of the final straw. the unkindest cut of all is right at the beginning, in the choice of the title:

Drona : A Film by Goldie Behl.

how deluded, how unimaginative, how infinitely optimistic goldie must be, to call this offering a film. how oblivious he must be to its utter lack of quality, by seeking to identify it as his own work. As generations to come trooping into Reliance BigFlix stores are made unsuspecting victims of horrendous-movie-DVD-rental-fraud, it will be goldie’s name that wud be muttered angrily under the breath as customers angrily return the movie back the next day. after a few years, drona’s name will be forgotten, but its creator’s shall not be, and movies by behl shal be steered clear of by filmgoers worldwide.

that is the greatest sin. can this worthless piece of tripe be called a film?

and the best part of the movie? what of that?

without doubt, it has to be priyanka chopra. with her flawless skin, deep cleavage and generous smile, she lights up the movie’s sad pace and tepid premise. And although she does mouth the dialogues that some lameass writer penned for her, her smooth-as-alabaster breasts reveal attractive side profiles through many of the boring interludes in the movie, making the going less painful, the journey so much more interesting. The black eyeshadow and pathetic attempt to play second fiddle to AB’s limp-wristed action (in the movie, whenever there’s some serious ass-whipping to be done, you can be sure that its Ms Chopra who’s there with her cool athletic splits, tai-chi improvisations and fancy dagger-work) are jarring, yet who can resist the charms of piggy chops, dressed in flowing green robe and knee-length leather boots?  

for who can be unmoved by a script in which an impossibly taut and delightfully agile priyanka chopra pledges herself as your eternal slave, and follows you like your shadow, ready to carry out your slightest bidding, your every command? whose slavish devotion to you is inevitable from the very moment of her birth, who is programmed to protect you and clasp you to her bosom every now and then when confronted by baddies?

abhishek bacchan, apparently, is this who.

like i said, Drona is that kind of movie.

I think this is where we came in…