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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Foot Behind The Kick: Why Salman Khan's Kick's Message Made Me Hate A Film I Was Desperate To Love


Not A Normal Review

At the end of the year, I expected to create a new list of Bollywood for my favorites movies of the year. When Kick's trailer came out, I knew the film would feature on this list for two reasons; cause it looked like a fun masala movie and cause it featured Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Before watching the movie I envisioned my review for this film and I saw the inevitable that any critic sees with the film, whether he be refined or amateur like me. I saw a Salman Khan film, I saw a bad film.

Let me correct myself, I saw a conventionally bad film. 

Masala Movies such as the above are bad in normal aspects but surprisingly thoroughly entertaining, maybe my reviews system or critics minds need to be checked

Writing, Directing, Performances, Score/Soundtrack. That's how my review is structured.

What it means is that I see?

The Script, Screenplay, Plot; basically characters, dialogues, character arcs, narrative structure, logic, depth, message and more

Direction, Editing, Cinematography: What it looks like, How it plays out and Who steers the film in the right direction

The Actors and their acting

Then finally the background music and the foreground music and in Hindi films, how it works into the pacing of the film. 

Yet, the one thing true film buffs are taught to look for in a film is what is the film advertising? As a film that has a genre, who is it targeting? And what is it promising to deliver?

That's why a film has a trailer.

To tell you what to expect, to peddle it's product.

So what I expected was to tell you about the difference of Conventional Criticism against Escapist Entertainment.

To tell you that Kick is a bad film in terms of script and direction and what not, but it's entertaining as hell especially its second half.

Then the script turned everything around. The four writers who become a hodgepodge of too many cooks spoiling the broth, also end up playing to their stars strength like no other Salman Khan film has.

Like with this year's Jai Ho, the film tells it shows you to excruciatingly levels about Salman Khan's golden heart. Sure not on such tacky levels but Kick does more than that though. 

Whether it's Devil, Devil or Chulbul...It's always Salman Khan

Don’t be mistaken, this film isn't about Devil or Devi Lal or any name by which the script calls its character. This man standing in front of you (in the poster above) is Salman Khan through and through.

As the news reports have been saying, this is a film about Salman Khan more than any other. It's his promotional campaign. It's his auto-biography.

As the dialogue points out:

'Yeh aadmi logo ko maarta hai, par dil ka bahot aacha hai...yeh aadmi jail ja chukha hai, par dil ka bahot aacha hai' ('This man beats other people, but has a golden heart...this man has been to jail, but he has a golden heart')

It's too present the character and in this case Salman Khan's flaws but to tell you that his heart is in the right place. Through it's near 3 hour run time, that's all this movie is really doing.

Amidst the mind blowing action, Salman Khan at his motivated best, cracking dialogues and a sublime ham performance from Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The movie hides its message but lets you know it. 

While Advertising his charity, is Salman actually just showing he's so charitable? Could he in reality be more like Shiv Gajra (Nawazuddin's villainous corrupt charitable character) than Devil

Salman Khan will go through anything and do anything for his kids. He will do the wrong things, to Be Human.

You'd ask, isn't that a good thing? Sure in reality and for criticism's sake the film is bad. But Salman promoting his charity Being Human, isn't that a good thing?

Yes it is. But the way the film is positioned, it primes Khan as a messiah. It doesn't speak as much of his charity, as it does of his charitable character.

Sure Khan has his heart in the right place with his charity, but the film knows what it tells you and what Salman Khan lets it tell you (don't be misguided, a superstar of Khan's proportions has a lot of influence on a film and its story).

To finally get to the point.

It's to promote a man for his good deeds who has gone beyond everything to escape a crime he has committed. 

Innocent or Guilty, maybe even the court can't or wont tell

Guilty until proven Innocent is the mantra, a celebrity will be looked with the magnified eyes of suspicion for doing something wrong in this world. All that does make a point.

But so do witnesses. So does evidence. And So does the fact of their disappearance and the length of this simple case.

To those not in the know. There is an ongoing case against Salman Khan, a hit and run case where he has been charged with the murder of pedestrians sleeping on the pavement as he was driving drunk.

It's what makes the movie suspect, what makes every one of his moves and movies a big question.

Is Salman Khan a good guy? Everyone is.

Is Salman Khan doing the charity for his benefit or for charity? Only he can say, but his heart may be in the right place more than the wrong.

As the dialogue iterates don't think about him. There's one thing you can believe about the movie and the friends who speak highly of Salman Khan is that he is truly a mystery. A mystery that is crystal clear.

The known enigma.

And that's why I hate the film.

The promotion of Khan is deplorable. The message sent might be a nice gesture, but comes at a wrong time and for suspect reasons.

Why tell the world you're good, when you're good?

A film is a film and that's all it should be. A simple message in a film is fine, an agenda hard to like.

But a film is a film and at times it should be seen as such, Escapist Entertainment more than Conventional Criticism.

Bryan Singer the director of X-Men and Usual Suspects, is one of the first openly gay men in Hollywood. Known for his notorious parties, he has been accused of child molestation in the recent past

As I said once with my review of X-Men: DOFP, I never mix the professional and personal opinions of a person.

To me if he did what he has been accused of, the character Bryan Singer and director Bryan Singer are different people and my opinion of them will be different. As a human being, yes I might watch his movie with disdain but I wont criticize them for anything else other than what they are.

Same goes with Salman Khan.

What he has done personally and if he is in the wrong. I already hate him, so it wont change a thing.

But in terms of a movie it gets confusing when his personal is promoted in his professional in a biased manner. 

If There's One Reason You Need to Catch Kick then it's Nawazuddin Siddiqui, whose hammy performance gives the Kick the audience needs in a tepid but mildly entertaining film

Yet if I look at it crystal clear, I liked Kick especially it's second half. It was a much more fun masala movie than normal. If I look at it subjectively, I love Kick cause even though in a wasted role; Nawazuddin Siddiqui was a livewire of scenery chewing brilliance. He stole the show, he stole Khan's thunder and he stole the Devil's Kick.

Kick, I loved it for its entertainment. Kick, I hated it for its message.

Kick will possibly feature on that end list. Yet Kick's message will never let me watch it again without disdain.

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

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