June 27, 2007

Pakistan Lifts Ban On Indian Films….Conditionally!

Filed under: India n Me,opinions,Random,This Gets To Me — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 1:39 pm

Kaveeta Kaul

The Federal Censor Board of Pakistan has decided to finally lift its ban on Indian films ..albeit conditionally. Are we supposed to trill in glee?

Any Indian film with a Pakistani co-producer or having a Pakistani cast and shot outside India can be released in Pakistan.

Deserved of a polemic debate imho despite the congruence of our cultural ethos which invites bondedness and elicits no surprise at the phenomenon of similarity in preferences . One is perplexed whether to welcome this decision as one which will herald a new era in film trade, beneficial to both countries or feel snubbed over the overtly snooty strictures it encompasses.

Three conditions prima facie form the basis of the regulation.

1) Pakistani co-producer

2) Pakistani cast

3) Shot outside India

While the first two can be rationalised as an impetus to their floundering movie industry , its the third which defies logic while simultaneously reminding us that ‘its the enemy’ at work here. How else can one assimilate the thought process that may have sourced such a stricture! How would shooting in India in any way reflect poorly on Pakistan? Unless of course there are ramifications in the Foreign office in both countries. But then again, if such an atmosphere is yet prevalent, then why lift the ban?

Pakistani films with their largely agrestic overtones have failed to capture the imagination of the masses in their home turf. Ever since films were being made in India, their popularity has been widely accepted in Pakistan. However, its the ‘black market’ there which prospered owing to the ban by Pakistan. Our stars, music, films, trends, even television, has a huge fan following there despite the dictatorship .

India on the other hand has warm heartedly welcomed Pakistani actors , music, musicians, singers with an almost childlike zest, eagerness and camaraderie. We have never condescended to imposing regulations of any kind on performing artists here. No law that demands an Indian counterpart or any such which would insidiously hint at monetary benefit for India!

Neither does it alter the popularity of the artist, his being a Pakistani,whether it was Nusrat fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen,Adnan Sami, Noor Jehan, Junoon, Strings. ‘Great Indian Laughter Challenge” a comedy show had as its winner a Pakistani !! The presently on ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ contest boasts of Pakistani singers competing neck to neck with Indians in an unbiased and impartial environ!! Talent has as if blurred /erased any man made boundaries or political rivalries.

Kudos to us Indians on that score!! On the flip side, are we over doing it?

Pakistans reciprocity or rather lack of it in the matter has always been a sore point with most Indians especially fundamentalists who often questioned the right of Pakistani artists to perform here openly in the scenario where Indians were denied similar access. Not that Indians yearned for it, since the market here as well as overseas was enough to keep the economics profitable.

Have we en masse now hynotised ourselves to eagerly accepting whatever may be dished out either from our own Government or now, Pakistan? Do we lack self esteem?

Despite the apparent snobbery involved in the stance of Pakistani officials, some Indian producers like the Bhatts, Mahesh and Mukesh, as if pounced on the opportunity, in deference to the diktat and now are eagerly awaiting their first release ‘ Awaarapan’ in Pakistan. Just thinking aloud..Does Mahesh Bhatts ‘muslim mother connection have to do with this alacrity in responding to the obviously one sided Pakistani ‘firmaan’.. we would never know.

However, adopting a balanced view, the fact that the Pakistani market or ‘territory’ as in film trade jargon can be safely considered almost as big as Mumbai , it provides enough incentive for Producers who wish to milk their film of every available source of revenue. After all why should the black marketeers sponge off the cream which is rightly due to the producer of the films that are so successful?

Therefore if one is a producer, then the offer is fairly palatable. But does it always have to be about gains , regardless of sentiments and self respect, non parity in affiliate interests? For a distanced and impartial Indian citizen, the high handedness seems unacceptable. After all this is a highly lucrative deal for Pakistan as well. Its remunerative perhaps more than their own films have ever been . Then why the uppity demeanour?

If steps are being taken to bring the countries closer, forge cordial alliances, as Musharraf has often stridently proclaimed, then ‘baby steps’ after 60 years will lead us nowhere. And this surely is one mini, baby step..not devoid of acrimonious after effects and bitter taste in the mouth!

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  1. Thought provoking Kaveeta !

    We always accept whatever little dished out to us whether from U.S of A or then Pakistan. That will never change.

    Comment by dilip — June 27, 2007 @ 3:08 pm | Reply

  2. Most of the times the first step, even in the right direction, needs a catalyst. Perhaps the Bhatt’s family background is one such catalyst. Nonetheless this change seems to be in the right direction. Now it seems more likely that someday, atleast from an economical perspective, the border between India and Pakistan will become completely porous. Hopefully thanks to this change, someday Mukesh Ambani will be able to sell more “Kela Silk” in Pakistan, and maybe then, with the incremental income he will be able to build another 60+ story building to spend some very private and personal moments (away from friend and family). The new building like the old building will ofcourse arouse a lot of envy from the Hoi Poi, but add to the economical activity of the region. Over all, this is good for India (& Pakistan and the region).

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 27, 2007 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  3. ‘Someday’ seems a long way off Shaan. A more open, transparent, fair exchange would have certainly precipitated development.

    So you envisage M.A. spending ‘personal and private moments’ sans family? Knowing him ( vicariously..through reports) he is a family man to the hilt. This is an aspect of his character methinks noteworthy and praiseworthy. Incidentally the next contender after Shah Jahan.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 27, 2007 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

  4. When Britain took over Hong Kong for a hundred years (because China lost a war that Britain imposed on a poor and feeble China, in order to enable them, i.e Britain, to sell narcotic drugs to Chinese population), China wisely said that a hundred years in the life of a nation is nothing.

    Such matters take long. To be destructive is easy, but it takes a lot of effort and time to move forward. I am just happy that India and Pakistan is moving forward. Less hate, less wars, less killing and more business. Wow.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 28, 2007 @ 12:35 am | Reply

  5. hey..Why has it not take us any time to ‘move forward’?

    Comment by Neha — June 28, 2007 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  6. well a long time after..

    the rains are washing the maximum city n there the across the arabian sea u have the so-called neighbours rubbing it on!!

    why do we have to still let gandhigiri overwhelm us? we have the pak clowns, the pak singers n the pak terrorists!! all of them n we feed, greet them with almost a warmth n affection as if we don have any derth @ our back yard.. we are so concerned to show that we define the phrase – the world is a family, albeit.. poisoned!! parasitic!! worm eaten!!

    china redraws the tawang road maps.. they build roads up to the everest base camp spoilin it all n then in the international domain, indian map sans kashmir.. n lo!! if these were not enuf u have the half brother jumping up to catch a stare 🙂 man!! have we lost it all? or the taps of generous.. open minded.. soups have just dissolved any worldly sense that we need to keep in the 21st century??!!

    arts/science/sports/entetainment.. we have a lot to clap to.. showcase n just to get a dash of flash.. sum more trp, do we need the people from the ‘half moon’ nation come n go – with such kinda principles??

    talent is universal… n india is the circus where all the clowns have grabbed the limelite… aint time we just cut the crap n let the ego take over??

    or the poverty deep down in the system has made us comfortably numb to the spices of international playz??

    Comment by saptarshi — June 28, 2007 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

  7. Shaan..Nothing can be more desirable than an extended period or finality of peace in the region. But whether these are the steps that define actualisation of the process, even if a slow one, is debatable. On the contrary I think that they are not willing to give peace and cordiality a chance. There is a certain amount of double talk taking place as also a cloak and dagger approach. Their stance in the comparatively trivial issue as even the one posted above is a clear indication that suspicion->wariness->coldness->stalemate is the current story.

    Sapt.. Where have you been? Nywayz ..good to see you 🙂

    I dont know what it is that makes us stop short of assertiveness. Is it the ingrained sense of values and righteousness? But does that necessarily have to translate into a resigned state of acceptance where our stand can be misunderstood as being ideal candidates in a ‘pushover’ contest?

    Yes, Sapt, the compulsions of the economic kinds do and have played a role. but what is relevant here is that Pakistan is in comparatively greater and dire financial straits. Yet they can as if call the shots.

    While personally I have nothing against the average citizen of Pakistan who I believe is as disturbed at the abnormal relations with India and as perturbed as us Indians, it is the covert operations of the administration which is the focus of the post. They ought to be made to realise that if the betterment of the Pakistani is their intention then their foreign policy needs to be revamped urgently. It is definitely not benefitting them either on the economic or social spheres.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 28, 2007 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  8. Kaveetaa- interesting post.
    I am of the opinion that Gen. Musharraf (born in delhi- i think) is slowly trying to make Pakisatani society more open to indian influences and likewise expects india to do the same. The problem with Musharraf is that Pakistan is too fragile currently to bring sweeping radical reform (even in foreign policy or social reform). Hence I see these as the first baby steps towards a longer term ambition to make Pakistan a more liberal society. I think its easy to criticise the “covert operations” of the present political elite/administration in pakistan. I ask you this- what other option do we have. I would rather have a military junta in pakistan who pass rather inconsequential laws (e.g. for the indian movie industry)- instead of having a democratically elected “jihadi” group (many of whom think india is a threat and indian society is ‘haram’) which passes laws and decrees that could potentially harm india in other spheres like national security etc.
    So I guess we shouldn’t say things like “For a distanced and impartial Indian citizen, the high handedness seems unacceptable. ” OR “Have we en masse now hynotised ourselves to eagerly accepting whatever may be dished out either from our own Government or now, Pakistan”. I think in the current political context this was a brave step in Pakistan. Also this feeling that we as “Indians” are victims can be very dangerous. After all Hitler in Mein Kampf played on this same “victim-culture” to justify anti-semitism.
    A Note: I have been observing your blogs for almost a year now. Whats surprising (and scary) is that a lot of people who post comments on your post (as well as the young people I meet in india) sometimes have very strong and dogmatic nationalistic sentiments (in an increasing globalised world ironically)- even when it comes to dealing (or feeling how our neighbours deal with us) with our neighbours. I think we Indians need to learn from Europe (birthplace of nation states). Strong, dogmatic (and more often that not irrational) nationalistic sentiments/rhetoric have been a major driver of ghastly acts like genocides, ethnic cleansing etc. in Europe for over 500 years now. When it comes to matters like foreign policy, race relations etc., we should be driven by humanity, understanding and the moral Law of (as you once quoted) “never harm anybody”- rather than expect our neighbours to “enact laws” which we feel are right. If we all (indians and pakistanis) can realise/practise this then perhaps one day, we can hope for India-Pakistan Unification- rather than just peace.

    Comment by Murat — June 28, 2007 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  9. China wants to contain India and US wants to contain China. The main players are China and USA. Neither India nor Pakistan (in that region) can really do anything without the approval of US and China (and still to some extend Russia). In International relationship such crab walk is typical.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 28, 2007 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  10. Murat..will you consider the contention that you might be reading more than what has been intended?

    It was amusing really.. Me ? Victim culture? anti semitism? Hitler? Hey this is sensationalising the post to a greater degree more than even Mallikas Sherawats outrageous statements.

    e.g ” Strong, dogmatic (and more often that not irrational) nationalistic sentiments/rhetoric have been a major driver of ghastly acts like genocides, ethnic cleansing etc. in Europe for over 500 years now.”

    Murat are you mistaking the average citizen in India to be the ‘driver of ghastly acts like genocides…..” Puhleeaase.. What I do feel strongly instead is that its libertarians ( for want of a better description) like you who press the panic button at the first indication of nationalism or nationalistic fervour. If you opine strongly, as you do often, it is logicalised as ‘humanity, understanding and moral law’. (By your own submission, I have referred to it often on these very posts, since the last year) but our statements are viewed in the light of extremism, radicalism or whatever ‘ism’ that defines unreasonability.

    In light of the fact that my parents were born in Lahore, my roots therefore are linked to Pakistan, perhaps the pain is greater to see the situation ‘blowing hot and blowing cold’ sporadically. I cannot speak for the other commenters who visit her, I dont have comment moderation,but your comment bemusedly gave me the feeling as if I was condoning/ propogating a blog with hidden agenda of pre-1947 scenario. Its absurd really.. though on second thoughts.. not so quirky. Blogging as an exercise is difficult. One is subconsciously attempting to say the maximum in the minimum words and time. Unless there is a similar wave length and frequency where the unspoken is also perhaps assimilated, words are but poor conveyors of varied, complex sentiments.

    India cannot turn into europe.. Murat, in thoughts,perspectives, nationalitic sentiments.. as much as Europe cannot replicate India in all her myriad shades. We have a history which bears down on us and a present which is not too comfortable either. Detecting bombs, explosives in some part of India as an almost daily ritual and closing our eyes to the fingers pointed in the direction of North west is a reality we live with on a daily basis.

    Yet we dare to hope that tensions will diffuse and normalcy in whatever fashion possible will one day be a truism. When hopes get dashed by small gestures tell tale as they are, dangers then assume significance. Do we continue to dream or fall prey to our fears and insecurities. It is not for us to decide what choice of administration there ought to be in pakistan.. God Knows we have plenty to worry about here in India, when even the choice of a president is raking in the kind of confusion quite unprecedented.

    There is a chance that those on far shores like yourself cannot feel the palpability of the environment, and may interpret anxiety as dogmatism, frustration as overly nationalistic sentiments. To me, it is like a furiously boiling pot of water which will cool down instantly,as it would with a few cubes of ice.. What we require is the thawing of tensions , a spate of relief, from exploding problems ever since the birth of our nation.

    You have to live here to know that the insecurities from all fronts which we have taken immunity to, have taken a toll as well. WE can take nothing for granted here..not even the fact that if you are educated a job will be available..roti kapda makaan is a struggle.. not within the ambit of this post but perhaps meant to elucidate what is the Indian youth about.. Like I said.. words are but poor medium of expression. I needed a post to explain my post and more.. I think.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 28, 2007 @ 6:36 pm | Reply

  11. Shaan. the power play you mention has been prevalent forever now. On a broader level India has perhaps not achieved the manner of global presence one would have expected. But the fact is that if India and Pakistan decide to join forces and determinedly persist in keeping up alliances, USA and China will have to accept.. Maybe this is what Usa fears most.. the coming together of India and Pakistan and therefore feeds the raging fires.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 28, 2007 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  12. This is a very complex issue (ofcourse my forte is to break down complex issues and talk about them in layman’s terms).

    After 2010 the incremental increase in new Oil find/production will be far less than the incremental increase in the demand of Oil. In other words after 2010 we can expect to start seeing the difference between haves and have nots. Those nations that have Oil or access to Oil will grow at the expense of those that do not have the access to Oil. All the jockeying these days is to be in a position to have unhindered access to Oil (read Middle East).

    From this perspective Pakistan has become China’s Israel. While India has become USA’s Iraq (the former Iraq which was used very effectively to control and contain Iran). Therefore, this is just an old chess game that has been played out before.

    Ofcourse Nuclear energy will change the current status quo completely. Nuclear fuel can become a far more efficient substitute for Oil. The powers to be want to see that the future trade in Nuclear Fuel will be controlled by a few players so that the benefit accrues (read Moocho Dineros) only to the few (USA, Russia, UK, France & China plus one or two more). Iran does not want to be left behind, and feels that as a current Oil producer it should have an automatic entry into any future energy trade club. But allowing entrance to Iran would mean that all current Oil producers will use that as an excuses to produce Nuclear fuel and if every one starts producing the fuel then who will the future energy trade club sell the fuel to ? Unfortunately, making Nuclear fuel is not that difficult, even IIT Bombay has the knowledge to do that (Perhaps even a good REC). Hence an International Law is necessary to control the production and guarantee the revenue to a select few.

    Within this mess are two countries India and Pakistan (Veer Singh and Zaara Hayat Khan) divided by the cunning of the evil British trying to find a way to embrace each other and their common past. All they want is to sing “Tere Liye” to each other while the International Bodies decide their future. Will Veer be allowed Zaara ? We hope so and we thank YRF for showing us the way forward 🙂

    So not only am I the world’s greatest lover but also a genius LOL How do you like those damn apples now ? (Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting)

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 28, 2007 @ 8:03 pm | Reply

  13. Kaveetaa,
    I think there is a misunderstanding. Its the limitation of language (as you refer to). I had no intention of senstionalising this post. Also your statements were NOT “viewed in the light of extremism, radicalism ……”
    All I am saying is that we should be careful when we say start feeling “anxiety”, “frustration” or even victimised- rather than coming up with workable and rational solutions or even trying to engage with the system to bring change.
    When people feel frustrated, victimised and anxious (rather than hope) they are more likely to subscribe to extreme views/actions because they see it as a release valve- and that is where the problems start. History (indian history too) teaches us this.
    Coming back to the original post- i think we should laud Pakistan for lifting the ban (albeit conditionally) and see it as a step in the right direction- rather than seeing what immediate utility lifting this ban brings.
    I DO look forward to your post on the causes of anxiety and frustrations amongst indians, especially since I “cannot feel the palpability of the environment” (even though I am indian and live in india for atleast a quarter of the year). And who knows, you may also make this autistic “libertarian” empathise with his own people.

    Comment by Murat — June 28, 2007 @ 8:14 pm | Reply

  14. Shaan ..I see you do specialise in simplifying the complex 😉

    There seems to be a ‘Coal Rush’!

    Cannot ascertain how that bodes for your theory…am just a layman.

    For the umpteenth time.. What is with you and YRF? I loved Veer Zaara though..belong to the small minority still holding on guardedly to their quaint old fashioned ideas on love and all that jazz.

    Not buying your parting shot at all!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 28, 2007 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

  15. Murat,

    I really dont know how many of my posts you have read. I am a strong advocate of ‘all things bright and beautiful’ which includes noble sentiments like hope, harmony, peace and goodwill. However, in the stark, naked light of reality, one is sometimes forced to perceive what one had wished remain hidden. If you are so convinced of the positivity in this regulation, I will not stubbornly refuse to join you in this optimistic stance.

    But hey.. your last para.. Do I need sense a tinge of sarcasm? Id rather carry on with the feeling of optimism ..its infectious. But be warned pal, you will be answerable to moi!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 28, 2007 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  16. Diesel from Coal is one of the many options on card. So is solar engery. On the other Bio-Diesel will make food so expensive that the cure is worst than the disease. Unfortunately the world wide energy demand cannot be met by all the Non Oil and Non Nuclear options. Hence Nuclear fuel (in the absence of a Oil) is perhaps going to become a reality. It is safe and cheap.

    BTW, I know you don’t want to know anything about YRF, but don’t miss CDI. It is faster paced and more audience friendly than “Ab Tak Chappan” yet very gripping. The movie is guaranteed to get the audience rooting for the girls as well as THE MAN behind these girl who is trying to recover from a remorseful past. I think the Indian subcontinent will enjoy the movie. Having read some of your post I think you will like it. NOW DONT ASK too many questions on this issue. See the movie and then judge my comment.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 28, 2007 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

  17. achcha baba achcha.. .Shall see and shall decide and shall curse.. most . What of JBJ? How come they went for a toss there?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — June 29, 2007 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  18. I liked the unique story of JBJ (I understand that it was panned in India). It required Shirish Kunder and Akshay Kumar, but instead got the very overrated Shaad Ali (B&B was for the ignorant, by the ignorant) and the media created monstrosity, Lil C.

    I agree that the screenplay lacked attitude and did injustice to the story, but the visual narration was even more dull. I could not digest the fact that all Punju characters were talking like Bhaiyas from UP.

    On paper a great investment, but execution was terrible.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — June 29, 2007 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  19. So finally there exists another who liked Shirish Kunder’s work in Jaaneman! And hated B&B!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 3, 2007 @ 8:39 am | Reply

  20. Right now I am being lulled to a blissful sleep by the continuous, dependable and soothing breeze coming from the Barbaros Bay (Bordum, Mugla, Turkey) and the shade of a century old olive tree. It is a little past high noon here. It is 90 plus temp (but zero humidity) but so wonderful in the shade . It is as if being in heaven.

    Yes I believe that Shirish is a genius but was trying a little too hard in his first outing to instantly impress people. If only he would just be himself (relax). Same problem with K Jo in KANK, he made the movie to impress critics (if only he had listened to his inner voice). Yet K Jo’s experience and abundant talent pulled it through, KANK was an all round decent attempt. I overall liked KANK (even THE old lame stinky horse) but just Shirish Kunder’s efforts in JEM (and Preity Women who I never dislike).

    B&B made me almost throw up. The Taj part was just too insulting. People is USA are not dumb (for heaven’s sake US rules the world and not Shaad “Bhaiya” AlI).

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 3, 2007 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  21. Ah ha ..Good for you! Enjoy the kebabs garnished with olive oil dressing and to die for salads. Have you tried the Turkish delight? And marzipan cakes? if you have a sweet tooth, you are in for a treat. I’ve been to Turkey i.e Ankara Izmir and Istanbul and as expected spent most of my time in the know where.. the Gold souk. Amazing handiwork. The male gaze kinda unsettles you ..but it was some time ago. I believe things have changed now. And ofcourse the tiny cups of Kahva they keep replenishing at regular intervals.

    K jo tried.. must grant him that. But the basic premise was wrong. In the sense that for no apparent cause adults dont bid adieu to their marriage..of course affairs abound. But…..whod want to leave Lil C ( despite your passionate protest) for a cantankerous grouchy Sk ?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 3, 2007 @ 10:29 pm | Reply

  22. If you have not been to Turkey even in the last five years it will come as a surprise. Since the fall of Soviet Empire, Turkey has re-acquired the markets in the former Soviet Union. This boom along with the general world wide boom in the economy in the last ten years has changed the face of Turkey. I don’t know of a single country which has changed so dramatically and so fast.

    As far as KANK is concerned, Rani married Lil C for all the wrong reasons (gratitude more than anything else), she broke up because she did not want to live a deception any more. She never loved him. It took an affair for her to finally really face the facts. Perhaps it would have been easier to live the lie had Lil C’s character been more mature, hence though Lil C’s immaturity did contribute, it was just a secondary reason. Looking at KANK from Rani’s side of the equation, SRK was just an accident waiting to happen. It could have been anyone.

    Now look at it from SRK’s side of the equation. KANK shows how thin the line is between love and hate. SRK perhaps hated Rani more than anyone else. His effort to live up to her fetish got him into an accident that killed his career and changed his life. Preity Woman’s self centeredness in this case was just a secondary reason, the instant combustion between SRK and Rani was destined to happen. Ofcourse one can argue that had Preity been more accommodating of his emotional bruises or had his son been better at soccer, things may have evolved in a different direction. In the case of SRK also, the affair made him realize how little he loved Preity.

    Hence I see SRK and Rani as the biblical Adam and Eve who after tasting the forbidden fruit became aware of their shame. Rani left Lil C because that was the right thing to do. She did not leave Lil C for SRK. It is another matter that the arch of the story brings Rani and SRK together.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 4, 2007 @ 2:55 am | Reply

  23. “Rani married Lil C for all the wrong reasons (gratitude more than anything else), she broke up because she did not want to live a deception any more. She never loved him.”

    Gratitude? Nothing of the sort came across. One never got to fathom exactly what it was that made her so dis-enamoured with Abhi.And the rest ‘of course was an accident waiting to happen. There are far more tangible reasons, even emotionally for a couple to drift apart need not have been so ambiguous..when all K jo had to do was perhaps express the lack of compatibility, hardened demeanour and other subtleties that can tear this delicate relationship apart. Therein lies the major flaw of Kank..baseless conflict then assuming monstrous proportions.

    Perhaps you should read this:

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 4, 2007 @ 11:56 am | Reply

  24. Well you and I disagree on KANK.

    The incompatibly between Rani and Lil C was on a higher Maslow hierarchy. It was there and very obvious. In USA these kind of incompatibilities are the common reasons for relationships falling apart (most of the time the cause is not very melodramatic). Nonetheless, just like the Desi cooking, perhaps the cause for incompatibility needed some extra spice in order to be palatable to the Desi audience. I think K Jo could have made this more audience friendly but instead chose to please the critics. I saw this as a very refreshing and gutsy choice, but I as a money bag, I can see why people did not get it. In India, women are used to abuse (sadly and unfortunately) and hence Lil C’s childishness was a non issue to Indian audience. Short of physical or mental abuse I cannot think of anything that would have satisfied the Indian audience, but I am sure that the genius that K Jo is, he could have found a very acceptable reason, if only he had listened to himself rather than attempt to please the critics.

    Although we disagree I hope you might be able see the movie from the perspective of Rani trying to take control of her life. I think somewhere along the line, Big B also figures out that Rani was just trying to re-play her debt to him and hence recommends that she leave Lil C.

    SRK had the most complex role ever written for a Desi star actor in a big budget Bollywood movie. The fact that he still makes us feel for him (given the sand paper like personality of his character) is a tribute to his charisma. He was in KANK, a man overwhelmed by events out of his control. He was once a “Man on the top”, and wished to be back of on the top again, that is why he lashed out at people. It gave him a sense of control. See how he relishes making Big B squirm at the infamous birthday lunch. The affair was his Kalinga, a phyric victory. He realizes how counter productive he has been and how little he loves Preity. He too, post the affair, wants a fresh start. I wish that K Jo had just showed them entering a hotel, i.e.just suggested that they had sex. SRK is today a Ram to the Indian audience and they cannot digest him doing anything wrong in a slice of life kind of film (Don was a fantasy like film).

    Finally I wish K Jo had kept the focus on SRK and Rani. By giving an extended exposure to Preity and Lil C he distracted the arc of the story.

    Hence the three gripes of a money bag looking at KANK would be:

    i) Should have made the incompatibility more audience friendly
    ii) Should have not shown SRK having sex with Rani
    iii) Should have reduced Preity and Lil C’s role

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 4, 2007 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  25. Now First of all Shaan..Is that all you think of me? I take serious objection to your bracketing me under ‘Indian audience, desi audience whatever.. which I am, an Indian woman.. but my review is my opinion. It has nothing to do with the rejection of the film in India. I’d stand by my review even if Kank went on to becoming the biggest block buster since Sholay.

    ” Short of physical or mental abuse I cannot think of anything that would have satisfied the Indian audience”

    Not so at all. But neither can we turn a non issue into an earth shattering conflictual turning point. Yes, as Indians we do take marriage seriously and excuse to break a family has to be more tangible than an ‘immature hubby’. I am sure Shaan if a survey was conducted in India, 75% of the women would have accepted that at some point of time in their life their men have been boys, maybe even the teen age variety. But marriage is a commitment, and flimsy explanations of the kind should not hold water. Attractions towards the opposite sex is a given, but whether or not you feed the fire is up to each individual. So therefore a whimsical Rani.. in search of finding her own’ was lame.

    It appeared as if K Jo was in too much of a hurry to get on with the SRk rani angle to delve into the reasons for their liaison.

    And how can you say that Indians do not accept extra marital affairs, unless a melodramatic twist is not included? Murder, has gone on to being one of the biggest block busters ever and the female protagonist Mallika had as little cause to an affair as the clothes on her body!

    It is finally the treatment, the interweaving of scenes, their pitch, and the incidents that take the film in the direction intended..which is where Kank failed. The characters were not identifiable. While we may know of them as individuals, as couples they did not work..the story did not.

    Regarding ii.. The juncture, juxtaposition was so poor as was the handling and the treatment. It just failed to evince any emotion. If the film was proceeding towards an end where these two were gonna come together then it was so necessary that sparks fly in their physical intimacy, passion is real and urgency is peaked.. but none of it. In fact there was more in the scenes between rani and abhi..the reason why you wanted them to be together.

    iii) No.. their role was Ok.. needed I think. Unless screen time was instead diverted towards a building up of the cracks in the relations between the both the couples.

    Hmmm.. and the money bag ought to have had a script reading with an expert to iron out these flaws. Sometimes even the presence of names is just not enough. And puhleeaase the bad business cannot be attributed to ‘Indian audiences not willing to look at truth in the face’ or some such weird philosophy dished out by the team..Any truth can be accepted today..provided the truth portrayed.. bears a ring of truth!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 4, 2007 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

  26. If the first line sounded angry.. well I was then.. am better now 🙂

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 4, 2007 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  27. I once described torture as the point at which organization meets disorganization; Maturity meets immaturity; Optimism meets pessimism; Sweet water meets sea water. Hence for me Rani was living in a state of sheer torture. For me there is no doubt about this. Whatever you say about the movie, that much is crystal clear. Hence, I insist (without any intention of directing it personally at you) that the cause was there but due to difference in perspective could not be seen as clearly in India/Pakistan. I have been party to similar debate on cuisines also, e.g. most Indians/Pakistanis find everything bland unless there is a ton of fifty million spices in the food.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 5, 2007 @ 4:27 am | Reply

  28. If you do sincerely believe that Rani was living in a state of sheer torture, since settling for anything less than perfection went against the grain of her character, then I can with a fair amount of certainty aver that every woman or man for that matter, who has entered into matrimony ,is living in torture!For love is only a temporary insanity cured by marriage.

    As for me well.. Nobody is perfect.. I am Nobody >>cheesy? Just..

    Surely there must be some distinction between gastronomical titillations and marriage!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 5, 2007 @ 6:01 pm | Reply

  29. Well she had a fetish for cleanliness, but that is not the same as saying that she did not want to settle for anything less than perfect. Anyway, think about it, she marries Lil C against her better judgment, just to re-pay her debt to Big B (She does not love Lil C or is sexually attracted to him).To make matters worse, Lil C is immature and childish and she is just the opposite. In such circumstances the probability of an affair is almost a certainty.

    On the other hand SRK life changed because of his chance meeting with Rani. He goes from a hero to a zero. His wife has no use for him. His son through whom he could live his life cannot play soccer. He is bitter and angry.

    The arc of story had to bring them together and unite them. So far everything is wonderful. Unfortunately in an attempt to please Jaya Bachchan, K Jo extended Lil C’s role. This not only disrupted the arc of the story but also confused the audience. We are having this discussion simply because Lil C had a bigger role than the movie demanded. Imagine this movie with a less of Lil C and Preity. Imagine where the focus was just the SRK and Rani saga, with Lil C and Peity just filling in the background. Now try to rework the screenplay and make the conflict between Rani and Lil C on a lower Maslow hierarchy (Maybe Lil C was impotent 🙂 well that was a joke but you know what I mean). Finally remove the sex scene between SRK and Rani.

    That my dear is a winner (KANK also made a lot of money, just add atleast 30 Cr).

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 5, 2007 @ 9:27 pm | Reply

  30. “Imagine this movie with a less of Lil C and Preity. Imagine where the focus was just the SRK and Rani saga, with Lil C and Peity just filling in the background.”

    It would have perhaps worked if there were lesser(!) stars in place of Abhi and Preity. These two command an attraction from the audience in general and even in the roles they portrayed in particular. If the sympathy vote had to go in favour of SRK and Rani which ideally it ought to since that was the thrust of the film then Abhi’s role ought to have been played by a not so likable Aftab or some such and Preitys with Tanushree Dutta types. But the trouble is that K Jo and YRF consider it below their dignity to take on a cast which does not smack of A listers.. But it sometimes gets to be their undoing.. as in this case.

    The angst that follows a decision to separate/divorce was never really brought out. Ranis pain was never real. Abhis pain was more palpable as was Preitys. So you see what happened. I felt sorry for these two. Definitely a major scripting and screenplay flaw, which proved to be fatal.

    Kank may have made money but one can attribute that to ‘curiosity value’. The ensemble was great, packaging interesting.. they definitely got the audience in, but not gushing with praise as might have been much within graspable limits, had there been a script supervisor..oriented towards Indian sensibilities, worldwide.

    That my dear would have been a winner..add atleast 50 crores and a ‘bursting with joy and confidence’ K Jo and SRK.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 6, 2007 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  31. You will now think I am demented but listen to this.

    On my way flight to Istanbul (I joined friends there and we sailed to Barbaros Bay in Bodrum Peninsula on a friend’s yacht) I ran into an air hostess I know. During our conversation she found out that I would be flying back with her also. She inquired if I wanted anything special for the return flight (generally I request a special dish or something). Nonetheless this time I requested a good SRK movie. Lo and behold the end result is that Turkish Airlines will be playing KANK as one of the in flight movies for the whole month of July 2007.

    Hence I saw KANK once again. I stand by everything I said. If Lil C and Preity are limited to the requirement of the story (unfortunate thanks to Jaya Bachchan’s politicking Lil C’s role got extended), the movie is solid as gold. Even now, some scenes are just simply good writing. K Jo is a genius.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 8, 2007 @ 6:11 am | Reply

  32. …sigh…Previous to this, an element doubt did supersede a confirmation..but now I am unshakably convinced dear Shaan that you are wholly totally, completely Loony!

    Btw does K Jo have any idea that there exists on this very planet a genius who goes with the handle name of Shaan Khan and who is his all time greatest fan? Honestly your hypnotic enchantment into this trance like state is touching! Any guesses as to how this cataleptic condition achieved such proportions..or”Were you always like this? When did this affliction come on ?”


    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 8, 2007 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  33. Maybe people know about me maybe they don’t. Not “everything” in life is about me. I don’t let such issues concern me. For example it does not bother me that you refereed to me merely as a genius and not as the devilishly handsome, tall & athletic genius with light hazel eyes. I know that I am not the best thing since sliced bread, I know that I may be just one of the best things since sliced bread. I am not vain. I am pragmatic.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 9, 2007 @ 12:31 am | Reply

  34. Excuse moi s’il vous plait Pragmatique Sir.. Mon Dieu..Silly me, overlooked mentioning narcissistic, commitment phobic, lover of anorexic females (Kangana)…Wont happen again..Cross my heart. In fact will have whipped up a few more to do with K JO 🙂

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 9, 2007 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

  35. Please don’t bring the dew drop like innocent angel, Kangana into this. May she have a long prosperous life and career (many YRF/DP/RC movies).

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 9, 2007 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  36. OMG!!”dew drop like innocent angel, Kangana”!!

    I wonder what a certain 6ft2, athletic, slim, light eyed gentleman who goes by the initials of AP would have to say about this!

    Now I know why the heavy promotion on K madame..a YRF heroine is it? I had no idea. Rc and Dp too? Ooo someones going places? So money bags..quite a gamble there huh?

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — July 10, 2007 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  37. AP is a fat bald pig ( May ZW be India’s answer to Lorena Babbitt). Yes Kangana has the potential to go places but as they say you can lead the horse/mare to the water but cannot make him/her drink it. At the end it is up to her.

    Comment by Shaan Khan — July 10, 2007 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

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