‘Katti Batti:’ Dead loss!

Katti Batti is an attempt to make a contemporary film about love at first sight and the couple deciding to get in to a live-in relationship. If a movie on a live-in relationship is new generation, the germ of the story and the treatment meted out to the film are so old-fashioned, it desensitises your mind and feelings.

Imran Khan is a student of architecture in Ahmedabad. He is supposed to be a scholar type and to that end the makers add thick-rimmed black spectacles to his look. While walking through the college common passages, he spots some colourful paper birds landing around him. He looks around to see Kangana Ranaut as the maker of the flight of birds. She gestures to say that she is doing it out of boredom in her classroom. While Imran has his name inscribed on his school kit, Kangana has a tattoo printed near her ankle pointing to the anklets she wears to convey that her name is Payal! That establishes she is a trendy girl of today, while he is old school.

However, Imran is not all that old school for he readily opts for a live-in relationship with Kangana. Imran becomes instantly possessive of her and has a fight with Vivaan Bhatena, a college toughie because he teased his girlfriend aka Kangana. To his chagrin, Kangana informs that the fight was because he happened to be her ex-boyfriend whom she dropped like a hot potato two days after meeting Imran. Imran has a friend who seems to have been pasted on him with Fevicol! At home, at college, at work, so much so that their sexual preferences are questioned. Well, this is the trivia that dominates the contents of this film. 

Imran and his friends are the star architects of their office with a boss who is a caricature of a South Indian loudmouth, with decibel levels that breaks the sound barrier. In this office, you never see anybody working, let alone looking like architects. Either they are flirting, sleeping around or fighting around office fixtures.

After spending five years as partners, Imran and Kangana part ways, which Imran celebrates by guzzling down four bottles of phenyl. Constant fights were the reason for them parting. The couple decides to smoke a peace pipe with a break in Goa but end up having a fight just before boarding the flight. Imran turns back leaving Kangana alone and that is the last he sees of her. She has vanished, is incommunicado and none of her friends are willing to help Imran find her. So you spend an hour-long yawn trip with Imran trying to find her, sobbing all the way in regret of losing her. 

That is about two hours into the film when the filmmakers decide to tell you what this film was all about! Which, in today’s media and social network era, just about everybody seems to know already. 

The scripting, direction, music - songs as well as background score and editing are not worth discussing. While Kangana is burdened with an ill-conceived characterisation that can’t salvage an inch of the film, Imran proves to be a liability. Rest are inconsequential. 

Katti Batti has disaster written all over it. The period from Ganesh festival to Diwali was never considered the right period to release a film, except for those which carried no hope.

Producer: Siddharth Roy Kapur

Director: Nikhil Advani

Cast: Imran Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Vivaan Bhatena

‘Meeruthiya Gangsters:’ What a waste!

The movies on UP and Bihar gangs are forced down the audiences’ throat despite regular rejections. The problem is that the audience does not care for a local small-town loser who unwittingly tastes success in a crime and becomes a regular gangster when the real-life one comes from the metros of India!

Some people may even need to Google where Meeruth (now Meerut) is! One of the best films ever made on these local gangs wasSaher (2005) starring Arshad Warsi but that also failed. What we have here is a film with an utterly senseless story to tell.

There are six college buddies of irrelevant pedigree as far as Hindi cinema is concerned. They look anything but college-going youth. However, anything goes when you are spinning a story about such a state as UP. The boys seek a job in a big private company for which they are needed to pay Rs 75,000 per head. There is some company in Meerut, which agrees to hire them en masse and promises all of them big posts along with big pay packages! But, they have no means of raising such a huge sum so they take to looting. The first victim is the very bar where this broke gang keeps guzzling beer. 

Besides the bribe per head, they are also expected to entertain the boss of the company with a party, which means imported booze and a girl to go with it. After meeting the demands of the boss to be, the guys soon realise that the boss and the middleman have both conned them. They take the middleman as a hostage and demand ransom from his family. When they succeed, they decide to make this their regular business.

The guys may all look unkempt and thug-like but the girls they court would give the South Delhi disco crowd a complex! The gang now looks for bigger targets for ransom. They choose a company’s CA where the girlfriend of one of the gangsters works. Here starts the old belief that when a woman enters a scene, a bunch of friends will soon be divided. 

The next big heist is planned. The target this time is the crorepati boss of the girl in the gang. His kidnap is too big for the UP cops to ignore. Enter Rahul Dev, a Dirty Harry kind of cop who believes neither in wearing a uniform nor discipline. The rest is utter bull, which one wonders if even UPites would identify with!

The film is poor in all respects. It has no script worth its name, poor direction with jerks and unexplained scenes aplenty. Musical score sounds like a picnic medley. Performances are stagy. Editing is non-existent. Production values are poor and a lot of liberty is taken with location as you don’t know whether the action is taking place in Meerut, Noida, Dehradun or Mumbai.

Meeruthiya Gangster is a total waste of time. 

Producers: Prashant Tiwari, Prateek Tiwari, Shoeb Ahmed

Director: Zeishan Quadri

Cast: Sanjay Mishra, Rahul Dev, Brijendra Kala and others

‘MSG2: The Messenger:’ A selfie

Late last evening while returning from PVR Juhu, I met three lads and two girls sporting the Gurmet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insaan (GRRSJI) T-shirts. They wanted to know how to get to CST (VT) to be able to catch a train to Kaylan, which is another town on the outskirts of Mumbai! I told them to take some transport to Sion, which is closer to Kalyan by miles and more approachable than the CST.  But, while they waited for a bus or something, they discussed fare comparison between a bus and a rickshaw. 

This group was ‘imported’ from Karnal in Punjab and carried the smell of sarson ka tel (mustard oil), applied to body after bath as a routine where they came from. I got used to the smell after a while. They had come to PVR, Juhu all the way from Kalyan to find out if their net booking tickets could be collected a day before. Well, all they had to do was just show the reference of the booking on their cell phone and they could get in. 

This lot was the typical GRRSJI devotees, who volunteered to ‘throng’ the 75 screens booked by the Guru in Mumbai (though the thronging crowd had to be transported to Mumbai from Karnal, in fact a village nearby Karnal.)

There you have the story of GRRJI’s foray into filmmaking.

This time, in the sequel, GRRSJI plays the Superman once again. This time, he recounts his year spent with an Adivasi lot (tribal) who used to roam naked and had no touch with the modern world. GRRJI has a job on his hand. He needs to bring them in touch with the realities. He teaches them to dress, build schools for them, also hospitals and other amnesties albeit, after destroying the traditional evil adivasi leaders who control their lives.

GRRSJI has superpowers, he overcomes all villains; changes the lot of tribals and comes back happily to his base preparing for his next sequel.

As I was enlightened by his five followers, MSG1 was completed in 67 days while this one took just 47 days! In the first instalment GRRSJI handled 17 technical departments like story, action and music. His followers are waiting to count how many more he has mastered this time. 

GRRSJI has his own funds, own marketing (last time PVR did it for him; this time he stayed back in Mumbai at a suburban seven star to find some ‘reputed’ corporate house to do the needful). But, one thing is sure, he also transports in his own audience with a Mumbai sightseeing as a bonus for another 10 days, which he promises, Mumbai like nobody else ever seen before!

Producer and everything else: GRRSJI.

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