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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Say No to 'NO SMOKING'

If ever there was a film made with the sole purpose of frustrating the very principle of Tolerance; if ever there was a film made with the single minded motivation of blending all imaginable atrocities into a single celluloid cyanide; if ever there was a film which dragged the staunchest of abstainers to seedy corners of the cinema-hall during the interval, forcing them to take the first puff of their lives in utter desperation and mental vacuum, then, surely my friends, the film would be ‘No Smoking’.

Anurag Kashyap, has ensured that cigarette smoking in this nation is taken up as a welcome respite from films such as his and I am certain a good amount of moolah (as a token of appreciation) is already headed his way from the ITC coffers. Though this might not prove a sufficient compensation for the losses Vishal Bharadwaj (the producer of this 'torture') will incur, the rape of sanity and the risk of destabilizing the rational thought process in every individual who ventured out to watch this hideous film will remain irreparable.

The film starts with a Siberian shoot-out, followed by a series of events which takes its time to settle into the minds of the audience. Slowly, the curtains are drawn off the GREAT plot.
A strapping John Abraham {mysteriously named ‘K’ (understandably the audience had their own lewd interpretations of it)} who cannot live a moment of his waking hour without puffing at the cancer-stick is threatened with separation by his wife/secretary Anjali (the voluptuous Ayesha Takia) unless he quits. Faced with this imminent loss he goes into a rehabilitation centre (called Prayogshalaa – which when translated comes to either ‘laboratory’ or ‘work-shop’ but never anything close to 'rehabilitation' surprisingly) recommended by his old friend Abbas Tyrewala ( Ranvir Shorey). A head-churning sequence ensue where burqa-clad women throng the Prayogshalaa call-centre and fix appointments with the infinitely efficacious Bangali Baba Sealdah-walaa ( played by a stubble-sporting Paresh Rawal) who eliminates all addictions at the measly cost of 21-lakh rupees. K is forced to sign on an agreement which jeopardizes the life and safety of his entire family in the eventuality of him smoking again, which he obviously dares to, in crass defiance of the Baba’s diktat. Kissed with a number of handicaps within a span of a few reckless hours, he is kept on the treadmill of artificial anxiety by the Baba and his cronies. As if the pathetically painted expressions across John’s frowning face was not enough, the audience is greeted with an item number curiously picturised on Jesse Randhwa and sung by Adnan Sami (one cannot imagine the fruit of such heady a concoction of flab [formerly i.e] and abs). Then comes the history-mutilating pictures of Hitler seated beside a smiling Rawal, a rehabilitation-centre/concentration-camp designed on the lines of ones shown in Schindler’s List, a gross-inching- towards-gruesome take on Fidel Castro (a cigar made in Havana named 'In-Fidel Castrated' marketed by K’s close friend in India) and a ‘Memento’-ish rewind-play-rewind-play experiment which falls flat on its face. The final assault on human sensibility comes in the form of sepia-tainted black & white flash-backs of John and Shorey’s childhood escapades. One scene has the unmistakably imbecile John prancing with orgasmic ecstasy at having puffed at a cigarette, along with Shorey, in a locked bathroom only to be caught by Shorey’s father. Having caught two teenager boys holed up in the seductive refuge of a bath-room the father prepares to deliver a lecture on the monstrosity of a man-man relationship, when interrupted by Shorey’s clarification of the ‘real motive’ he sighs with understandable relief.
“Lucky man!” every person in the hall exclaimed, for relief wouldn’t be coming their way for another hour, they knew. So, in honest rejection they banged their heads against seats in front of them. But, to no avail.

The second half is replete with ‘Symbolism’, where ‘the Soul’ and ‘the Body’ is separated by a glass barrier (and interestingly the soul fails to communicate with the body for need of a One-Rupee coin). A filthy hodge-podge of murder, suicide, police interrogation, leaping into water, scuba-diving in bath-tub, waking up in Siberia is complete with a shoot-out( remember the first scene ?? ). But alas! John is still not dead. He still lives (or rather his ‘body’ lives). A body bereft of soul due to habitual cigarette smoking. And now there’s an ‘intelligent’ hint in the closing scene which tells us that the evil of smoking isn't confined in the white-paper wrapped svelte-menace but, it lives somewhere else.
In us.
And how we thank our lucky stars it does!
Cancer is more welcome than a 'Kashyap'!

From head to toe ‘The Biggest Cinematic Disaster’ of our times, the film leaves enough message to galvanize the average cinema enthusiast in mobilizing a resistance against the unholy alliance of Kashyap & Co. with Agra and Ranchi Mental Hospitals. Every ticket denied to them is a victory for sanity. Every moment inside the theater excruciating brutality.
Smoking could kill.
'No Smoking' will..