Monday, January 5

When Jumbo got Outsourced

Weird title, eh? Not if you are heedful of the movie brigade.

It has been a “theatrical” weekend after ages. (I spent both evenings at the cinema being serenaded first by Jumbo and then by Outsourced.)

Took me back to the times when I was in Fergusson College (urf Fergi aka FC), when our attendance was taken not at the college gates, but at the counters of E-Square (and of course Hotel Savera and Vaishali). Our timetable for Friday mornings read movie-time, as we enjoyed new releases at 50 bucks week after week after week. Those were the times!!

This time round, it was first the ladies of my family who insisted on the animated flick Jumbo, and then my usual movie-mate who was keen on watching the Ayesha Dharker-starrer Outsourced. My rating for both : 6/10.

A six, coz they were both good entertainment. Not a 7 or 8 because they did not quite do justice to the splendid opportunity they had as movies of a different genre. They could have done much much better...

Here’s the lowdown – Jumbo is the story of an elephant, separated from his parents during the war of two kingdoms. He grows up under the care of his aged mahout and the company of his cute girlfriend. The only ambitions of his life are to get reunited with his family and become the king’s royal vehicle. Needless to say, the movie ends well (though the end could have been less violent and more kid-watch-worthy).

The 90-minute tale is narrated by Akki (Akshay Kumar), who is the voice of Jumbo aka Jayveer Singh. The other voices are that of Lara Dutta (Jumbo’s gf, hardly recognizable), Dimple Kapadia (J’s mum), Rajpal Yadav (this is a treat! J’s bird-y friend), Asrani (the king’s senapati, with his usual ha-ha!) and how can I forget the majestic and terrifying Gulshan “bad man” Grover as Bakhtavar, the enemy’s chief elephant.

My fav childhood cartoon-movie was Dumbo, and I was expecting this one to be as fabulous, but I was let down in a way. The movie could have been funnier and longer. The interval happens before you can have your fill of Jumbo as a kid, and war and tragedy dominates the rest of the movie. Of course, Jumbo’s king is a fine and handsome chap, so no-one’s complaining. The best parts of the movie undoubtedly are the “maha-ddher-dhakal pratiyogita” and the peals of laughter from the kids during the first half of the movie, when Jumbo escapes trouble (otherwise known as humans). Remarkable marketing and talent gone waste.

The other flick, Outsourced, was better in a few ways. One, the witty observations and dialogues. Two, we as Indians can relate to the anecdotes and behaviors. And three, I could munch on some popcorn. (The bill said caramel popcorn, but I beg to differ as it tasted bland and soggy.)

The movie is an account of how US operations shift to India to cut costs, and a firang is sent to the country to train his replacement. When another amrikan suggests he stop resisting the nation and give in, Todd (lovingly and popularly called Mr. Toad) discovers the marvelous country that is India. Be it the fun and merriment of Holi, or the exuberant Indian spirit that offers a room to any and every couple that visits tourist places.

Todd (Josh Hamilton) plays his role to the T (if only his smile was as good!). His dilemmas and actions are as adorable as a baby’s bottom. He makes the movie engaging and amusing. Asha (Ayesha) makes it look ugly and oversmart. She needs serious help with her repulsive nose, hideous eyes and revolting lips. (I know some folks might find her charming, but each one to his own!)

What I did not comprehend was why Asha needs to sleep with Todd (her “Holiday in Goa”) when she is engaged to be married within a few months. And does she expect sympathy for her act? What is noteworthy and commendable is the confidence she exudes at her job and her sincere attempt at playing the sabhya Hindustani stree who dreads unflattering public comments about her reputation. All in all, a good watch on the TV or innernet.

My experience was suitably marred by the stink of alcohol courtesy one fellow in the audience, unfortunately seated right next to us. Why do people visit the cinema when they are drunk? Got nothing better to do?!

And hey, have you heard THIS?? Parking charges at E-Sq for four-wheelers is now a prodigious 40 bucks! Appalling, what say? Reminds me of Abba’s woeful tale : He went to Camp and had his car very neatly parked by this sincere fellow who handed him a parking ticket. When he returned after his jaunt, he found a pretty jammer stuck on his car tyre. Outraged and lighter by 300 Rupees, he warned another driver not to park in the same space, but his pleas went unheard. What’s the world coming to? You can’t rely upon anyone, not even for parking your vehicle.

Time for some good news - Sales on everywhere. Woodland, Westside, Bia, Parx. My shopping list at the moment reads a mixer-juicer-grinder for mum who celebrates her 30th wedding anniversary in 2 weeks time. Shhh. Don’t tell her. This is a surprise!

Beat the Monday Blues!


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