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Why I liked “Main Madhuri Dixit Kyon Banna Chahti Hoon”

main_madhuri_dixit_banna_chahti_hoon_sizedReason 1) Rajpal Yadav’s brilliant portrayal as Raja.

As Chutki’s wholehearted supporter and confidante, the silent lover, the innocent villager, Chutki’s sole protector Yadav excels in conveying all the shades of his character admirably. He is definitely in the league of Varma’s other protégé finds like Manoj Bajpai. RGV definitely can spot and encourage talent. Debutant director Chandan arora is another fine example.

Reason 2 ) Raja’s character (different from Rajpal Yadav’s performance).

Generally people from villages and small towns coming to the big bad city are almost invariably picturised as gullible fools or poor downtrodden villagers or raw country bumpkins. Raja is none of those. He is not street smart (witness how he gets hoodwinked by the taxi driver as soon as he steps foot in Bombay ) but he is no fool. He is from a well to do family, which is not shown as the family of mean horse riding Thakurs, nor is he depicted as from a family on the brink of death due to starvation. He is sensible enough to come with a plan of action in most of the situations that Chutki faces while trying to fulfill her ambition. In a nutshell he is a very realistic character

Reason 3) Antara Mali ‘s performance.

As Chutki her performance is endearing. And as a Madhuri Dixit wannabe ,she almost manages to get it right . She even manages to copy Madhuri’s dancing skills, which of course is no mean task. She gets the right expressions and the right gestures during each of the song sequences [she dances to song snatches from Beta, Tezaab, Devdas, Rajkumar, Sailaab and Khalnayak]. The premise of the movie is Chutki’s ability to dance like Madhuri , a tall order and if her dancing abilities do not match up to Madhuri’s, her enthusiasm and effort definitely shows through. And to give Antara her due…she manages better than most could.

Reason 4) Chutki’s transformation.

The slow realization that she needs a makeover to make an impact. The fact that the makeover does not mean get whisked into a parlor and <<drumbeats rolling >> reappear in a micro mini complete with flawless make up and high heels and dazzle everyone. She still looks normal and she still wears her old salwar kameezes and it is only a few scenes later that she appears in a long skirt and demure blouse

Reason 5 ) Missing Scenarios.

I liked the movies due to a number of scenes that were not in the movie. When Raja and Chutki arrive in big bad Bombay with all their paraphernalia and meet with the opportunist cab driver and stand there arguing about the fare…you are sure that someone is going to run away with their bags and leave them penniless and stranded….funnily enough nobody does.

You are sure the wannabe actor Rumi (Raman Trikha ) is out to try to rape our naïve heroine but when confronted with a knife leaves pretty tamely without the obligatory slap on the heroine’s face and promises of “main tumhe dekh loonga”.

When Chutki finally gets her first small chance in a music video album and she is asked to change her costume, you expect Raja to protest vociferously at her revealing costume (by Gajraula standards definitely!) but he goes outside the studio and waits patiently for Chutki without interfering in her work.

No casting couches and big hero-heroine nakhras, which normally are the staple feature of any movie featuring the film industry

Finally we do not see this big “realization” scene where Chutki figures out that she is a “married woman” and the importance of her suhaag . It is conveyed subtly when she wears the mangalsutra as she packs her bags to go back to Gajraula (absolutely no words spoken ) and in the scene where she tells Govind Namdeo (playing a very sincere agent) “ main ab shaadi shuda hoon ” no more and no less …no waxing about family duties and apologies ..The relationship between the Chutki and Raja is the same….despite Chutki’s appreciation and understanding of Raja’s better nature.

What is not there in a movie is as important as what is not there….

Reason 6) Very very subtle humor

One liners mostly that makes you smile in amusement, no belly shaking laugh inducers here. Several scenes, which mostly feature Rajpal Yadav and showcase his innocence.

Like the scene in which a puzzled Raja asks Chutki about the need for a photo shoot…” arre jab tum samne khadi ho, to kyon photo chahiye ”.

Or the scene where Yadav comes from meeting a prospective director to tell Chutki it is he who has been selected for a film

Or the expression on Yadav’s face after he gives an impressive (an obviously tutored) speech on why he needs to go to Bombay

Or the scene where Raja is embarrassed by the semi clad women in a magazine.

Reason 7) Bombay

Raja and Chutki are living in a dingy apartment in Bombay across the railway tracks with all its noise and associated pollution. Just before returning back to Gajraula with all her dreams crushed, Chutki looks at the trains and the railway tracks from the window in her apartment and says “ Raja, Mumbai kitni khubsoorat jagah hai ,ha na ”. I think that sentence is one the best tributes to Bombay . It is a magical place…despite the filth, the corruption and sadness, the city sparkles ; it alive and vibrant and throbbing with activity.

Reason 8) The climax.

Unlike Rangeela which features a similar protagonist who dreams of becoming a big star and eventually making a big splash, Chutki does not get a big break featuring the famous hero of the day. She acts in a small budget film, a B grade film and hardly causes a ripple. Of course, she does get a lot of offers as people have noticed her talent but there is no mention of any big break. You don’t know whether Chutki will make it big. She might go the way of several flop starlets who constantly do B or C grade films. She might loose her innocence and naiveté and may even ditch Raja but the movie stops short of all that…pausing at an optimistic note ….not a triumphant note.

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Copyright Deepa