Saturday, October 21, 2006

On that 'Night with the King'...

Ok. I just realized that after hyping up One Night With the King, I failed to comment on the film after watching it.

It was one of those rare times when I simply felt there wasn't much to say. I mean really. Susan did a pretty good job of running the story down on her blog: here. While I'm no purist when it comes to art--if you think I'm bad at the movie theater, you do not want to be with me in a museum--the movie was kind of bleh. The storyline was very flat and all the who's-against-who? stuff was confusing. If there's one thing I've learned from Bollywood, you can get away with a bit of confusion if you're willing to take it to the next level. If the highs are really high and the lows are really low, the audience will stay with you because they came for the ride. On the other hand, if the storyline more resembles a roadtrip through Kansas, you're on your own.

That said, there are a few unpleasantly noticeable things about the film:

  1. Blindingly white teeth. I am not, in fact, the first to point this out via blog, but it is most certainly true. I had imagined the phenomenon a figment of my imagination much like the *cough* Star of David appearing on the wall *cough* only to find someone else had corroborated it as truth.
  2. Dialogue that would slow even the finest Shakespearean diction coach.
  3. Not even the slightest allusion to the seediness of a woman's life in the palace. The king has his head eunuch wake you up in the middle of the night to 'read to him'? Turn to your neighbor and say, "BOO-TY CALL!"
  4. Last but not least, Peter O-who?! How were the producers not embarrassed to give O'Toole top-billing for 60 seconds of screen time? [Did Kajol or John "Hottie McHot-Hot" Abraham get billing in KANK, an equally unenthralling yet much-hyped picture? I think not!]
Not-too-unpleasant notables:
  1. The moment after the king confesses his love to Esther, they have a moment--a Bollymoment. There are only two appropriate responses to 'that' moment. Option a) Western-style descent into passionate debauchery. Option b) a song! Ms. Martini Ministry and I shared an intuitive spontaneous moment as we broke out into "Let's Get it On," as the actors languished momentarily because everyone knows that was THE perfect place for a song, particularly one where the guy gets to tug on the girl's sari.
  2. Esther arriving into the royal court after running through the courtyard in the rain so that she looks like a wet muskrat. Where's that gorgeous cape thingy she had on earlier? No where to be found. Why? Because everyone knows the power of the wet sari scene! And fainting!
Seriously, I was telling my roommate, this film would have rocked Bollystyle. The king needed to be a man who could confess his love to Esther but be menacing enough to kill her if tradition called for it. That's my biggest complaint. [Lallan (Ab2) in Yuva was a good example of this.]

In fact, my favorite line from the film was delivered by the king. After a little mixup leads him to believe that Esther is cheating on him he says something like this: "I thought I was your Rachel but now I see I'm only your Leah." rofl!


Susania said...

Oh thank goodness. You did the specifics that I was having trouble articulating!

This thing was so squeaky clean that they neglected to mention the fact that Esther and all the other women who were taken as potential brides would have been trained in sexual techniques by eunuchs. No, let's focus on the endless spa treatments!

indian parrot said...

I have never seen so many 40 year old couples in the theater.