Sunday, August 04, 2002

DANGER, directed by Govind Menon

Danger is a Hindi film directed by Govind Menon. As you would have guessed from his name, the chap is a Malayali, and, as some research on the web revealed, he graduated from some film school in the US. You also might have seen him, because his claim to fame is to have featured in the ‘first cannibal scene in Indian cinema’ – in Priyadarshan’s underwhelming Kalapani. The film evoked my interest because of its rather off-beat posters, the fact that it had no songs, that the music was by an Indian rock-band, and that it had Ashutosh Rana (who I have heard has played some original roles in Hindi films). The posters hinted at possibilities for the film – it would definitely be pulp, but articles on the film on the web used terms like ‘film noir’.

In the event, it turned out to be one of the silliest films I have seen in the last few years. Really. If you ever find out whichever film school Mr Menon attended, note it down, because you sure don’t want to enrol there.

The film aims to be realistic, actually it aims to be hyper-real, a la Tarantino. Yes, it wants to be Pulp Fiction. It wants the quirky characters, the ‘real crime’ scenario, the wit, the brilliance, the guts and the gumption of that Palme d’Or winner. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high. But try not to fail as miserably as they do here. I would have laughed throughout the length of the film, if not for the simultaneous feeling of sadness I felt. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.slfr