Lal Singh Chadda versus Forrest Gump!

Before I saw the movie!

Now that the cricket season is in a sort of lull, we have invented another match to keep us all occupied – Lal Singh Chadda versus Forrest Gump!

There are hundreds of millions of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans all over the world who may have not seen Forrest Gump, simply because they do not know English. Many may not be able to relate to a ‘Western’ film, and western values and the way emotions are expressed in them. There are many among the educated in India who have seen the movie but have been relatively less moved by it, because they are unfamiliar with American concepts and way of thinking. Even translation or dubbing into Hindi or local language with subtitles kills the original beauty and impact of a movie.

An Indian or more appropriately, an ‘Indianized’ version of the movie may give them that opportunity. If it is well made, even if it has the mandatory dose of melodrama, it might appeal to the Indian audience. We Indianize many foreign things including food to make it appeal to the Indian palate, Why not a foreign film?

Forrest Gump itself was based on a book and the movie was quite different from it. I don’t see anything wrong in LEGALLY borrowing the concept and changing it.

Indian films and songs plagiarize liberally, even lavishly, from foreign and other Indian films and music without giving any credit to the original. For once, an Indian producer has legally purchased the rights to the original. For all the trolling he has got, he may now be regretting it – maybe it would have been better if he had stolen and mangled the original beyond recognition! Since we don’t respect intellectual property rights in this country, and barely bat an eyelid when things are stolen, that might have raised less of the sanctimonious outrage that we are seeing in this country for a movie that is yet to be released by a population which has yet to see it!

Liking a movie is really a personal and subjective thing. Everything Hollywood / foreign is not great and sacrosanct, everything Bollywood / Indian is not silly either.

It has been a long time since I saw Forrest Gump. That is fortunate since I will be able to watch and evaluate Lal Singh Chadda without so much prejudice towards one version and so much bias towards the other.

I think there is no better situation than this to use a well-worn cliche – I do not believe in judging a book by its cover or a film by its trailer. Nor a match by watching the players at nets.

After I saw the movie!

Saw Lal Singh Chadda this morning. At the risk of seeming ‘massy’, unintellectual and unsophisticated, I am going to go out on a limb and say that I liked the movie.

About half an hour too long towards the end but nonetheless really nice.

And Amir Khan is a master of his craft. I was expecting some over the top acting but I think he played the role very well. Knowing his reputation for perfection, I should have known better.

The emotional parts were well controlled too, not too much rona dhona but it managed to bring a lump to the throat at times. They could have made it really mushy Bollywood style but mighty glad they didnt.

The songs seemed meaningful and nice, especially the ones by Sonu Nigam, but they didnt sound catchy, at least during the movie. I am going to listen to them on youtube now. Good songs add a lot to a Bollywood movie’s success.

All in all, tighter editing would have helped a heap in making this a really good movie.

Good I don’t remember a thing about Forrest Gump. Comparisons are odious and unfair for the most part, especially if the effort is honest. I am slightly envious of people who have no idea of Forrest Gump and are seeing LSC without any preconceived notions. I am sure they would have liked this movie a lot more.

Let this not remain a one-way conversation! Your opinions are welcome, especially if you don't agree!!