Monday, January 30, 2012
#272: Mujhse Fraandship Karoge
Mujhse Fraandship Karoge, released in 2011, is an attempt to make a movie centered around the social networking boom in India. Something about it is so business like it makes you think the decision to make the film might've been made by a bunch of corporate biggies sitting in a boardroom saying 'Let's make a movie on Facebook. Its the in thing.' Another would've said ' Yes something for the 14-18 age group... ' A third would've pitched in saying ' Yes, we can take a bunch of newbies and the costs will be recovered quickly because the stars costs would be practically nil.' And thus a writer must've been summoned and the film put on floors. Watching it on DVD I can only speculate that this might've been the course of events because while there's nothing wrong about that kind of a process something about it is so formulaic that the fun of watching it is diminished because of these set-pieces.
So what do I mean by a formula ? It means ensuring that the mediocrity of sections of the film is shored up by amping up some of the other sections. The effort is not to make a good film but get the right elements in to make it commercially worthwhile. Let's break it down for Mujhse Fraandship Karoge - inexperienced actors give unimpressive performances but the film's peppered with a really good soundtrack. Similarly an average screenplay is helped by some heavy duty marketing. Its just the way the cookie is meant to crumble- there's enough reason for the target audience to turn up and the moment that has happened, the film has recovered its cost. But thats about the business of the film, what about the content ? Firstly a convincing turn by Saba Azad as Preity- a stuck-up college student but a talented photographer who doesn't like Vishal (Saqib Saleem), a talented writer in the same college. Their friendship is what the movie is about but the struggles are too easy to have a buy-in from the audience. A wonderful score by Raghu Dixit works well in making the audience forget all the flaws that the story comes with. The filmmakers also do well to make the film under two hours- but there's again a business sense in here. Shorter movie also means more screenings in the same theater but anyway but that's that. The bad things - some manufacturing factory type performances by the supporting cast and a screenplay that even under two hours feels longer.
I might've ranted here a bit how watching this film feels like watching a film that's driven by business decisions rather than creative choices but I will also concede here that perhaps at my age I have outgrown a movie that's made around the social media generation of 14-18 year olds. Maybe, I have not been very tolerant of the movie here because I belong to a different generation but then a good movie is always a good movie irrespective of the age of the audience right ? And on that slightly defensive note, I recommend that you guys catch the movie only if you want to know what a new-age movie meant for 14 year olds would be like.