Some of us have consumed a good amount of coverage of the Democratic primaries this week, including on late night comedy shows. Barack Obama fans are disappointed, more so at a certain commercial than at a state. Aamir Khan fans are concerned after he got hurt following an incident on the sets of Ghajini. Good to know he's doing better. Miami Dolphins fans are disgruntled at the franchise for even thinking of trading away fan-favorite and defensive-end Jason Taylor for a first-round draft pick. The cumulative effect of these last couple of days has been a pummeling of sorts for some of the more valued people brands, and the people who place trust in them.
Yet, there is hope. And that is because Tashan releases today, promising a drift from the norm (read: change!). Not because I shall get to watch it right away (chances of that happening are slim, what with the only Hindi-film theater in South Florida a good hour-and-a-half drive away, and a couple of deadlines fast-approaching which mean I shall have to work over the weekend). But because I think that Tashan can prove its value to the masses. There is something about the buzz around Tashan that leads me to believe that people are disappointed at the film primarily targeting a certain demographic. While this is warranted, I hope that people (including myself) can take off their armchair producer/director caps and go enjoy a film that promises uniqueness, if nothing else. Anyone else looking forward to it?
Tashan could well be another Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (read: over-hyped multi-starrer with a good soundtrack that was the biggest dud of the year in 2007). And while Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is certainly not a benchmark for something good that works in Bollywood (except the soundtrack), the biggest reason for why I believe Tashan will be better? It's the cast! [Add the word 'stupid' to the end of the previous sentence to stay consistent with the theme of the upcoming presidential elections.] What a surprise (not!). Yes, a lot rides on the movie scripts, but actors, especially the ones mentioned below, have significant leverage when selecting their projects, so they must accept part of the blame for an unsuccessful product. Now, if the Tashan script is bad, the actors can only do so much to bail it out. But...
...I just trust the cast of Tashan a lot more than I did (and do) the cast of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom to be part of and manufacture a better-quality Bollywood product. If precedence is anything to go by, we better believe there is a difference between the Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar duo, and the Abhishek Bachchan and Bobby Deol one. Give Saif and Akshay their own films, and chances are they will do well. I'm not so sure we can say that of Abhishek and Bobby, who are very good actors, but have yet to prove that they can consistently churn super-hits playing the [single] lead roles. Thoughts?
Let's not forget Kareena Kapoor, fresh off a Filmfare Award winning performance in Jab We Met (2007). She looks absolutely stunning in traditional clothing (I am really looking forward to seeing how the song Dil Haara is placed), and while it is not the initial impression that is conveyed through the film's promotional campaigns, I have a feeling we'll get a good enough dosage of Kareena in Indian dress. Remember how cool she was in Asoka (2001)?!
Finally, Anil Kapoor has to be among the most unsung of heroes. That we tend to mention him fourth of the four principal characters in the film accentuates that. All he does is perform exceptionally well in role after role, regardless of the character he assumes. Talk about versatility and consistent excellence.
If I were to pick a set of super-delegates comprising current Bollywood stars, each of the four Tashan stars would make it to my top-15. Yes, I am excited about Tashan, and my hope is that my super-delegates will not disappoint. Tomorrow, and in August =)
Then again, per the Ish-tory page at the Tashan website:
Trouble is, in this world, no one can be trusted ever!
So, maybe my trusting the cast is in vain, and it won't be as good a film after all. Who really knows? What we do know is this...do we just love the peak of inflated expectations or what?!
Also see other Tashan-related posts: music review; trailers; and pictures.