Links: Bhai turns bully, D-Day and Ship of Theseus

ship-of-theseus-posterI admit it, the only reason I’m putting these links together is because I don’t think Ship of Theseus will ever share space with Salman Khan and/or gangsters. I got a lot of hate for my Ship of Theseus review because everyone has loved the film to the point of calling it flawless and it didn’t seem flawless to me. This isn’t to say it’s crap, because it isn’t. It just didn’t move me to the point where I would happily ignore any problems and weak spots.

Gandhi, who has written and directed Ship of Theseus, is an erudite filmmaker. From philosophy, curious biological phenomena and a debate about whether an ideal can exist independent of its champions, there’s a wealth of thought-provoking little nuggets scattered in the conversations that make up the film. Unfortunately, this erudition is also Ship of Theseus’s downfall. The story is so obsessed with articulating concepts that the dialogue becomes laboured, characterisation suffers and credibility is stretched to breaking point.

Of course, if you want to make unfair comparisons, you could put Ship of Theseus on an imaginary set of scales with D-Day. Nikhil Advani’s D-Day is precisely as predictably pulpy as you’d expect. On the plus side, it’s not offensive in its portrayal of Pakistan, Pakistanis or women. This is pretty huge, I suppose. And it has Arjun Rampal looking verrah nice indeed. If only any or all of this made up for unnecessarily convoluted storytelling and significant lapses in logic.

From its trailer, D-Day appears to be the desi lovechild born out of a threesome made up ofZero Dark ThirtyMunich and James Bond. There is however a different film whose title it could have borrowed: Clueless. The film begins as a thriller, wanders into heartbreak, gets stuck on revenge, takes a sharp wrong turn with an outlandish twist and ends in no man’s land. This is a shame because D-Day begins promisingly and it’s realising a long-cherished Indian dream: to catch Dawood Ibrahim. …

Still, if you don’t look for realism in its ludicrous version of how politics, governments and covert teams work, the first half of D-Day is actually quite fun. Everything seems to be coming together: performance, strategy, stunts, music, cinematography. The script tries to mesh facts with its fiction by referring to actual terror plots and it’s effective in parts. As pulpy drama goes, D-Day is true to genre until interval and without nauseating jingoism.

Then comes the second half, also known as the altar at which logic, causality and common sense are sacrificed. People yell, tyres screech, bullets are fired and a twist is thrown into the mix. (After all, the Indian agents have to do something to entertain themselves while completing Operation Goldman. So, among other things, they stand in the middle of a deserted highway and yell at each other like squabbling, hormonal teenagers in an American road movie.)

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