Realm Of Randomness

June 28, 2005

Paheli – A post-mortem

Filed under: Humour,Movie,Review — Randomizer @ 5:20 am

[ Disclaimer : I wouldn’t recommend it one bit , but if you are going to watch Paheli, please do not read this post ]

When the trailer of Paheli was screened during the interval of Batman Begins last Saturday, the ‘desi’ inside my companion was stoked and I found myself being incessantly hounded to accompany her to watch it. While the logical its-a-bollywood-movie-for-christ’s-sake person in me told me I’m walking straight into a 60 ft. manhole, the come-on-don’t-be-prejudiced side of me pointed out that there have been a lot of hindi movies I’ve in fact, enjoyed.

Fuelled by a massive lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and the lack of any better ideas , we could think of nothing else but a movie to spend the later half of our day… and that’s where the fall down that manhole began..

The setting was Rajasthani, the family quite rich and royal, the time maybe a 19th century .. and what better way to start a movie than a wedding? So you have Rani Mukherjee becoming the lawfully wedded wife of a quite strange Shahrukh Khan, who on the next day of the wedding, leaves to a village far away for 5 years as part of his job, leaving quite an aghast Rani behind wailing away at her misfortune.

In the meanwhile, there’s a ghost , yes, that’s right, a ghost , who falls in love with Rani, and cannot bear to see her so distraught. On the day our man leaves for his village far far away, the ghost takes the shape of SRK and arrives to a surprised bride. He tells her he’s a ghost and that he’s in love with her, and she accepts him for, (the only line i liked in the movie ) “if I can’t stop a man from leaving, how can I stop a man(you) from arriving ? ” .

The love story between woman and ghost continues through many songs that all sound the same, colorful rajasthani girls dancing, and a beautiful palace to run around in. But both know that this strange love story will end when the original returns from his 5 year assignment…

Time flies and the original SRK returns. People are shocked , and a verdict on who’s who and who’s he is to be made soon. Our friendly ghost, unlike most ghost concepts, is 100% human, to the extent that he’s successfully impregnated our dearest rani ! They contemplate naming their daughter (if its a girl) ‘Ujala’ .

Nearing the end of the movie now … still, no one knows who’s true and who’s fake. The decision is finally given to the hands of Amitabh Bachhan, the wise old shepherd who lives across the mountains (sand dunes ?) . Doing justice to his fame and knowledge, our shepherd , after a few litmus tests, successfully identifies the ghost , and captures him in his sack . The original SRK, angry and relieved , tosses this sack away and leaves it for the sandstorms to do as they please with it. Finally, the ghost is gone ! Phew !

Last scene … original husband returns home to a bride who has betrayed him to a ghost knowingly … bride says she’s in love with the ghost , and she’s made a mistake that not even a lifetime could serve as penance. Then the killer line .. husband says ” How’s Ujala ? We’d decided to name her that, right ? ” . Wife is shocked ! Audience is shocked ! Husband is giving a knowing smile …. How did this happen ? Wasn’t the ghost tossed away in the desert ?

Finally, the solution is explained : the ghost SRK entered the body of the original SRK before being tossed away!

*applause* *applause* *whistle* :D

Why didn’t he enter his body waaaay in the beginning of the movie ? Why didn’t he enter his body at least during original SRK’s second appearance after the 5 years ? Why did they waste all that time trying to decide who’s real and who’s not when the ghost had the option of taking over the body of the real husband all along ? Who cares ? At least the movie is over !

My sheepish friend pokes me and says “Next, lets go and watch Parineeta”. :)


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