Movie Review: Luka Chuppi

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What happens when you don’t want to get married but test drive being married by living together? What happens when you get caught being ‘pretend-married’ and have to play out the pretense? What happens when you try to get married for real to make things legit but realize that life is conspiring against you? Luka Chuppi happens. But it doesn’t happen all that well, unfortunately.

Set against the backdrop of militant love jihadis who are hellbent on making sure that every relationship kowtows to societal norms and any deviations are dealt with harshly; Luka Chuppi takes on a rather contrived and elaborate path towards a happily ever after.

Kriti Sanon is a little too well put together to be convincing as a small town girl. Her body language, mannerisms always bring to mind airline attendants who wish you a pleasant flight or people in the hospitality business who smile as they give you your room key and wish you a very pleasant stay. Rather fakeish.

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Kartik Aaryan is a bit more believable but not much. He’s scruffy and has hair (along with Aparshakti Khurana) that’s reminiscent of the scene from There’s Something About Mary.

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Apart from a few genuine laughs sporadically sprinkled here and there, the movie goes from one choreographed mishap to another. The rest of the cast however, is pretty damn good. They’re convincing small towners and never deviate from being in character. Vinay Pathak, Aparshakti Khurana, Pankaj Tripathi, Alka Amin, Atul Shrivastav bring a strong, wholesome and realistic small town flavor to the movie and are the glue that holds things together. Guddu (Aaryan) and Rashmi (Sanon) are effectively the leads but they are far more accurately described as props.

The OST is nothing outstanding either with 2 songs repackaged from an earlier era.

This movie is worth waiting for…till it airs on Netflix on Amazon Prime. It’s no barrel of laughs but is entertaining in its own smallish way.

Rating: 1/5

 

The Blasphemy of Terror

I’m partial to Websters so I’ll stick with their definition of blasphemy. It goes,”great disrespect shown to God or to something holy

:something said or done that is disrespectful to God or to something holy”.

Now caricature has had its enemies since the first time man realized that satirizing something or someone was in its own way, an insult. It didn’t always have the sting of a slap or a harsh word but it dared to mock something that was of gravity to others if not outright revered.

But a caricature also had at its heart the notion that it was, is and will be ok to take a less than obsessive, somber look at things in the world around us and see its fallacies, foibles and it’s essence as it were. When you make a caricature of an individual who has been in the news or someone who has caught your eye for whatever reasons, it is your humor, sense of cynicism (at times) and your own attempt at making sense of that person and what they stand for. Prominent features are focused on and at times if the person is known for specific things a la Dan Quayle for his spellings or GW for his statements or Manmohan Singh for his silence then certain things in the image are magnified or shrunk to paint the picture the artist or satirist wants to convey. It is their way of not spelling everything out; not crossing all the “t”s and dotting the “i”s. It is simply an expression. It *can* be used to hurt. But then there are those who choose to look only at their point of view and prefer to focus on the negative rather than try to understand that it’s a statement at its core.

And when caricature is deemed as blasphemy, that’s when all hell eventually breaks loose. People worship many Gods. Some visible. Some not. Some tangible. Others ephemeral. But they have their beliefs. And it is MY belief that when believes are pretty much all what people have, then any sort of object which has the ability to inflict even the smallest of dents or nicks in their believes; will face a tremendous backlash.

I don’t doubt that the cartoonists at Charlie Hedbo wanted to and were making a statement they believed in. Why wouldn’t they? They knew they were living under a scanner of those who bitterly opposed what they were saying. They knew the potential and extent of damage that those antagonists could cause but they believed nonetheless. Maybe foolishly but they believed in what they were doing. God only knows few people have had massive successes financially by drawing cartoons. So I guess we’re back to their beliefs. Which ultimately got them killed.

But there are blasphemies of other kinds. Not just against God. There is the blasphemy that’s perpetrated everyday against human life. The blasphemy of rape, of sexual abuse, or deviant behavior towards children.

A charge of religious blasphemy towards a group of individuals who were making statements through their work during a time charged with religious intolerance, political ineptitude and a blatant disregard of human life, seems a very WRONG reason to condemn them to death. Surely the preservers of religious faith ought to believe that their God has a sense of humor at the end of the day?