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Okay, it’s official. This is the second X – Files movie that has bombed. Chris Carter has effectively killed the franchise.

I can’t believe how people who managed such a hugely successful TV series for so long have consistently come up with movie ideas that have laid such eggs at the box office. And to think I dragged my friends to this film. They wanted to watch that Jesse James film. I argued fiercely against the plethora of good reviews it garnered, saying it was in the running for Oscars last year and that it was dud. Thankfully the same disregard for reviews held me in good stead while convincing them to go for the X-phillum. ’Cos that certainly didn’t get good reviews.

To put it in perspective, Chris Carter has tried to draw in X philistines with this movie. As a result he’s toned down the spooky stuff and also given the Mulder-Scully relationship extra dimensions. Ironically that’s what put me off the most. Come on guys, the reason I went to watch an X Files movie is I want to see more of the inexplicable paranormal stuff, not some tame organ transplant plot. And the Scully-Mulder exchanges just get mind numbing after a while. And the climax was such a damp squib.

I was sorely disappointed (The scathing looks my friends keep shooting me throughout the film didn’t help). I am a huge fan of the TV series. For years, I set aside everything else on Sundays just so I could watch an episode of my favourite show. I even lit candles on the day they aired the last episode. For many Sundays after that, I faithfully switched on the telly at the appointed time in the hope that Ten Thirteen productions had changed their minds, and was left with a feeling of emptiness when they perversely didn’t.

Anyway, to address another issue, I know I haven’t been writing regularly. I expect that will continue for some more time. The reason is that Diwali is coming up and everyone (most of all my creative director) is keen to take off during the holidays. Now I don’t want to spoil her plans because I really like her (she makes sure I get paid on time). But mostly I want her to have this holiday because she is stressed out and is making my life hell. As a result we have to finish a month’s work in less than half the time.

On yet another separate note, Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions is # 2 on the bestseller list, trailing only Sea of Poppies. At least that is the case in Landmark stores (and elsewhere, I like to think). Life is good.

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My sister and I do a lot of things together. We go shopping, we fight, we bicker over clothes (yes, still!). And yes, we end up watching the worst, most inane movies together.

It began with Bunty aur Bably which was followed by Jhoom Barabar Jhoom which was followed by Tashan (you think there’s a pattern in there somewhere?). Then yesterday we saw Hancock.

The choice was between Thodi Masti Thoda Magic and Hancock. It never occurred to us (rather me) to not go at all. One week out of Bombay without movies and TV? It felt like rehab and I was desperate for my moving image fix.

Had we decided on TMTM, we would have perpetuated the pattern and I have a healthy respect for patterns, believing them to be cosmic signs. Instead, in an act of diffident defiance, I decided upon Hancock. What could possibly happen, I figured, if we watched Hancock instead?

A lot, it turns out. Hancock is the worst superhero film I’ve ever seen. No credible back story, no credible baddies, not much humour. I just can’t understand the hype around the film. As Obelix would say, “These Americans are crazy.”

I couldn’t help ruing the fact that with the money I had spent on the movie (and popcorn) I could have bought four copies of Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions at full price (as the author I am entitled to a discount :-)) and distributed them among all those friends and relatives. I could have pleased all those clamouring for a free copy, plus a part of that money would have come back to me in the form of royalties.

Or I could have bought ten movies from my DVD bootlegger.

As it turned out it was money down the drain.

I’ll call myself an ass**** one more time.

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I managed a decent output of a 1000 good words on my second novel yesterday. I was a little apprehensive about writing anything worthwhile since I haven’t been in touch with it over the past few weeks, other commitments (TV, promotion for Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions) having taken priority. And it is always harder when you go back to a novel after a hiatus because you have to reacquaint yourself with the story and the characters. And then I had a very good run clocking a 5 second improvement. All in all a very satisfying day.

I also caught Get Smart yesterday and enjoyed it immensely. But I must add a disclosure lest anyone take my recommendation seriously and curse me later. And the disclosure is, I love Steve Carell. So I’m bound to be a little lenient. Still, I wished I hadn’t spent 200 bucks on the ticket and waited to watch it on DVD.

By now I guess most people have either seen the movie or at least read the reviews. So I’m not going to dwell on the story. In a nutshell, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is an analyst (read: boring desk job) at a secret agency whose field agents’ covers are blown. Ergo, Maxwell Smart gets a chance to live his dream and becomes a field agent. An infinitely more experienced and disparaging of Smart Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) is assigned as his partner.

The main criticism is that I couldn’t figure out what Maxwell Smart was? Was he a stupid and bumbling idiot like Johnny English or Jacques Clouseau? If he was, then why the moments of rare acuity and stunning acrobatics? Was he a prissy paper pusher with a penchant for rules, i.e., ideal bureaucrat material? Then why show him as an idiot at times? I couldn’t get Smart’s character down so I couldn’t anticipate what he would do in a situation – mess up the situation further with his stupidity or resolve the situation with an astonishing display of physical and mental prowess.

If anyone has figured it out, please enlighten me.

 

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