Agyaat—the Review

28 Comments

Ram Gopal Varma’s “Agyaat” is yet another masterpiece from the misunderstood genius,  a  celluloid circle of Hell that realizes a devilish vision of terror for anyone who dares sit through it.

Like the greats of horror, RGV spins a yarn that works at multiple levels on the psyche of the audience.  First there is the terror inherent in the cast, consisting of a number of hyperacting actors with over exaggerated facial expressions, who seem to have wandered off from the sets of a RGV mafia movie (the only other kind of flick he makes nowadays besides horror), acting consistently as if there was Tabasco sauce smeared on their behinds as they wildly gesticulate, snarl and gnash their teeth with the most horrifying performance of the year being given by Ishrat Ali  [Lamboo Atta from "Gunda"] whose “Bullah mujhe maat mar mujhe aapna bhadrwa bana le” expression before death was a touch of pure directorial class.

Then there is the heart-pounding suspense of the most original “Aiioo Aioo Rama Ho Gya Hungama” plot of people lost in jungle, a gang of worthies consisting of the standard stereotypes—the asshole superstar, the silent lover, the love-sick hero, the pervert and the unstable as they battle the indomitable “agyaat”, an unknown malignant presence (unknown that is unless you have seen Predator), who keeps dispatching the characters in various innovative ways.

But the true sign of RGV genius is in the subtext of “Agyaat”. Very cleverly, the actual monster is never shown. What  instead is focused on is the fear on the faces of the actors as they stab themselves in the chest, smash heads, foam and froth at the mouths and go “Jai Mata di” crazy. It is then that you understand the last layer of “Agyaat”—-the realization that really clutches at your throat.  That being that when the characters go postal looking at the camera, the agent of terror they see is not the “Predator” or “Agyaat”.

It is the man in the director’s chair himself.

Yes.

The real source of all the terror. Orchestrating the mayhem like an agent of doom, whether it be through an opening dream sequence of a skimpily clad Priyanka Kothari (artist formerly known as Nisha Kothari)  with muscular hero dancing to the a guttural whisper of “I wanna kiss you day night…cummon cummon saxxxxy lady” or through a song that goes “Bum Bum Bum”  in the process laying the context for endless shots of Priyanka Kothari’s different body parts as she exercises in “chota chaddi chota top”  (a phrase from movie) and thrusts herself in front of the camera or through terrifying plot devices like letting horny blood-sucking leeches attack the heroine (only the heroine and no one else) so that she may be partially revealed or through “too cool for school”  jerky lungy camera movements that snake between branches, leaves and the legs of characters frequently going out-of-focus (but in an artistic way) or through petrifying sound effects like “Boooooooo” “Wooooooooo” RGV displays the supreme control of his faculties that have characterized his movies of late.

And that’s not all.  In the spirit of “Grudge” whose message was that real terror follows you home, “Agyaat”‘s horror does not end with the last frame, terrifying as it is in its stated intent. (I intentionally do not say more).

No it does not.

Because one you come back and log in,  the spirit of “Agyaat” revisits you as RGV writes an open letter, crossposted on his blog,  blasting all those philistine critics (of course some astute critics with a noted taste for high art have praised the movie), with personal barbs thrown in for good measure,  who spite him just for his fame driven as they are by an agenda to bring a genius like him down. Of course not that they will succeed because his movie is already a money-maker before its release and he is in any ways most awesome, unlike those nobodies who carp at him. By saying this, he reminds you, in a way in which only he can, of the line in Agyaat where a character says “Kaamiyabi ko kaam se kya matlab”, in the process completing a full arc of terror.

Horrifying.

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28 thoughts on “Agyaat—the Review

  1. Many eons ago I used to love RGV’s movies.. but then he had to go remake Sholay! Now I have to see this movie so that I can remember all your hilarious comments.. Good luck with your book!

  2. Haha.. for some ridiculous reason I only feel like commenting when I’m the first although I read each one of your posts!

  3. Come on GB.. the movie deserved more trashing.. :) however, your capacity to watch such movies just to let aam janta like us know about them is whole heartedly appreciated.. ;)

    Cheers,
    Ganga

  4. Great review! As a wise guy commented on RGV’s blog, Ramu is this another of your countless fillers before you go on to make another good movie? I think RGV is either a mad genius or just mad. It’s very sad to see the maker of Rangeela and Kaun fall to this level. BTW, GB, shouldn’t it be “Bullah mujhe mat maar” in place of “Bullah mujhe maat mar”?

  5. RGV’s Logic is incredible….

    He says a lot of people’s reputations and careers are bound to these movies…but then shouldnt he be thinking about that before making these kind of movies?…..

    And that thing about reviewers standing between the movie maker and his profits…….the talk about negativity being a inherent thing that we like….while its not absolutely untrue…..movies like these have to be flagged…

    I really yearn for the days when he made movies like “Company”……..He really is an exceptional director who is going wrong majorly……..

    Do you concur, GB?

  6. Oh… and that reminds me…..why dont you review “No Country for Old Men”?…….I really would love to know your thoughts on that….since “Slumdog Millionare” was more a financial choice than an artistic one……

  7. I’ve been following every post on this blog keenly and I feel a sense of stagnation – an inability to move beyond metaphors like Gundaa (I know it’s “once-in-an-eon” charm that you will claim.

    But to keep readers going at your produce, you need to dole out something new. Hoping for something fresh soon (sans Bulla and khulla)

  8. RGV’s Logic is incredible….

    He says a lot of people’s reputations and careers are bound to these movies…but then shouldnt he be thinking about that before making these kind of movies?…..

    And that thing about reviewers standing between the movie maker and his profits…….the talk about negativity being a inherent thing that we like….while its not absolutely untrue…..movies like these have to be flagged…

    I really yearn for the days when he made movies like “Company”……..He really is an exceptional director who is going wrong majorly……..

    Do you concur, GB?

    Oh… and that reminds me…..why dont you review “No Country for Old Men”?…….I really would love to know your thoughts on that….since “Slumdog Millionare” was more a financial choice than an artistic one……

  9. dispite being a bong, your knowlegde of hindi word is exceptional. bulla mujhe mat maar main tera ‘mutth’ maar doonga might be a great dilouge.

  10. dispite being a bong, your knowlegde of hindi word is exceptional. bulla mujhe mat maar main tera ‘mutth’ maar doonga could be a classic dilouge.

  11. “Jai Mata di” crazy!!?? are you sending out a secret message that the unknown face of terror might be Himesh Reshammiya?? No wonder all the characters were bumped off…. I’ve seen many meet the same fate after attending his concerts…. Is there some secret co relation…. the movie also warns us about a sequel…. could the surgery he underwent his preparation for the same?? This post leaves behind many unanswered questions… just like the movie…

  12. Agyat i thot wud be a remak of Predator but sadly RGV messed it up big time! BTW am waiting for ur review of Kaminey!

  13. I hate the faces made in the movie. They look nothing other than constipated and make no sense. RGV needs to be forcefully shown this movie hundred times at a stretch to make him understand what pain he has caused to the mass and why he should not make such movies.

  14. RGV Interview (fictional):
    Reporter: What do you have to say to GB about this review?
    RGV: Now that you’ve done “hum uski patloon phadenge woh bhi peechhe se to my movie”, I cant wait to read a review of ‘Love Aajkal’. With Saif Ali desperately trying to act like a young kid in Aaj and speaking accented punjabi in the kal part, this movie is as ‘awesomely great’ as my movie. Why pick on just my movie?

    Reporter: Any new movies in the offing?
    RGV: Next, I am going to make a movie inspired by a real incident. How an indian movie star (who is more popular in the USA than Bob Dylan and Al Gore) is detained at Newark airport. In my movie, he will also be sexually assaulted.The movie will be called Agyat 2 since it will explore the agyaat body parts and reveal the cross dressing habit of the great movie star.

    Reporter: That shows the expanse of imagination of your perverted mind.
    RGV: No, I am not doing this because I am a pervert (the biggest of perverts will not be interested in priyanka kothari’s bum); I am obsessed with it because i appreciate art. I anticipate the latent art about to emerge from her micro shorts and once its out in open, I do art like no one else does. I am making Agyaat 2 because I realize the magnitude of the harm that detaining king zill e ilahi Khan has done to every indian, pakistani, bangladeshi, and sri lankan (and perhaps chinese too, not sure about it though). All of us should burn American flags and frisk Angelina Jolie when she visits India next(Now, I see high art here too and I bet you dont).
    Reporter: Thanks for the interview RGV, we hope to join you in the protest, especially the Angelina Jolie part.
    RGV: My pleasure.

  15. For me, it was the very artistic portrayal of Priyanka Kothari’s work out routine in the forest that was true work of ‘Art’. One may think it was the ‘Agyaat’ watching her, or was it Lambu Atta? Or just the fact that you need a drink of water after working out in white boots.

  16. I should definitely watch this movie now. After reading your review, this looks like a perfect Friday night movie to watch after getting totally wasted.

    GB, did you mean “Because onCe you come back and log in”?

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