Friday, May 14, 2021
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NDTV reviews Baby, concludes that movies on Terrorism can decrease your IQ

If you are done with your breakfast and are still waiting to burst after something really funny, please go through the NDTV review of Baby.

Somewhere between the texts served like garbage, when you read that “Baby is a dreary drama that meanders from one action sequence to another without making the audience any wiser”, go to the movie reviews home page of NDTV, read that Dolly Ki Doli is being given a better rating than Baby by the same movie-reviewer – confirming the fact that Dolly is Doli is making the audience wiser than what Baby could do – bang your head on a table and go to sleep.

Snapshot of ratings given by NDTV movie-reviewer
Snapshot of ratings given by NDTV movie-reviewer

The reviewer is so confused whether the movie is good or not that at one place he quotes:

“It might have been hailed as just another innocuous, smartly-packaged, competently shot espionage thriller if only the politics at its heart not been so dangerously dodgy.”

And then he ends his movie review with:

Baby is a superficial cinematic condensation of the shrill television images, newspaper headlines and communally-charged political posturing that we are subjected to day in and day out. Who needs more?”

For me, the most amusing part of this movie-review was the part where I read, “What makes Baby doubly problematic is that it presents the story as a reflection of reality, and not just as a piece of fiction.” All my life, I was told that cinema also reflects the reality of societies. Now after reading this, I feel a deep identity crisis.

The reviewer also expresses his discomfort from the fact that Baby has umpteen references to 26/11, the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, and to other actual figures and incidents that have made the headlines in recent times. He explains his anguish through a Shakespearean-Newtonian-Aristotelian socio-philosophical statement:

“There are Baby unabashedly reinforces the mainstream media’s worst stereotypes and constantly plays on the collective fears of a populace that is only too willing to find and hang scapegoats for the troubles of our contentious times.”

Please note how references to events that have actually taken place in the real world is concluded as reinforcing “stereotypes”. Perhaps the ideal thing is to close our eyes and imagine the world to be a better place. Pity that the Director of Baby didn’t do that.

Maybe the Director, Neeraj Pandey, who has created marvels like The Wednesday and Special 26, should take a lesson or two from the reviewer and learn to make movies that pass the “political correctness” test and earn 5 stars from reviewers. But no, he appears to be making movies to earn accolades from viewers, not reviewers. Very bad!

But not just the Director, the NDTV movie critic has some lessons for the new Censor Board too. The “secular” pretending movie critic kills color-coding of religions, freedom of cinema makers, and the will of directors to go beyond Kick, HNY, Humshakals, et al, when he writes, “Baby also has one blazing confrontation scene that might particularly thrill the new saffron-tinged censor board.”

Looks like the reviewer is intensely missing the old anti-saffron tinged Censor Board led by Leela Samson, which would have refused to clear Baby and upheld the “Idea of India”, which must triumph free speech and creative freedom.

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Rahul Raj
Poet. Engineer. Story Teller. Social Media Observer. Started Bhak Sala on facebook

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