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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Movie Review: No Smoking

Recently, I was watching "Don" (the old and better version) at a friend's place. Among his collection, by chance, I stumbled upon a DVD called "No Smoking" which I watched over the weekend. It is one of those movies that I would have never seen but for the title. As it so happens, three of my friends are trying to quit smoking. They have taken all kinds of measures like using nicotine patches, creating social pressures by advertising their "I have quit smoking" campaign, using sugar-free candies, avoiding tea/caffeine/coke etc. I dont think they will succeed though (I am trying reverse psychology; but lets keep it a secret).

The movie is largely based upon Stephen Hawking's short story "Quitters Inc." which, by the way, was also filmed as one of the three parallel stories in the hollywood movie "Cat's eye". Directed by Anurag Kashyap, "No smoking" is horror treated in a dark comical fashion. Very creatively told, the plot revolves around a chain-smoker who enrolls himself into rehabilitation with "Prayogshala" which puts a heavy price-tag on each puff stolen. Once you have enrolled, your first puff will land your loved ones in a gas chamber filled with the cumulative smoke of all sticks that you have smoked so far. If you still cannot keep away, your second puff will mean that your fingers will be cut. The next puff will result into disappearance of your loved ones and if that doesnt deter you, there is more in offing (You have got to watch the movie). The most interesting part of the movie is the way it has been shot - backwards/forwards/sideways. The sets are gloomy, offering very little details and as a result, the entire focus lies on the actors with the motion picture independent of its context; well largely anyways. The performances by Paresh Rawal and Ranveer Shourie are fantastic and even John Abraham isnt that bad. And you just cant have enough of the title song, check out the Movie Trailer.

PS - Dont quit after the first scene. You will have a strong urge; suppress it.

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