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Vidhu Vinod Chopra
The exterior of the "Alamo" - first visible just before the dinner scene in which Buster Keaton's "The General" (1926) is playing in the background - is a former movie theater in Victorville, California once called the La Mesa Theater. Also, the streets surrounding that building were featured prominently in the motorcycle chase scene in "Electra Glide in Blue" (1973), which starred Robert Blake. See more »
After 25 years all VVC could think of was remaking PARINDA only while moving on to Hollywood.
The veteran producer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra ventures into Hollywood and delivers a film that might not be able to impress the west as well as the east due to its overused, stale subject that cinema lovers have seen umpteen times all over the world in various films from the same genre.
No doubt VVC never made BROKEN HORSES for the Indian audience. But since he did release it in India, therefore reviewing it from an Indian perspective the film manages to impress just marginally due to its technical excellence alone, majorly because the viewers here have already seen everything presented in the film earlier in director's own PARINDA released in 1989. In fact it was quite surprising and weird to know that even after 25 years of successful film-making with innovative, creative minds such as Hirani, Aamir and more, VVC still could think of remaking PARINDA only while moving on to Hollywood.
For friends willing to know the details of similarities between PARINDA and BROKEN HORSES, here too we have childhood reference of two kids (Jackie & Anil), heartfelt love of elder brother who joins the crime world, a crazy gangster (Nana Patekar) having an obsession with fire whose family was burnt alive, the younger brother (Anil) returning after a long gap, his audition for entering the gang killing a helping friend (Sameer Kakkar), his revenge from the gangster, the gang rivalry with another mobster (Moosa – Tom Alter), the mobster helping the younger brother, the young one's love affair with a girl (Madhuri), their marriage and first night selected for their killing (where the yacht gets replaced by a ranch) and then the finale with (thankfully) a change where everyone doesn't die like in PARINDA. So the only single difference in the storyline is the missing character of Anupam Kher and a GODFATHER inspired sequence that goes missing in BROKEN HORSES playing it safe.
Looking at these exact similar sequences and the dead slow pace of the film, the film is bound to be rejected by the English film viewers here in India and the fact was pretty clear when I found myself all alone sitting in the theatre in its very first show which was also running after my repeated request made to the theatre manager.
Coming to the western audience, the subject is certainly not new for them too after watching several movies made on the plot of a mole seeking his revenge or related subjects based on gang wars beginning from the classic ON THE WATERFRONT released way back in 1954. Moreover the annoyingly slow place in the beginning and then few shallow sequences like 'the interview' doesn't let you form any great opinion about the film either quite frankly. However the emotional execution of VVC, along with some well directed violent scenes, impressive cinematography, a fine background score and noteworthy production values (all western technicians) are sure to get noticed in Hollywood, coming from an Indian film-maker representing an industry known to be obsessed with music, songs and dances.
In the performances, Christopher G. Marquette takes a big lead as Buddy and does manage to engage the viewer emotionally (he actually saves the movie) whereas Anton Yelchin presents a simple yet honest act as his younger brother becoming the rebel.D'Onofrio trying to be the cunningly ruthless gangster doesn't work really and the same can be said about Sean Patrick Flanery (the music teacher) and Maria Valverde too playing the lady love of Anton.
In short, it was quite hard to understand the reason why Vidhu Vinod Chopra couldn't think of any fresh innovative idea while venturing into Hollywood. Plus after watching the film, it makes you both laugh & wonder together that why he was denying the fact of BROKEN HORSES being an exact version of his PARINDA in all those interviews and press statements before its release? May be he did it on purpose to get a get good initial before the secret was out.
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