Whining Bastard’s Good Night Good Morning is Different but a Boring Movie

(For Ashwin Kini & Gandhiji)

The first hint of trouble with the whining bastard Sudhish Kamath’s film Good Night Good Morning came when we saw a grateful acknowledgment to Ulaga Madayan Kamal Haasan at the top of the opening credits.

Uh-oh. Not a good omen, we told ourselves.

Ulaga Madayan might be one of the biggest dinosaurs in the Kollywood cesspool but, hey, the fella is a two-bit thief.

Folks, only in Incredible India does a young film-maker start off with something so stupid, so disgusting like acknowledging a shameless thief.

Kinda like an Auschwitz survivor dedicating his book on the dreadful Concentration Camp experience to Der Fuehrer.

Or is Sudhish tacitly acknowledging his inspiration from the song Hello, My Dear Wrong Number from Kamal’s 1976 film Manmadha Leelai.

Who can tell.

Different but Not Good

No matter that we didn’t think much of Good Night Good Morning, we will readily accept it’s different from the run of the mill trash flowing from the Augean stables of Bollywood, Kollywood and Tollywood.

Also in an age when film-makers resort to all kinds of computer generated graphic gimmicks to stir jaded moviegoers, Good Night Good Morning dares to be in black and white.

Except for some flashback bits in color.

Was this black and white move dictated by a modest budget? Perhaps.

Set in and around New York City, the English language movie is about a late night telephone call between a tipsy young guy Turiya (Manu Narayan) traveling in a car with his buddies and a not-so-young lady Moira (Seema Rahmani), alone in a hotel room.

It’s New Year’s eve and both have just left a bar.

Yes, the same bar where their paths crossed.

Both Manu Narayan and Seema Rahmani are decent actors.

And that’s sweet relief considering the Indian film universe is peopled mostly with buffoons like Ajith, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan etc who know zilch about acting.

But when you make a film in a closed setting like a small room or moving car for instance, the script has to be dazzling to compensate for the absence of visual appeal.

That’s where we found Good Night Good Morning wanting.

The script of Good Night Good Morning was just a notch above mediocre.

One of the remarkable films of the simple, one-set genre that we watched a couple of years back is 12 Angry Men. Remarkable for the insight it provides into the human soul.

Everything about 12 Angry Men, from the beginning to the middle and the denouement was striking.

Not surprisingly, the 1957 film won three Oscar nominations – Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing of Adapted Screenplay.

Au contraire, there was not much to get excited about with this two set (a moving car and a hotel room) film Good Night Good Morning.

In our not so humble view, Good Night Good Morning falters primarily because the writing doesn’t keep pace with the off-beat theme.

And the rambling conversation theme itself didn’t endear itself to yours truly.

We suspect Sudhish Kamath’s limited budget determined his choice of theme.

So, were the dialogs sparkling or witty?

Alas, only on few occasions.

While the budget may have constrained Sudish Kamath’s choice of theme surely where the writing was concerned he was not so constrained.

So if you’re looking for the culpable persons to vent your spleen on, they are the film’s two writers Sudhish Kamath and Shilpa Rathnam.

Good Night…Avoid

If you have time to waste, you can watch Good Night Good Morning on TV via the Mela Entertainment channel with the Roku box. No, we couldn’t locate it on the iPad.

But your time would be better spent catching something more entertaining this weekend on the Netflix Instant cornucopia.

Our biggest concern now is that when the word spreads on how a no-name fella like Sudish Kamath has put out an English film, it might embolden the buffoons to come out of the woodwork and throw their film-hats in the ring too.

And that would be a tragedy for the nascent indie film movement in India.

11 Responses to "Whining Bastard’s Good Night Good Morning is Different but a Boring Movie"

  1. Aswin_Kini   January 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Well, quite frankly, I was so surprised that you took Sudhish Kamath’s film so seriously and took pains to review it. I really appreciate your time in doing it, I really do. While Sudhish may not be so happy with your review judgement, I am sure he will be happy that atleast one Indian or former Indian citizen watched his movie.

    Coming back to our conversation, I posted the link containing his article only for just FYI. I was surprised you took it so seriously and reviewed the movie instantly. Guess you assumed that this was going to be a surprisingly good Indian film, which proved to be otherwise. But I hope that with some little appreciation and better monetary help, people like Sudhish Kamath will produce atleast good, if not the best, movies in the future. Let us hope for the best. And once again thanks for your time.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Within limits, we do our best to encourage independent film-makers be they Korean, Chinese, Danish or Indian.

    We may not like all of them but at least we don’t ‘review’ those we didn’t watch. Sudhish complains in the long piece in your link that some folks on IMDB have trashed Good Night….without watching it. That’s so sad!

    Once again, for those who want to watch Good Night Good Morning in the U.S. it’s available on the Mela Entertainment channel and you can watch it on your big screen TV if you have a Roku box.

    • Mnx542   January 22, 2012 at 10:03 am

      This reminds of me another film, Phone Booth. The entire movie is set in a public phone booth in NYC. Some years back, my cousin gave me the DVD saying it’s a good thriller taking place entirely in a phone booth. I was bit reluctant at first, wondering how the makers could have managed to deliver a thriller taking place entirely in a public phone booth, but at last decided to give it a try.

      But the moment the opening credits started to roll, I had my eyes glued to the monitor screen for the next 1.5 hours or so. A very good thriller with not a single boring moment.

      Another different movie I watched was Buried. Takes place entirely inside a buried coffin, where the protagonist is trapped. Liked the movie but don’t remember much about it.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Added Phone Booth to our Netflix queue. Since it features two good actors Collin Farrell & Forest Whitaker, the movie should be nice.

      Buried is on instant play…so we can watch it any time. Hopefully in a couple of days.

      • Mnx542   January 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm

        Hey SI,

        Watched Phone Booth?

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Not yet, sweetie!

        Will do, soon.

  2. rakeshbaba   January 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm


    If Titanic were made in India
    1)There would be 10 times as many people on the ship.
    2) There would be a song with kate winslet in a white saree and of course singing in the rain.
    3) The movie would be called “Pyar Kiya To Marna Kya”
    4) Hero and Heroine would float in cold water for days and still survive, but the villain would die in first dip.
    5) The iceberg would be sent by the heroine’s father to teach the hero a lesson.
    6) None of the women would float due to heavy designer sarees.
    And last but not least
    7) Half of the rescue boats would be reserved for SC/ST/OBC

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    The last point is the best. 😉

    • Mnx542   January 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      Well, if Rajnikanth were to star in the Tamil remake of Titanic, the climax would show him swimming with the heroine on one hand and the Titanic on the other…!!!

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Well, if Rajinikanth were aboard the Titanic the iceberg wouldn’t dare collide with the ship or come within 100-miles of it. 😉

  3. Naveen   January 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Who knows why he acknowledged Kamal Haasan!!

    Enlighten me SI!

    Why do these independent films often end up being self-indulgent, un-entertaining and often worthy of film festival audience only??

    Why do these films have to be obscure or serious?

    How do these film makers expect studios to take them seriously and fund when there is little or no hope for making money out of these films?

    Why the fcuk do they prematurely ejauculate their movies with little or no publicity??

    Most importantly, why would anyone watch a “Good Morning / Afternoon / Evening / Night” when Illayatalapathy is weaving his magic in “Nanban” 10 shows a day or when Madhavan is occupying 75% of the screen in “Vettai”?

    Peepli Live is a good example of successful off-beat film making. It was a decent attempt.. fine script, decent acting and proper marketing.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Kamal Haasan & Gauthami Tadimalla were the first names on the acknowledgement list.

    Since Kamal Haasan is the presiding deity in the pantheon of South Indian film ‘actors,’ perhaps Sudhish Kamath fantasized that it might reflect well on his film if he genuflected at the altar of the Ulaga Madayan.

    Despite Sudhish’s incessant begging to people to watch GNGM, we doubt it’ll make money. It should not.

    From what we’ve read, Nanban seems to be resonating well with Ilayathalapathy’s Thalaiillatha (headless) fans.

    • Naveen   January 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Oh no no no!

      I asked you to enlighten me on the questions that followed the “Enlighten me” line. 😀

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Ah, that’s likely because Sudhish Kamath deludes himself that art exists in vacuum.

      But since times immemorial (including with the likes of legends such as Leonardo Da Vinci & Michelangelo), art has survived on the patronage of either the nobility or, in more recent times, the masses.

      Sudhish’ movie is targeted at a narrow sliver of the movie-going population and in our opinion it’s not good enough to appeal to even the narrow segment that believes movies are more than the Khans or Vijays/Suryas/Ajiths.

      Without the patronage of sufficient numbers for Sudhish’s previous films, producers would only give him the cold shoulder when he appeals to them to fund his future efforts.

      Unless there’s a miracle, Sudhish Kamath won’t be tormenting us for some time to come.

      Of course, he can always fund his hobby on his own nickel as he seems to have done with GNGM.

      Bragging about encomiums from the Transylvania audience is like tom-tomming that the Kattumanargudi Film Society or Nellikuppam Movie Fans Association liked it!

  4. gandhiji   January 23, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I think he hints that his inspiration was “Before Sunrise”.. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/before_sunrise/ 100% on RT. Haven’t watched it.. You’d surely like Delpy. I found her adorable in her other movies.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We’ll watch it.

    • MAK   January 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      If you plan to watch Before Sunrise, please do watch Before Sunset too. It’s the sequel. I found the sequel much better than the first.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Added both to NFLX queue.

      Unfortunately, both are available only on DVD and not on Instant play.

  5. bagh11   January 24, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Just wondering why you never reviewed “The Dirty Picture”?

    It’s not so exciting when you can’t make fun of a Hindi movie? When the acting is decent, and story is worthy. 😉

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: Just wondering why you never reviewed “The Dirty Picture”?

    170-miles is too far to drive, even though we were turned on at the thought of seeing Vidya Balan’s fine acting assets. 😉

    We’ve conceded on several occasions on this extraordinary blog aka SI that Vidya Balan is one of the few Indian stars who can act. Unlike the Priyankas and Kareenas.

    • gandhiji   January 24, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Watched the Dirty Picture until “Intermission”. Tons of cleavage and decent acting kept me engrossed in the otherwise dull movie. She looks fabulous.

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