Pretentious Movie Reviews needs to return to our screens; are you listening, Kanan and Biswa?
Hi guys, welcome to Pretentious Movie Reviews. This week’s movie is…
This was a show about how some films were so bad that they had to be revisited. It starred a couple of engineers, namely Kanan Gill (who goes to the gym) and Biswa Kalyan Rath (who went to IIT). They laughed, they got frustrated, they walked off, they cracked jokes (both obvious and implied), they used props and overlaid graphics. There was also a lot of editing and cut-scenes and it all came together in a perfectly-sized package — one that always left you asking for more.
It started with Gunda, Kanti Shah’s cult classic. We saw the rather handsome Kanan on the left and the rather… relatable Biswa on the right. There was perhaps a bit of symbolism going on as Biswa was squarely in front of a bookshelf while Kanan was partly in front of a mirror. Interestingly, Biswa introduces himself as Kalyan in this one.
There are a bunch of scenes from the movie cut together in montages which serve as talking points for the duo. Of course Gunda is a movie which lends itself to much ridicule but the review picked on the very best bits — the rhymes, the very proactive characters and Vitamin Sex.
Then came Jaani Dushman. After the obligatory love to Sonu Nigam, they jump onto a scene which leaves you flabbergasted — the rape attempt on Manisha Koirala’s character. They are as amazed as us when she is then peer pressured into forgiving the perpetrators.
This was also a good reminder of how so many things from these movies just weirdly never stuck with us even though they should. Do you remember Sunil Pal trying to rape Riteish Deshmukh (in drag) in Apna Sapna Money Money? Exactly, neither did I till I saw it randomly on (where else) Zee Cinema.
Sadly, both of these reviews are no longer present on Kanan’s channel. But you can never really delete anything on the internet and a YouTube search will bring up both of these gems in a jiffy.
There was also Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon. The review (and the movie) has the best flying dad, best insults and the very, very best of Hrithik Roshan. It also etched “Hi Aunty!” into our memories forever.
Now, many people count Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon as their favourite review but they are wrong because that honour goes to…
The “most sexual movie of all time” recalled the 'Exercise' song to public consciousness where it will stay for some time to come. The highlight of the movie was Fardeen Khan “acting” as Suraj who (spoiler alert) refuses to give Meghna Kothari some “haseen dard”. They even found time to call out a pretty random bit of homophobia with the “Jay Mehra - Gay Mehra joke”.
The duo also reviewed (and made hilarious) Aabra Ka Daabra (Unimpressed Sardar child), Hum Saath Saath Hain (ABCDEFGHI), Aap Ka Suroor (Germany) and DDLJ (Khusbooooo) among others. There was also the little-known review of Dare to Date which never came on Kanan’s channel at all but which you really should watch if only to understand what a “ChachaPoolTable” is.
It also helped that apart from being funny, they also commanded their own audiences. For the longest time, I believed that Biswa was the one who was actually funny and was carrying the show. And the guys around me agreed. The key word being guys. Except of course a bunch of women were fans of the series too and were equally vehement that the show was all Kanan. In the end, it didn’t really matter because the chemistry the two enjoyed meant that it all just clicked.
The show’s cast was also its own laughter track. Both would fall apart laughing while playing out scenes from the movie being reviewed as well as when either was cracking a joke. They thought they were hilarious. And they were!
Their respective careers have taken off quite well now as both are well-regarded names on the stand-up circuit and can easily sell out auditoriums. Biswa managed to make a rather whimsical cameo in Brahman Naman, while Kanan got a much meatier role in the Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Noor.
They are also regulars on YouTube channels of other comedians like SnG Comedy and Indian comedy overlords AIB. Especially in a segment about exams on AIB’s On Air with AIB, the two stole the show with their anecdotes about students generally being stupid.
Both of them got their own Amazon Prime specials with Biswa’s Biswa Mast Aadmi perhaps being a shade better than Kanan’s Keep It Real. Kanan has generally been the weaker of the two when it comes to stand-up but his special was surprisingly good and well worth a watch. Biswa on the other hand literally made his dad famous as everyone now knows of Jagan Mohan Rath. They comfortably outstripped the competition by a mile as Zakir Khan and Kenny Sebastian disappointed in their specials.
Amid all the hoopla and the progress they have made in their careers, Pretentious Movie Reviews went missing though. It made them famous and was some of the best viewing on the Indian side of YouTube. The last one was for Kya Kehna, which came out almost a couple of years ago.
There is hope though, for in April, the two appeared on Abish Mathew’s Son of Abish and said that they weren’t doing the reviews because they were bored and didn’t want to be typecast. But the plan was apparently to do some other stuff and get back to the reviews later.
And the return would be none the sooner. There are so, so many movies which are crying for the PMR treatment. There is Deshdrohi, KRK’s magnum opus which fans have been begging them to review. Maybe then KRK could review the review and cause the internet to explode. There is also the very amazing Jhoom Barabar Jhoom with Lara Dutta’s fantastic accent. Actually that movie is supposedly jinxed, so maybe not. If nothing else, Ram Gopal Varma's Indian Flames (RGV Ki Aag) is the lowest ranked Indian movie on IMDB for a reason, and Kanan and Biswa seem like the best people to articulate that reason.
In closing, I’d like to say that these reviews were awesome and two years is a long enough hiatus for anything. Come on Kanan and Biswa, bring back the weird colours and doge memes and that weird Boost snapshot.
And if that doesn’t work, then I have but one question for you guys: Have you had sex with Pretentious Movie Reviews?
TOH PHIR PROBLEM KYA HAI?