Monday, August 28, 2006


Take phoren cars, to it add cell phones and laptops of any and every conceivable make, sprinkle women in smart business suits, a dash of amrikis, garnish liberally with godmen, conmen and politicians, for decoration use cocktails aplenty and waning "femly bhelues"......shake...stir.....whatever. And Voila, you have created what in ajit-lingo would be "car"porate nagri.

This is a nagri of cut-throat competition, where two rival business houses will stoop to being the scumiest of the scums to keep their profits rising and shareholders happy. Just so that no one in the audience feels left out, a drone of a voice in the background keeps explaining deal, merger, takeover and such like concepts till you are ready to scream. Funnily none of these were really necessary because in its heart-of-hearts corporate is true blue masala. Masala with a few boardroom meeting thrown in, where half the junta act like overgrown six year olds.

Top exec Nishigandha Dasgupta (Bipasha Basu cast as a neat package with sharp smart demeanor in all those armani suits and gelled hair worn in a neat ponytail). [as an aside: Come bharatiya naritwa time, however, armanis and gels get replaced by crumpled salwars and dishevelled hair]. Nishigandha is tough as nails and will stop at nothing, such as lying, bribing, scheming obtain her rival's secret. Now the corporate world is such where every CEO/VP worth his salt is hitting and pawing on the next bright, young female exec (women IIM grads beware!@#$). Here sleeping with the enemy could ensure easy success. But our Nishigandha aside from having a virtuous soul also has a brilliant mind shaped by the times. She hatches a plan wherein the bed time duties are duly outsourced to a beauty of unknown name (couldn't find her in the titles) who leaves the lusty lascivious enemy in snoring bliss, while Nishi busies herself downloading all his files with rival product launch plans. Gone are the days of yore when scraps of paper masqueraded as THE "secret formula". Now when Nishi downloads data, it is from Mr Rival's laptop into a...ahem....USB port. Though audience is no longer treated as technologically challenged idiots, one wishes that the poor rival wasn't treated as one. He should have been allowed a password at the very least. After all the fortunes of his company resided in that laptop. Perhaps he could have it written on the underside of his undies as a cryptic puzzle. Solve the puzzle, enter password, download data. Much more challenging!!

Anyway nemesis awaits Ms. tough-as-nails. In the form of CEO's brother-in-law Ritesh (played by Kay Kay Menon of Hazar Khwaishein Aisi fame). Ritesh gets her heart in a platter. Spiked by huge chunks of her brain as well. Why else would she admit to crimes that she never committed and allow others to go scot free? Or perhaps she thought the Indian judiciary was a bigger joke than Bollywood movies.

In Page 3, his earlier film, Bhandarkar had a more convincing cast and portrayal of characters. In contrast, Corporate does not even take off. The cut-throat competition, warring factions and tattle tales all seem so tame and sedate that one could sing a lullaby. The Bipasha-KK romance, so pivotal to the story lacks passion and punch and is reduced to a collage of scenes of various degrees of undress. These and other newbie gadgets fail to lift Corporate from its very mediocre status.


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