Sunday, July 15, 2007
Indian Idol 3: Shabana Azmi and the public shredding of Anu Malek
I'll confess I am not a big fan of Shabana Azmi. How much not a fan? I thought her best movie was Parvarish (some pictures and a review if you're interested over at Beth's). This is the cause of some alarm in my house because my wife (who I admit is smarter than me) thinks Shabana is a goddess. So I was more than a little cagey when she showed up recently on Indian Idol 3 as a replacement for husband Javed Akhtar.
But her work on the show was delightful. She could easily have smiled and played good cop - no one would have held it against her. Instead she dissected performances with grace, didn't overcompensate or adjust any judgement and made sure she kept everyone's chin up.
And then when Anu Malek went after Emon Chatterjee, she let him have it. "You shouldn't discourage competitors this way!" she thundered. This was much fun to watch - someone finally shutting Malek up, albeit momentarily. (Hopefully Alisha Chinai took some notes on how to project and wield power. Hint: no peals of giggling). Right after the performances, some of the contestants' comments that filtered through showed growing discontent in the ranks.
More was to follow for Malek. In the second show, the hosts singled out Emon and showed clips of the junta shaking their heads at Malek and showing their support for Emon. Malek swallowed hard and said something to save face that I still can't understand.
Now whether this slows down the man or not remains to be seen. A better critique of Emon came from Alisha who pointed out that Emon sounded worse than before and he was stuck in a rut. And speaking of singing, its interesting how the equation has changed. The two most consistent voices now belong to Deepali and Amit Paul.
Both excelled last week, particularly Amit, who as ~mad munky~ astutely pointed out, seemed to be the sole contestant who put voice before performance. It's not every day that Udit Narayan jumps out and risks tripping on his achkan to come and congratulate someone on stage.