This weekend, lust got the better of me and I found myself (alas, with the husband) at the local multiplex trying to get my George Clooney fix on a Saturday night at 300 Rupees a pop (weekend rates, but it was Clooney and I couldn’t wait).
To say that I was terribly let down by The American would be an understatement. I was devastated. My mood was ruined. I was angry enough to ‘need’ a drink. Here was the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ brooding in the midst of obscure, un-photogenic mountains, giving you a crash course in gun-making, drinking brandy with a priest and espresso with a woman as bland as camomile tea, not smiling, not being endearingly mean, or funny or charming or wicked. Nothing that Clooney does best.
It was like watching one of those terribly arty movies where everything happens in real time, except everyone in the hall was still waiting for a twist till the very end. There was none. Nothing happens in the movie, Clooney notwithstanding. There is no semblance of plot, no distracting backdrops (Italy has never looked this boring), no back-story, no clever capers, no skin even. Okay, yes, he did some crunches in muted lighting, and there was a flash of a tattoo around the nape of his neck, but is that all? Where were the lines, the suave demeanour, the let-me-kill-you-with-that-smile attitude? And I don’t care who gave how many stars, the film is a no-brainer.
The last time I was close to this angry, it was during Kidnap, when, soon into the movie, I got sick of Imran Khan’s flaring nostrils and Minissha Lamba’s nose job and the famously overrated white bikini that never appeared. Perhaps it did long after I walked out of the movie but I can’t be sure.
Coming back to The American, I was going to say why would a producer make such an un-Clooney film with Clooney in it, when I realised that he was one of the producers too. What could this be? Celebrity fatigue? Reinvention of self? Spiritual quest? Then why not go and live in the mountains yourself? Why make us spend our hard earned money and not give us our Clooney’s worth? Why make a Clooney film without Clooneyisms?
There is a reason why Clooney exists. For the men, it’s a reality check on what they cannot be. For women, it’s a reminder of what they cannot have. For both of these to occur, Clooney has to do trademark Clooney stuff. Men as good looking as George Clooney have no business to talk their face away. So, if this was an experiment, Mr Clooney, please do not repeat it. At least for the greater good of womankind.