Tag Archives: Akshay Kumar

Practically A Movie Review – Happy New Year

 

The ONLY reason to look forward to Diwali this year

The ONLY reason for looking forward to Diwali this year

There have been a few occasions in the history of India when the entire future of our great nation has hung precariously, and then toppled over to the wrong side. Like the time centuries ago when both the British and the French wanted to stake their claim on our land. But then Le République lost, dooming us into becoming tea and rusk eating philistines when we could have been la wine and la cheese connoisseurs instead. Or, when Pandit Ravi Shankar discovered the Beatles, brought them to India and turned them into hippies swaying to ganja tokes sitar notes. The wily fox then, instead of beseeching the Liverpool Lads to stay on and absorb our culture, decamped with them to the Evil West. Imagine the possibilities had the Beatles chosen to forgo Notting Hill for Pali Hill, and become Bollywood music directors instead – the best heroines of the times, from Asha Parekh to Madhuri Dixit, might have swayed their wide hips to the tunes of Lennon-McCartney instead of Laxmikant-McPyarelal.

Of course, there have been other times when a national tragedy was so catastrophic that even God sought to redress the wrong He had instigated. One such calamity had occurred a couple of years ago on the sidelines of a major awards function when a Biiiiiig Star (who is not called Raj or Rahul in real life) exchanged blows with a film-director-husband of a choreographer-turned-film-director. That unfortunate episode had instantly transformed a Karan-Arjun-type blood-bond into a Godfather-like feud where the two parties (including their spouses, friends, servants etc.) exchanged venomous barbs like – ‘His six-pack has six times more acting talent than the rest of his body parts combined’ and ‘No one has ever walked out of a movie theatre unimpressed with his film because, well, no one went inside in the first place’ in gossip magazines.

Ouch.

Well, you can imagine the ramifications the ShahRukh Khan – Shirish Kunder War sought to wreak on Bollywood, nay the entire nation. Hostility between them could mean only one thing – that the country was now doomed to a protracted phase of collaboration between Kunder’s wife Farah Khan and their other favourite Akshay Kumar. Remember Tees Maar Khan? (Of course you do. No one ever forgets their first prostrate / gynae exam) What if that was just the tip of the iceberg, the start of a string of sequels, the next being Untees Maar Khan? Then Atthais Maar Khan, then Sattais…? By the time we would have hit Shoonya…

Such disaster, and that too so soon after India had just eradicated Polio and Kamaal R Khan!

Anyway, like I said, God the Merciful slapped Himself into His senses, and SRK and SK kissed and made up. Farah Khan immediately booted Akshay Kumar out of her psychedelic dance floor and signed back ShahRukh instead. And, so, here we are, a few short months later, with a brand new film called Happy New Year. Scheduled to be prematurely ejaculated two whole months before New Year.

The dazzling promos are all over YouTube. Clearly, the film is a remake of Sholay, though no one is saying the obvious in as many words. The trailer is absolutely unfunny, because it would be laughable to make a funny one about an unfunny subject – the revenge of a man who has lost everything.

Here is the plot –
Thakur Baldev Singh, known as BS (played by SRK) has lost two things most essential to live the life of a normal man. No, not arms, for those can be easily replaced with prosthetics in the 21st century. BS has lost much more than mere limbs – he has lost his Looks and his Senses. Understandably, he is super pissed about it, and so he tries to keep his mind (whatever little of it is still functioning) occupied by working on his 8-pack, streaking his hair blond, crinkling his forehead, and dancing like Miley Cyrus. Classic symptoms of a mid-life crisis, even though BS is no more than 32 years old in this film.

One day, Daku Gabbar Singh (or GS, played by Jackie Shroff, f/o Tiger Shroff) lands into BS’s village in his helicopter, and walks around in slow motion wearing a very expensive suit and a very smug smile, as if he owned the place. Ramgarh, thanks to corrupt ex-dacoits-turned-real-estate-developers like GS, has transformed into something that looks like Macau (it’s a small town in South Africa) now, where poor villagers are still forced to go and deposit their hard earned cash at the feet of the Roulette and Blackjack dealers sitting inside casinos built over flattened ravines. Obviously, no one is happy to lose money, despite the momentary joy one derives in anticipating that, maybe this time, their luck will change and the dealer will not only return them all their money, but also give them some more by way of goodwill (and interest). Alas, that is never to be.

BS, devastated to see the incessant looting of his people, decides enough is enough. He must destroy GS’s Evil Empire. The only way to do so is by dancing his way into Senior-Tiger’s den, a la Mehbooba-Mehbooba in the original, and destroy it from within. Sadly, since Helenji has now retired, BS decides to do so himself (after all, he does know how to dance like Miley). He hires two sidekicks in his battle against GS. (Remember, he can’t do ALL of it himself – he has lost his Looks and his Senses, plus he has just spent thousands getting that bleached blond streak too). Enter Jai and Veeru, played by Abhishek Bachchan and Sonu Sood, two actors who have honed their skills over decades to play Sidekicks to perfection. Both are masters of serious and comedy, even though they are most comfortable in scenes that require acting like baboons. (No offence meant to any member of the ape family)

Then there is Basanti (played by Deepika Padukone), the key motivator for BS, Jai, Veeru etc to rise and shine each morning. After Chennai Express, Finding Fanny and now Happy New Year, men all over India are bound to fall in love with her delightfully weird accent again, almost as much as they would want to take her Cleavage (OMG!!) home to meet their mothers for ashirwad. As everyone knows, endless tales (both on Twitter and in newspapers) have been written about the Beauty and her Bust.

The film also stars Boman Irani, who plays either Ramu Kaka or Dhanno the horse, it is not absolutely clear which. Plus, even though absent from the trailers, it is assumed that the film also has Kirron Kher because, let’s face it, a loud Punjabi Woman is a must in every movie script these days.

Together, Sensible BS and his team wage a war over Evil GS. They must use every tool in the Bollywood arsenal in order to win this fight – song and dance, emotions, song and dance, music, song and dance, comedy, song and dance, dazzling locales, song and dance, slow motion walks towards the camera, song and dance, and song and dance.

So, who wins in the end? Your guess is as good as mine. Though one thing is clear. Now that Farah, Shirish, their triplets, her brother Sajid, and SRK are one big happy family again, Happy New Year is bound to make more money at the box office in its first weekend than all of Africa makes in a year.

And deservedly so, too.

Practically A Movie Review – ‘BOSS’ Starring Akshay Kumar

Several months ago, there was joyous dancing in the dark and lit streets of the United States of America. No, it was not because President Obama had just concluded a historic tour of India in which he had actually heard our Prime Minister mumble almost three whole words. (“Honey, that felt awesome but still not as good as when I heard Mr. MacMahon Sing say ‘Hello’,” Obama had confessed to wife Michelle after a particularly steamy roll in the White House bed). The celebrations were not even because the US Navy Seals had finally got Osama bin Laden hiding under Musharraf’s kitchen sink. Nor could the nicely resurgent stock markets explain the unabashed street euphoria. And while you may assume, and quite rightly so, that it was a great time to be born in the USA, what with rock-solid marriages like Sandra Bullock’s, wholesome children like Miley Cyrus, and iconic upright sportspersons like Tiger Woods, the real reason for the incredible mood was something else. The real reason for this all-pervasive mass jubilation was that America was finally about to conquer the last bastion of indomitable excellence – Bollywood. After all, their most iconic star was India-bound to break the biggest and only glass ceiling that really mattered – The First White American Hindi Film Hero.

“I will go to church to break my fast there for 21 consecutive Sundays if this comes true,” Hilary Clinton had declared, clearly siding with the belief that an American Hindi film hero was way more desirous than having a silly old woman as President. This mammoth dream was so imposing that not even Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had dare dream it.

Sure there had been the occasional Tom or two in the past but they had hardly Altered the Hindi film landscape by their presence. There had also been the stray blond desi-foreigner (remember Karan Kapoor?) but they were hardly the real thing either. And the last ‘foreign’ Indian film Shalimar was so bad that even Ram Gopal Verma was not interested in going for a remake of it.

It was 2013 for goodness’ sake! Man had already landed on the moon and Woman at a Dior store in Delhi. These were supposed to be unthinkable fantasies only a few years ago. The time for making history was already upon us.

And so, with the hopes and aspirations of over 300 million Americans (and some 74% of them morbidly obese) resting on his broad shoulders, Bruce Springsteen showed up at the Hindi film location for his first Hindi film audition. The film was going to be based on his life story. It even had his moniker as its title. It was simply called – BOSS. After all, everyone the world over knew him as that.

Bruce 'The Boss' Springsteen, singer, song writer, Bollywood actor?

Bruce ‘The Boss’ Springsteen, singer, song writer, Bollywood actor?

Bruce was given the traditional Indian welcome of aarti and tilak and made to sit on a shaadi-wali plastic chair in a corner. His name on the seatback was misspelled in customary Indian fashion – Biru’s Springs Team – phonetics winning over any need to reference documentation for correct spellings. The setting was an actual village. There were cows roaming past. Happy children shat around a nearby drain. Bruce took photos of all this for his photoblog.
Momentarily, an Indian peasant, tall and imposing-looking, came and sat in the empty shaadi-wali plastic chair next to him.

“Who are you?” the gruff villager demanded.

“I am Bruce Springsteen,” Bruce answered extending his hand. “I am a singer, now aiming to be an actor,” he added helpfully, as the villager shook his hand smugly. If there was recognition, the man didn’t show it.

“You are here for the audition, too?” Bruce asked making polite conversation.

“Yes.”

“For which part?”

“Yours,” came the pat answer.

The Boss was baffled. “The man is clearly delusional,” he thought to himself. Just then, the film’s director Anthony D’Souza joined him.

“Sar, any prollem finding locashen, Sar?” Anthony asked in his charming Malayali accent.

“None at all, thanks! But I am a bit surprised. I thought we were going to start the film by showing my early life – my humble beginnings in a small village in Indiana?”

“Very right, Sar, this is small village in India, na?”

“Oh, I think you misunderstood me! I meant…”

Arrey, Sir,” interjected the tall rustic, “if the fillum is shot in abroad, only NRI audience will interast. And NRI audience only wants to see richness – like helicopter, like big foreign palace, like other CEO-type NRI. Like a Yash Chopra fillum. Even humble foreign village they are not interesting,” he continued. “They only want Landan. New Yark. Not village. Only desi audience wanting village.”

“Well, Sar, he tell totally correcta,” Anthony affirmed.

“Yeah, so ok, maybe we can show my earlier humble life for a few minutes and then quickly move to my successful life. We can show me doing huge shows in places like Central Park in New York, or the Wembley stadium in London.”

“Where item song you will show?” the peasant demanded. “In stadium?”

“Item song? What the hell is that?”

The two Indians looked at each other and shook their heads with a mixture of surprise and sadness.

“Sar, Item Song is very important part in film, Sar. Like, if Hindi film is womana, the Item Song is her 2-2 breasta. People are looking there only, Sar. What is womana without breasta, Sar?”

“What the fuck!”

“And where you will fight villain?” the peasant further asked. “You have bad man in your life story?”

“Bad man?”

“Yes, like Police Inspector who killed your Papa or Politician who destroyed your dhanda? Who you will kill in last reel?” persisted the rustic.

Bruce turned at the director looking quite alarmed.

“What the hell is the man saying? Do I have to kill someone in the film?”

“What to do, Sar. Hindi film, Sar. You are only Boss, but audience is King, Sar! They demanding killing.”

“So, basically, you are saying that my life story – called BOSS – must be filmed in an Indian village , must have an Item Song, and must have me killing some kind of a villain in the end of the film?”

“Very right, Sar! Box office superhit, Sar!”

“Oh damn!”

“And Sar, can you drive car?”

“Drive a car? I am American, of course I can drive a car!”

“Means, drive and jump out of exploding car from 150 feets height, Sar?” Anthony explained.

“Errr…!”

The peasant looked at the director almost admonishingly. “But, Director Sir, that is so common now. You need something more dhamaak-e-daar! Like exploding trucks!” Then looking at Bruce, “You know truck driving?”

“What are you people?” The Boss said, his facial expressions teetering the fine line between incredulity and tears.

“It’s ok, Sar, it’s not only exploshuning and song singing. We will be comedy also!”

“Oh thank God!”

“Sar, you can slap peoples?”

“Slap people?!” the respite that Bruce had felt at the thought of doing comedy vanished immediately.

“Yes, Sar, we do comedy when hero slaps peoples. You will slap many, many peoples. Audience is laughing so much that eyes are leaking!”

“Oh dear Lord…”

“But, no fear, slapping is for bad men only,” the farmer tried to assuage The Boss whose face was ashen and eyes moist. “Girl no slapping.”

“Yes, Sar, girla you only eve teasing. But we not even calling eve teasing because firsta few times, girla verrry angry with hero. But latera, girla in hero’s lap. What is your Mrs. name, Saar? We give heroine same name,” Anthony added earnestly.

Bruce was pretty much speechless by this point. He stared at the two men but said nothing.

“Don’t worry about heroine, Sar. We get someone half from your aging! Just 2 songs and finnish. Whole story rotating around you only, Sar!”

That was about all that Bruce Springsteen was prepared to take. He slowly got up from the shaadi-wali plastic chair.

“I think I might have seemed overeager about this project. On second thoughts, I don’t think I am such a great fit for this film.”

“Oh no, Sar! Why saying so, Sar? It’s box office superhit, Sar!” said the distressed director.

“I think it’s the only wise decision. In fact, why don’t you take this villager to play Boss instead? I think he will be a much better fit!” said The Boss looking encouragingly at the peasant sitting next to him.

“Villager, Sar?” said the surprised director. “Oh no, Sar, that’s our 7th biggusst hero of Bollywooda, Sar, after Aamir Khan Sar, Salman Khan Sar, Shah Rukh Khan Sar, Ajay Devgan Sar, Hritik Roshan Sar and Ranbir Kapoor Sar. Meeting Akshay Kumar Sar, Sar!

Akshay Kumar extended his hand to The Boss again. The two had a firm handshake.

“But what will I do now without hero??” cried Anthony. He turned his gaze at Akshay and pleaded, “Will you be my Boss, Sar? I will change the entirea scripta to suit your need, Sar!”

“Fit hai, Boss!” Akshay said smilingly, not even taking a minute to consider the poor man’s request.

“What does that mean – ‘fit hai’?” Bruce asked enquiringly.

“It means 100 crores, Sar! I means audience throw coina at screena , Sar! Children singing film songa, Sar!”

“It means all that?”

“Yes, more or less, Sar!”

 

The Boss left India taking the next earliest flight out. He knew that he had dashed the hopes of millions in his country. He hoped that he had it in him to explain to his simple countryfolk why it wasn’t going to be so easy for an American to win an Oscar for a Bollywood movie anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Indians all over the world wait with bated breath for 7th biggest Bollywood hero Akshay Kumar’s latest 100-crore hit – BOSS! DO NOT MISS IT!

 

Fit Hai, Boss!

Fit Hai, Boss!

 

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013. The theme is SEVEN. This post is about my 7th most favourite actor in Bollywood, Akshay Kumar. I have watched his film Joker at least a 100 times in my head. 

 

 

 

The Bollywood Mutiny!

Vote for us! We are not just a pretty face.

Vote for us! We are not just a pretty face.

Bollywood was in an unforgiving mood. It had had enough of these godforsaken politicians. After all, how much more nonsense could anyone sane endure? The government, the opposition, in fact all these damned politicians needed to go! Scoot! Vamoose! And Pronto!

As a replacement, the members of the Bollywood fraternity had decided that it was time for India to be run by them instead. This answer had been staring at them in the mirror for a while. Quite literally, actually, because they did like to stare at their mirror often and for extended periods. 

To take this discussion further, an emergency closed-door meeting was taking place at Jalsa, Aaraadhya Bachchan’s swanky crib in Mumbai. The entire film fraternity was in attendance. This was too important a meeting to let egos, personal bickering, camps, height, box-office results, clubs, accent, fisticuffs etc. come in the way. Moreover, the return-gift goody bags that had been promised to all attendees after the meeting, prepared by master artisan Karan Johar himself, were already the talk of the glitterati circuit. Obviously, no one was even remotely interested in staying away from this shindig!

 

Manoj Kumar, Chief Guest : (finally winding up his hour-long speech, in which he had recited poetry and dialogues from deshbhakti films such as Upkaar, Kranti and Clerk) And therefore I say, enough is enough! What have these politicians given us anyway? Same old boring ghisa pita story lines of corruption and violence! No more! It is our turn now! Jai Bollywood! Jai Hind!

The audience starts applauding slowly, after having been woken up in haste by determined elbow kicks from the stray folks who managed to stay awake through the Chief Guest’s discourse, possibly due to pill addiction induced insomnia.

Aamir Khan, Convenor : (stifling a yawn and rubbing his swollen red eyes) So, Friends, fellow Mumbaites, Countrymen, it is, therefore, time for us to wrest control of our nation from these bloody politicians. Guttersnipes, all of them!

Shah Rukh Khan : (excitedly) Hear, hear!

Katrina Kaif : (looking confounded) Eh, but what about Countrywomen? What do you want us to do?

Vidya Balan : (shaking her head) Oh you poor Firangi Phool, by ‘Countrymen’ he meant everyone in the country. Men and Women. But mainly strong, intelligent women like me.

Priyanka Chopra : (looks around pointing to Katrina) How did this foreigner even get into this meeting anyway? Isn’t she from Southall, London or someplace? What is she doing here (breaking into a song) In My Citaaaay! Go back to where you came from, you British Bitch!

Begum Kareena Kapoor : (turning sharply toward Priyanka and tossing her dandruff free hair almost toppling her tiara) Shut up! You mind your own accent, I mean, business!

Shah Rukh Khan : (raising both hands) Ladies, ladies, be quiet. Important matters are being discussed here. Let’s take these petty squabbles outside later so even I can join you!

Aamir Khan : So, as I was saying, Bollywood films have consistently breached the 100 crore mark. That’s more than the GDP of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh put together! Obviously, we are doing something right!

Akshay Kumar : (butting in) Excuse me, but some of us have even breached the 2000 crore mark. Oh wait, not some…only one person has! Me!

Dimple Kapadia whistles from the audience followed by a loud “Woo Hoo!”

Salman Khan : (hisses) Yeah, yeah, we know. We are no bloody Jokers, are we? Some of us are Tigers.

Akshay Kumar : Or Wanted? By the law?

Aamir Khan : (ignores the two and labours on) So, all that is left to be done now is the appointment of the leader of our party – the Bollywood Overseers Of Bharatiya Society. As you know, the leader of the political party that wins the election becomes the Prime Minister.

Sunny Leone : (interrupting) Are you certain that’s the party name we are keeping? “Bollywood Overseers Of Bharatiya Society” or BOOBS for short? And if so, have you chosen a mascot yet? A party symbol?

Aamir Khan : (annoyed) That name has been chosen after careful market research conducted by Mahesh Bhatt Sahab. And please don’t interrupt. Once our leader has been chosen, we will get to the business of selecting the right face to go with BOOBS. Now, talking about the party leader being Prime Minister…

Sonakshi Sinha : (interrupting) Really? Is that how it works? Then how come my father never became PM? He is the most important leader of his party!

Amitabh Bachchan : (turns curiously at her) Hah! Says who?

Sonakshi Sinha : Says he. In our house! All the time!

Reena Roy : (looking at Amitabh) Typical. (Both shake their heads incredulously)

Before Aamir is able to resume, a voice from the back calls out authoritatively.

Ekta Kapoor : (speaking boldly as she walks up front) I should be the Prime Minister. I run the country from 7 pm to 11 pm every day, anyway!

Sajid Khan : (angrily) Ekta Kapoor, you bloody insect from the TV world! What are you doing gatecrashing a Film People Only event?

Shilpa Shetty : (joining in) Yes, we can’t have you small time TV people come here and tell us what to do. Next thing we know, Alok Nath will want to be PM!

Ekta Kapoor : Arrey, I am the lifeblood of this nation!

The whole room erupts into loud guffaws. People have tears of laughter brimming in their eyes. Tiku Talsania is seen rolling on the floor, quite literally.

Ekta Kapoor : Khamosh, Fools! Half of the population of this country – that is, ALL the women – are in my Louis Vuitton handbag! I rule that vote bank! Don’t you forget!

Prem Chopra, Rajneet and Shakti Kapoor, the statisticians in the BOOBS team, are seen to quickly huddle into a whispering tete-a-tete with Mahesh Bhatt. After discussing for a few minutes, Mahesh Bhatt looks up and addresses Ekta Kapoor directly.

Mahesh Bhatt : (firmly) Well, we have confirmed that it isn’t half, as you are falsely claiming, you liar! The sex ratio of our country is already down to 800 and falling fast. Pretty soon, much of your audience will either die out or settle abroad. So shut up. And Get Out of this room!

Ekta Kapoor recoils at the backfire. An old man with jet black hair and pure white shiny shoes gets up agitated and rushes to her side.

Jeetendra : (yelling) Stop shouting at my daughter! (With that, he takes off one of his white shoes and flings it towards Mahesh Bhatt)

Suddenly, there is pandemonium in the room. Unable to bear Jeetendra’s outburst towards his uncle Mahesh, Emraan Hashmi springs out of his chair, picks it up and flings it towards the aging Himmatwala in true Gangster style. This causes everyone to rise to their feet and start tossing whatever objects they can get their hands on. It’s a free-for-all. Microphones, Blackberrys, iPhones, mirrors, hair brushes, compacts, sandals, wigs and toupees, Bentley and Land Rover car keys, nothing is spared. When Salman Khan can’t find anything to lunge and toss, he tears off his ‘Being Human’ t-shirt and flings it across the room barely missing Shah Rukh Khan by an inch.

With great difficulty, order is eventually restored. It is only possible because Karan Johar offers to distribute two return-gift goody bags to each person instead of just the one as earlier promised. That calms people down.

The meeting resumes and Madhuri Dixit gets up to make her case.

Madhuri Dixit : For PM, I have a laat of wourrld experience naao. Efter awl, I have bin living in Amairrica, but have nao returrned to Baambae to rool everything and everybaady. I am in everry rreality TV show. I haiv evolved as somewaan rreelly sooperiur. I am a Regenerist and my pimples are gaan! And my husband is a daacterr! Plus, look at mai teeth! (She pauses to flash her smile exposing ridiculously perfect white teeth)

The audience is unmoved. Possibly because they haven’t understood a word of what Madhuri has just spoken. Some ask for a translator but that request is quickly turned down in the interest of time.

Shah Rukh Khan : But why should we (tosses his index finger at himself, Aamir, Akshay and Salman) look for an old retired actress like you? We already have Hemaji, Rekhaji, Jayaji…wouldn’t we just choose one of them as our PM then? (Looks around searchingly) By the way, where are they? I can’t see those original Lux Beauties anywhere.

The audience repeats his gesture. Everyone looks around searching for the older actresses mentioned.

Salman Khan : (pointing at a dimwitted-looking man with floppy hair sitting by the door) Hey, Darbaan, where are they? Jayaji, Rekhaji, Hemaji? Didn’t they come for this meeting?

Vivek Oberoi : (extremely pissed) I am not the doorman! I am Vivek Oberoi!

All attendees look around quizzically, not knowing who that is. Some wonder if there has been a security breach. ‘Have they just allowed anybody and everybody into this room?’, ‘Who?’, ‘Nonsense, how can he be an actor – just look at him!’ is heard murmured loudly. Vivek Oberoi leaves the room in a huff.

Unperturbed, Salman Khan looks at the other homely-looking young man sitting near the door.

Salman Khan : Sorry, Darbaan, so I was asking…

This time, it is Tusshar who gets up and leaves the room in disgust.

Aamir Khan : (interjecting) Wait, I spot someone who can answer that question. Zeenatji?

Zeenat Aman : (in unbelievably perfect English – the kind that has never been heard in India before) Let me tell you, boys. Those beautiful ladies that you have just alluded to are already in politics. They are all MPs! Obviously, they didn’t want to be a part of this meeting! We are the actresses of the 70’s and 80’s. We have very high morals and dignity!

Aamir Khan : But how about you yourself, Zeenatji? We could all build consensus around you!

Zeenat Aman : Oh, no thanks, my dear friends and fellow fraternity. You see, I may already be taken. Since I may or may not be getting married soon, I will have to decline the offer. But, thank you anyway!

The discussion is back to square one. Just then, someone big and bulky in nothing but chaddis bursts into the room.

John Abraham : Sorry, I am late. I was at the gym. Did I miss anything important?

Bipasha Basu : (dryly) It’s ok, we didn’t even notice you were away. We are just electing our Prime Ministerial candidate, that’s all.

John Abraham : (sounding relieved) Oh, in that case, I am just in time. I’d like to throw my hat in the ring. (He raises his right hand to the back of his head and crinkles his forehead trying to strike the standard pose of a Softhearted Hunk)

The room immediately breaks into loud guffaws again. Everyone laughs hysterically – exactly like they did when Ram Gopal Verma came to them to offer a role in his Sholay remake. This time, Tiku Talsania doesn’t just roll on the ground but even has a massive heart attack while rolling and laughing, and dies. No one notices as his body quietly rolls to the side on its own.

Vidya Balan : (angrily) Stop that Dirty Picture pose, John! We are not talking entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. This is politics, politics, politics!

Aamir Khan : (extremely distressed at where the meeting is going) How the heck do you even consider yourself fit for Prime Ministership? Ok, tell me, do you even know the meaning of ‘Satyameva Jayate’?

John Abraham : Oh come on, stop pulling my leg! Isn’t that just a made up name of an old film? And then you just used it for your reality TV show? Lots of film directors use made up names. You tell me – does ‘Boom Boom Shakalaka’ mean anything? Or ‘Kai Po Che’? They are all made up!

Hritik Roshan : (derisively looks at John and then flexes his own muscles) You fool – ‘Kai Po Che’ is a Gujarati slang! Do you know nothing?

John Abraham : Really? So ‘Satyameva Jayate’ is also a Gujarati slang? I had no idea! (looks around sheepishly)

Hritik and Aamir roll their eyes.

John Abraham : But how did it get so popular? (Suddenly, his face lights up as if a bulb just went off in his head) Must have been coined by Narendra Modi ji! That man is a genius! What a catchy phrase he has created – ‘Satyameva Jayate’. It almost sounds real!

Amitabh Bachchan jumps to his feet at the mention of Narendra Modi and starts applauding loudly. Clearly, the Gujarat CM has connected well with the youth of the nation, including the eternal Angry Young Man.  

Aamir pulls his right hand up to his forehead, draws it in the shape of a handgun and shoots himself.

Taking a cue from the youthful sprightliness of Amitabh, another ‘youthful’ actor rises from his seat to make a case.

Rishi Kapoor : I say, this coveted Leader position belongs to the youth of the country and no one else.

Deepika Padukone : Hein? Uncle, you may have been the original chocolate hero lover boy of Hindi cinema. (Adds politely) But don’t you think that the chocolate is past its expiry date now?

Rishi Kapoor : Oh no, not me! I nominate my son Ranbir for the PM post. After all, the Kapoors are the first family of Bollywood!

Sanjay Dutt : (angrily) Bloody dynastic politics! We have no place for that in our country any more. Look at me, Uncle. I could have followed my dad’s footsteps and become a minister too. But did I? No! And you know why?

Ajay Devgn : (cheekily) Because of your love for AK-47s?

Sanjay Dutt : No, you idiot, because body building is a full time profession, that’s why!

Salman Khan, Sunny Deol and Dharam Paaji spring from their chairs and give a standing ovation for this sterling answer. The 3 sets of hands, each weighing 2.5 kilos, keep clapping until they realize no one else has joined them. That makes them stop and settle down into their chairs a wee bit sheepishly.

Ranbir Kapoor : (makes an angry face and looks at Neetu Singh) Mummy!

Neetu Singh : No, don’t worry, my little Laddo, my pyaare Barfi, we will get you something else!

Meanwhile, noticing that Amitabh has still not stopped applauding after the original Narendra Modi comment, Aamir addresses him directly.

Aamir Khan : (determinedly) Amit Uncle, you are the most senior, most well respected man in this room. Why don’t you take the mantle as our leader?

Amitabh Bachchan : Oh me? Oh no, who has the time? I have a Binani Cement shoot this week, then I fly off to Maldives to shoot for No-Corn Hawaii Chappal ad. As soon as I am back, it’s Hajmola Churan. Next month, Reid and Taylor, followed by Kajrare Kajal, where I am joined by my son and bahu. Then a guest appearance in KJo’s next film, then the next season of Crorepati, Balki’s next film….. (the list continues for the next 17 and a half minutes.)

Some people go off to sleep during this narration.

Amitabh Bachchan : …and some other commitments that we have not firmed up yet. So, looks like I might be free in 2019, but only in the second half. Does that work?

Aamir looks heavenwards, realizing this meeting is not going anywhere. He takes a decision.

Aamir Khan : I am afraid we will just have to adjourn this meeting to a later date. In the meantime, if anyone has any other thoughts on how to dislodge the politicians, do log into www.BIG-BOOBS.reliance.in. As you know, this event is sponsored by Reliance Industries and Big Entertainment. (Looks inquiringly at Abhishek Bachchan who nods back)

Abhishek Bachchan : Ladies and Gentlemen, food has been served at the back lawns. This way, please!

Abhishek leads the assembly towards the assigned area. As he gets there, he sees most serving containers empty and the scared staff shaking their heads and pointing to the woman sitting in the centre table ravaging a chicken tangdi.

Abhishek Bachchan : (incredulously) Where is all the food, honey?

Aishwarya Bachchan : (giggling, as she normally does) Oh, sorry, you people were taking so long in your meeting, I just couldn’t resist starting lunch by myself!

Lara Dutta and Shilpa Shetty look at each other and cluck their disapproval.  

 

 

La Zawaab Film Awards 2013!

Come January each year and the poor Indian plebeians are swamped by a deluge of film awards of all shapes and sizes. Right from Filmfare, Screen, Lux, Zee, Sony, TV Guide, Star Dust and down to Sitara, Manmohak, Charlie, Pappu and their aunt, everyone has their own version of the “biggest and most coveted ever” film awards. Complete, of course, with glittering award functions where identical dance routines are performed to the exact same Bollywood hits.

Amidst all this glamorous vomit, one has to spare a thought for the poor film folks who had the misfortune to be part of successful films of the past year, and who must now bear the brunt of this overenthusiastic adulation. The same names are repeatedly nominated for these zillion awards. For each award function that they deign to attend, there are scores of others that they must find creative ways to wriggle out of.

Here is one such sad story.

We are at the Office of the Organizing Committee of the 2013 La Zawaab Awards, sponsored by the makers of Paan-e-Khaas Paan Masala and Khajana Boutique. The award ceremony is only two days away. The preparations are ongoing but decidedly not very well, going by what is overheard of a conversation between two of the main organizers.

This dialogue has been poorly translated from Gujarati to English.

And the winner is....whoever is available.

And the winner is….whoever is available.

Kokila Behn hangs up the phone dejectedly.

Ramess Bhai (Organizer No.1) : So who was it this time?

Kokila Behn (Organizer No.2) : Vidya Behen.

Ramess Bhai : Let me guess, she can’t make it either. What is her kahaani?

Kokila Behn : You are right, she can’t. But her reason sounds genuine.

Ramess Bhai : What is it?

Kokila Behn : She says she has put on too much weight. The saree she bought especially for our awards function has become too tight. She has nothing to wear now and so she can’t come. I feel too much bekdis with butter she is eating.

Ramess Bhai : Oh no! Can’t she get another saree? Like a XXL size or something?

Kokila Behn : I suggested the same. She said there isn’t enough time. She said her fashion designer Sabji Bhaaji was in Calcutta for Puja.

Ramess Bhai : Puja? Durga Puja? In January?

Kokila Behn : Maybe those Bengali lok do it twice a year? I have never been to Calcutta myself.

Ramess Bhai : Hmm…sounds like an excuse to me. And who is this designer Sabji Bhaaji?

Kokila Behn : Who knows. Aisa hi kuch bola usney. She said she only wears his clothes.

Ramess Bhai : Made up excuse! Like Kareena. Hers didn’t sound genuine either.

Kokila Behn : What did she say?

Ramess Bhai : Dandruff. She says she has too much dandruff and so can’t come.

Kokila Behn : Hah! Who can believe that? Isn’t she constantly applying Head and Shoulders?

Ramess Bhai : How people lie…

Kokila Behn : So, who are we left with?

Ramess Bhai : Well, so Priyanka is out because of she is preparing for Granny awards, and Kareena, and now Vidya. And Sridevi dropped out a week ago.

Kokila Behn : Arrey not ‘Granny’, ‘Grammy’! She only sings Engliss music now. And that Sridevi! I still don’t understand why she was speaking to us in Tamil! You remember when we took her call on speakerphone? I didn’t understand a word she was saying!

Ramess Bhai : Tamil? I thought she was speaking in Hindi!

Kokila Behn : No, it was definitely not Hindi. I think she was speaking in Tamil. Or maybe in Engliss…?

Ramess Bhai : Well, it was definitely not Engliss. Wouldn’t we have understood what she was saying if it was Engliss?

Kokila Behn : Yes, true…

Ramess Bhai : Anyhow, good that you had the foresight to pretend that the line was not clear and asked her to send us an SMS instead.

Kokila Behn : Which she promptly did. With a decline.

Ramess Bhai : How sad!

Kokila Behn : That leaves us with only Katrina Behen who is coming for the awards night.

Ramess Bhai : Which means our Best Actress award will have to go to her.

Kokila Behn : Such a pity.

Ramess Bhai : But what can we do? No option!

Kokila Behn : And on the men’s side?

Ramess Bhai : Well, there’s Akshay Kumar.

Kokila Behn : Arrey? What happened to Aamir Khan? I thought he was coming?

Ramess Bhai : He said he has to go to a village in Jharkhand that day. Or maybe he said Chhatisgarh? It wasn’t Bihar…No, definitely Uttarakhand…he said he was going to Uttarakhand. Or UP?

Kokila Behn : Oh saala! Why?

Ramess Bhai : To judge a kabaddi match! How the hell would I know?

Kokila Behn : You should have asked…

Ramess Bhai :  And said what? Don’t go feed water to the poor suffering farmers of that village, come here instead because we want to give you a prize? Chee! Sounds cheap.

Kokila Behn : You know, he scares me.

Ramess Bhai : He scares me, too! In fact, he was so intense on the phone that the connection broke!

Kokila Behn : Wow!

Ramess Bhai : So the men are out as well – Salman Bhai – court case, Ranbir – because his mummy-papa said no, Ajay Devgn – because Yash Chopra’s accountant was attending the function…

Kokila Behn : And Shah Rukh because he wanted to host and perform.

Ramess Bhai : Too much, this man. Limelight Hogger kahin ka!

Kokila Behn : When we have already selected apna Paresh Bhai to host!

Ramess Bhai : Oh yaarab this Best Actor trophy will have to be given to Akshay Kumar!

Kokila Behn : We should have nominated Irrfan Khan when we had the chance.

Ramess Bhai : Hindsight 20:20 hai!

Kokila Behn : That makes Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar our award winners. The Best Actor and Actress in India.

Silence

Ramess Bhai : Well, certainly better than our choice of Best Director and Best Film.

Kokila Behn : That film wasn’t all that bad, was it?

Ramess Bhai : Well, what choice to we have now, anyway?

Kokila Behn : By the way, Karan has asked for 3 extra trophies besides his own – one each for his 3 stars. He wants them all to be in golden colour, with a platinum top and with diamond rivets going down each side.

Ramess Bhai : Gadhedo saala! Chalo, let’s talk to Mansukh Bhai in Surat then. Let’s see what trophies he comes up with.

Kokila Behn : Has anyone even confirmed that they are definitely attending?

Ramess Bhai : Yes, Zarina Wahab.

Kokila Behn : Ok good! At least the Lifetime Achievement award is all set then.

  

Joker Movie Review – The Art And Physics Of Film Making

My entirely and highly reliable movie review of Joker, based on its 3-minute trailer

Men are from Mars!
(photo courtesy – Google)

Writer, Producer, Director, but mainly Astrophysicist Shirish Kunder has a new movie out. It is called Joker, and, most likely it has been silently funded by NASA.

As you might have cursorily observed from your nerdy friend’s Facebook post, Mars has been in the news lately. NASA recently shunted a fact-finding rover (i.e. a camera tripod on wheels) to the padose-wala planet. The idea is to figure out if life can/did exist in a hostile environment such as Mars where there is no water, no breathable air, and no hospitable terrain. It remains unclear as to why NASA needed to invest billions to go that far when they could have easily flown a couple of scientists to Gurgaon (or any other big Indian city) to obtain answers to their questions. Yes, life can exist under the conditions described above. In fact, I can see it flourishing right outside my window at this moment.

Anyhow, despite causing worldwide swooning and making physicists surge to the top-spot in all matrimonial eligible-bachelor lists, Shirish Kunder and NASA realized that such scientific antics still caused zero interest among Indians. We would rather spend our time watching Baba Ramdev’s Live Arrest on TV, or Ekta Kapoor’s new serial called ‘Woh Mere Saajan Aur Mein Unki Hawai Chappal’, or even Bol Bachchan, Rowdy Rathore and Once Upon An Ageing Tiger. Not to be deterred, the bright scientists figured that the only way to drum up interest in Martian antics among the population in this subcontinent was by making the first-ever scientific-Bollywood film. That, ladies and gentlemen, has resulted in the creation of a new vision for Bollywood, called Bollyvigyan, and its first offering – Joker.

The storyline is out of this world, quite literally. This is a story of two Martian empires and their battle for supremacy and universe-domination (see below for “Universe” definition). One race believes in basic values of goodness and decency. This race is protected by the ability of its constituents to amplify their speed and reflexes to Krrish-like levels – a characteristic known as The Force. The other race is just pure evil – they believe in corruption, black money, abuse of power etc., i.e. The Dark Side. These warring races bring their battles to Earth (also referred to as The Death Star by Al Gore, who makes a cameo appearance), specifically, to some prime real estate in India, presumably Gujarat or Greater Noida. There, they make crop circles, dance to elaborately choreographed item songs and tell terrible jokes in their quest to crush the other side into defeat. In the end, without giving any more of this delightfully original story away, one of the two sides loses.

The film trailer seemed filled with subterfuge so the story might not exactly be the way I have described it above.

With regards to, let’s just call it acting credits, poor Akshay Kumar is like that whack-a-mole that keeps getting pounded by critics and audience alike, and yet pops back up every couple of weeks with a new blockbuster. If there was an Oscar for Resilience, surely there couldn’t be a more deserving winner than him? In this one, he is joined by Sonakshi Sinha and other Martian characters, giving the film an authentic sci-fi demeanour. The lead pair seemed to be enjoying the film making experience as much as you and I might enjoy a healthy cup of Brooke Bond Red Label tea.

The music in the film is by some unknowns (i.e. someone who is not A.R. Rehman, Pritam and Annu Malik) and the background score is by Shirish Kunder himself. And the lyrics are by Shirish Kunder, too. This mother lode of talent has resulted in songs like “I want fakht you”, and parents all around the country are eagerly waiting to train their kids to perform this number at birthday parties and the forthcoming Diwali celebrations in their colonies. As you will agree, it is simply too cute to see small kids stumble on big words like fucked etc.

In closing, Joker makes a case for compelling viewing – a scientific film made by a creative mind of astronomical proportions that is not only going to set the box office a-jingle, but also make you toss that vile ’50 Shades Of Grey’ and rummage your attic for your old school and college physics text books instead. And I expect many of us to change our Facebook status to “Move over, Steve Jobs. I’d much rather be Shirish Kunder’s Joker” when we leave the movie theatre with happy smiles.

My fellow compatriots, if we miss this opportunity at getting inspired for greatness, the Joke will be on us.

The Joker spaceship arrives at a movie theatre near you on August 31st, 2012. Be there or be square.

 

(Definition of Universe : That very large real estate surrounding all of us, which is also the scene of legendary battles fought by pimply adolescent boys on their laptops and hand held devices. Immense fire-power is consumed in the interest of conflict-resolution. The ruler of this domain is usually a dazzling 18-year old South American girl who is thin-as-reed but has ample boobs. She likes to wave at her subjects wearing a swimsuit and a tiara.)