Three reviews, one post

I went on a spree recently and ended up watching three movies in more or less quick succession. Hey, people gorge on chocolate, I watch two movies back to back at a multiplex. So sue me. None of them really deserves a longish review (actually they do, but I’m a lazy bum), so here’s a paragraph or two about each of them.


Quick Gun Murugun


After a minor tribute to Tarantino’s Kill Bill right at the beginning, the opening credits of Quick Gun Murugun show our hero being ferried to heaven by Yama on what seems like Thailand’s answer to the buffalo. Heaven turns out to be something like a large Government office, complete with an old watchman sleeping at the gate. When Murugun alights, Yama asks him, half-sheepishly, “Saar, meterukku mela konjam…” And when the former walks on without even responding, the latter mutters what must be the most appropriately worded insult in recorded human history: Saavu kirakki. (My apologies to those who do not understand Tamil — my translation skills aren’t quite sufficient to make this joke work in any other language.)

With such auspicious beginnings, one would expect QGM to be an absolute laugh riot. Sadly, this doesn’t turn out to be the case. Like Woody Allen’s Take the Money and Run, it all sounds amazingly funny until you actually sit down and watch it. It’s eminently chuckle-worthy all right, and one never really tires of all the sly references (lines like “Make my day, machchaan” abound), but by and large, the movie manages to be clever without really tipping over the edge into laugh-out-loud-funny.

I have watched both of Shashanka Ghosh’s movies now — Waisa Bhi Hota Hai and this one. Neither of them will rank as a work of comic brilliance, but maybe these will turn out to be the opening notes in a brilliant career. Who knows, the man might even give us our own Annie Hall sometime in the future.


Dil Bole Hadippa

Dear Yash Raj Productions,

Despite my better judgement, I have watched most of the movies you have come out with in recent times. I do not need a refresher.

Sincerely,

Ramsu

The trouble with DBH, I suppose, is that while it isn’t really a bad movie per se, it doesn’t seem to be bothered much with being a good one. Then again, if all you have is the idea of an ambidextrous Punjabi kudi wanting to play cricket with the boys and masquerading as one in order to do so, just how good can it get? At least Twelfth Night added more complications (like the business of twins) to disguise the fact that it was basically just fluff.

Nobody really stands out. Rani Mukherjee tries gamely, but quite frankly, she just doesn’t have what it takes to elevate this material. The best you can expect from her is to do justice to a well-written part — this one isn’t. Shahid Kapoor moves his career up one square by playing an essentially likeable character yet again, except with a bigger banner paying him to do nothing this time around. Rakhi Sawant moves her career up one square by getting a more-or-less non-speaking 5 minute part in addition to her item song. Sherlyn Chopra turns up with seemingly one purpose — to increase the per capita exposure in the movie by a few dozen square inches. She does well at that. A non-speaking part would’ve been even better, but as it stands, it doesn’t really hurt the movie. The others convert O2 to CO2. On the whole, I’d have been better off doing the same at home.


Wanted


I doubt I can say it any better than Amrita has in her absolutely wonderful review of this movie. The best I can do is say the following: Wanted is exactly what it claims to be, and it is very good at what it aims to do.

I was initially skeptical about the casting choices — I felt Salman was too old for the part, and that Prakash Raj’s performance might not work as well in Hindi as it did in Tamil and Telugu. I was wrong on both counts. Both of them seem to be having the time of their lives, and from what I could see in the multiplex, the public absolutely loved it. Ayesha Takia proves yet again that, were it not for the occasional little gem like Dor or Socha Na Tha, all we might end up remembering of her is how she fills out a t-shirt. (Very well, I might add.)

As for the supporting cast: Vinod Khanna has a nice little role doing nothing. Inder Kumar seems to be raking in millions in steroid endorsements. Mahesh Manjrekar is suitably sleazy while managing to be a mite less over-the-top than his counterparts in the Southie versions — which is saying very little and very much at the same time. And a bunch of interchangeable goons seem to growl and die in the background often enough to keep the story going. One even commits suicide instead of letting the hero kill him — I’m not sure how he sees this as a better option, but I’m disinclined to argue the point.

On the whole, this is an absolutely wonderful B-movie. And if you need any other reason to watch it, here’s one: as toothpaste ads go, it’s much better than Hum Aapke Hai Kaun.

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10 thoughts on “Three reviews, one post

  1. Corn-u-copia? says:

    (Amrita’s gonna go “Grrrr” but oh well!) Looks you just had yourself a three-cheese macaroni at the multiplex Horn of Plenty. πŸ˜€

    QGM: Parmesan (coz that’s Paramasivan’s son at the Pearly Gates).

    DBH: Cheddar (coz it’s an aged cheese; someone mentioned Rani’s was a more “mature” performance than Shahid’s) — and tell me again, you were doing what? Playing chess while being hooked to a respirator for 3 hours?

    Wtd: Mozarella, Salman’s the fella! And you re-joined the Chest Nut Club, you said? Okay then, your member t-shirt will be in the mail after Ms Takia “fills” it out first (I mean the “autographed by” box on the back, pervert)! πŸ˜›

  2. C-u-c says:

    Oh BTW, since you mention Woody Allen (in QGM), here’s something that came on TV yesterday. It’s part 2 of an episode whose part 1 goes thus (sorry, can’t find it on YT): Maya — heiress-cum-reporter at Blush, a fictitious fashion mag — writes an article on her idol Woody Allen and the next day, an impersonator shows up at her office. She’s all skeptical, thinks he’s a loon, gets ready to hit him on the head with a stapler…you know the drill (guy coming on to girl who hates it from the get go and then, voila!)…now go watch part 2. Funny stuff.

  3. Banno>> With one reference to toothpaste, they took an ordinary scene and elevated it to the ranks of the sublime πŸ˜€

    veracious>> Prakash Raj is almost always interesting to watch. But there isn’t much for Vinod Khanna to do except one scene towards the end, so don’t get your hopes up too high. As for Salman, if you didn’t like Salman, this one won’t change your mind. I personally am quite fond of the guy’s work. He does better at being ridiculous than most others, and given how much ridiculousness there is in Hindi cinema, that’s a good thing.

    C-u-c>> An autograph? That’s it? Sheesh! Still, I guess one does with what one gets…

  4. You know how critics are always talking about actors needing to “stretch”? Stretching for Salman Khan would be if he managed to make a movie without mentioning SRK and Ash. I thought he’d almost managed when we made it all the way to intermission with only a mention of a “Miss World” but NOOOOOOOOOO!

    Still, stuff like that elevator sequence and the calling the cab stuff was funny as all hell – who’da thunk we’d see a Sallu Khan pulling Southie cliches with such gusto? I wonder what Vodafone thinks of the unfortunate nature of their product placement, btw.

    C-u-C – Tum cheese badi ho mast mast. πŸ˜›

    • Anonymous says:

      C’mon now, I’m having a hard enough time keeping myself on a leash lately… πŸ˜›

      Oh BTW, know you’re not the #1 fan of the Monk’s Cafe gang, but thought this snippet from The Cheever Letters episode that re-ran on TV y’day should give you some serious kicks.

    • It’s interesting how there’s nary a reference to the delectable Ms Kaif in his movies, but Ash manages to make the cut consistently.

      As for the Vodafone thing, I’m not entirely sure I’d call it unfortunate πŸ˜€

      ~ramsu

  5. S says:

    Not here to harangue you for hating on Hadippa (hey, how dare you? :P) but to retrospectively register that my ‘Corn’y avatar-of-yore feels like a parallel-universe equivalent of the Rani character masquerading, in this instance , as a “cunning linguist.” πŸ˜›

    Also, just now watched Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and wish I could say it was much better than Maine Pyar Kiya. (To Salman’s credit, I did think the twin angle was effectively done in Dhan…)

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