December 21, 2010
November 12, 2010
October 15, 2010
You know you've made it when you've been named as an ice cream!
Well this is a very important post because it's my 100th! And what better way to celebrate than this charming cracktastic disco and downfall masala film? Seeing as this is a hugely momentous day at the Masala Pradesh, I'm going to stretch myself and turn this review into a mock-heroic epic, like 'The Rape of The Lock' but not really, because as brilliant as I am, I am no Jonathan Swift! But as I've taken a bundle of English and writing courses, I thought why not stretch yourself with this amazing film that has 2 wonderful characters that have enough disco ennui and pain to rival other rock stars! Chalo shuroo hojaiye!
Thy faithful addition Sir Wiggle-my-head-alot!
Of Jimmy's first disco dalliance and the pelvis thrusts
Of those Bappi-beats, whose synthesizers
Brought Disco destruction into the Masala Universe
Of Superstar Sam, the prodigal dancer of flailing arms
And shiny costumes, what befalls this bechara?
Ohh heavenly masala muse, I invoke thee to aid my disco tale
To uncover the myths of the creation of the Indian Disco idol
Instruct me to warn other hopeful stars of the folly of shiny clothes
Let not the fate of Superstar Sam affect others
I shall justify the ways of Disco to women/men!
Who first seduced Jimmy to the funky Bappi beats and led him to revolt?
Thy Gold chained Bappi begins our tale with melodious strums from an acoustic guitar
Young Jimmy, a poor urchin beats down on his drums for his daily roti
The awful Maa, keeps our savior attached to her hip
Her tasty roti she feeds him her attachment poison to him:
The shrew feeds him his upcoming Mummy Issues
Ohh how Jimmy dotes on the calculating shrew
Clad in pure white saris, she defiles her title as a Masala Maa
In a garden of riches, Jimmy meets his Eve
A happy song they sing, till her furious father enters
Abuses hurled at Jimmy and his maa
His mind seething with vengeance of breaking his sacred instruments
Mother dearest is thrown to jail to languish away
Ohh but what is this?
Jimmy has made sacred roti for his maa
His mind enslaved by his Maa Issues:Jimmy, the ever-child rock star
The leeching maa is released and insults are pelted her way
They flee to peaceful Goa
Metamorphosis from a humble denizen of the street
To a rather nimble-footed dark and handsome but fragile young man
Revenge bubbles in his mind
Hell hath no fury like a Mithun scorned,
Though full of mature ideas, Jimmy is held back by the shrew
Again the painful cycle repeats
Jimmy allows himself to be fed the poisonous rotis from his stage Maa:
Ohh how vulnerable Disco Maa has made Jimmy!
Alas his mind has moments of unfogginess
And Jimmy realizes that his tuneful songs and his guitar
Grizzled is his conquest for his goal so much that
Jimmy starts to sharpen his guitar and vows to:
The warrior with his instrumental weapon! (I'm so phunny naa)
As Jimmy works his way up the ladder
Performing at Tuntun's wedding to a dwarf
In the Darkness lurks the pouncing and growling Sam
With shiny suits and hairbands, Superstar Sam is known to all
His dance is laughter in motion
Flailing arms, gyrating hips, unmastered pelvis thrusts
Nevertheless Superstar Sam commands the stage,
All the world beckons him to sing his song
"Aawa Awwa Koi Yahaan Aahan Naache Naache"
Yet Sam harbours a corrupted dil,
Like a young Jim Morrison, a talented but rowdy rockstar
He signals to a fan
To make love to him in the green room after:Supestar Star is a music king and refers to himself to recognize his own reverence!
Sam grows drunk on the power of adulation,
He shirks his duties, and drifts further away from his artistic soul
Ohh the music and dancing he once did
A shadow of his former self
Sam refers to himself as Sam as though he knoweth of his greatness in shiny outfits
All Thrown aside for groupies, fugly clothing, and sharaab
David Brown,a young dramatic actor appears on scene
To take his paycheque but lends some gravitas to the tale
Exasperated is he by Sam's rock n disco lifestyle
"You should know the difference between a bedroom and green room"
Unbeknownst to Superstar Sam, this is the beginning of his descent
David Brown, free of the shackles of Sam
Drives around at night and spots a sweaty dancing man
Jimmy emerges in the light!
Ohh how he twists and twirls around,
Ohh the energetic thrusts he does
Ohh the forceful head banging that mirrors that of the author of this epic on a usual day!
What a talent, David has seen
What a future this young fellow will have
He foretells that Jimmy will become an idol
Receiver of Beatles-esque adulation
Ohh the promotional items bearing the prestige of Jimmy's name:
With great fame comes cracktastic wardrobe items
Jimmy croons the spectacular "Krishna Dharti Pe Aaja Tu"
Perhaps the divine Krishna shall not come to the Dharti
Or a jacket that recalls the Videotape Monster from "The Mighty Boosh"
Through Jimmy's travails with fame he meets many amorous ladies!
Oooh who's is this impertinent girl throwing shoes at the great Jimmy
It is none other than his Eve, both unknown of their childhood bond
The two young children once sang a happy tune
Both filmi kids bopping heads and shaking hips in sync
Ohh these two handsome folk are simply intertwined by destiny
Except for Jimmy's canny ability to smell through her brain and determine her social status
Ohh masala muse!
Is it thine that has orchestrated the similarities of these two stars
We unearth Superstar Sam screwy relations with his parent
A conniving but ultimately loving father
Ohh poor Sam, his shiny suits stripped of him
Blurry orbs become his regular vision after many a sharaabi night
Masking his pierced ego, he guzzles his bottles of rum down
One fateful night, David Brown visits his daughter
The badly dressed hussy resides with Sam,
Comforting him on the bad days
An enraged and sozzled Sam roars and hisses at David
"How dare thou enter my drunken abode! Nikhal jao yahaan se!!"
Ohh what a tragic fate has befallen this once music king, David muses
The sharaab now controls Superstar Sam's actions
Naturally daaru is spilt, with a fair share of insults!
"I'm still great!" Ohh the words of so many forgotten disco stars!Bechaara Superstar Sam admits that he is a "thing" rather than a star!
Daaru on his manager/father-in-law, Sam is enraged!
Jimmy's hyper reliance on his mother grows to gargantuan heights!
In the upper echeleons of fame, Jimmy neuroses multiply
He accepts some more chawl and dahl poison feeding from his maa
This unspeakable act is committed in public!
Nothing is mentioned of it, but such acts have dire consequences!
The great god of Masala has moved the two pawns
Onto a path that will affect both of their personal lives forever!
A seed is planted by the masala sprites sent from above
Into Superstar's Sam's head during a heroin high
Sifting through the images of his mind,
Superstar Sam has an idea to kill Jimmy!
With father evilest he hires baddies
To literally turn the amp up to 11 to kill Jimmy
Unfortunately the masala sprites mix their masala dust
Into the wrong hands and the Shrewish Maa hears of the plan
In her taxi she rushes to save her son
Despite feeding him poisonous Freudian issues, Maa loves Jimmy
The Masala Lord above has written the story already
And watches as Maa gets her comeuppance by touching the #11 Guitar!
The Shrew is extinguished but not for long...
Ohh Masala Lord what have thy done?!
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon this disco world
But ohh no I must not question your convolutions my Lord
In the death of his mother, Jimmy neuroses reach the hilt
Masala sprites why hast thou powder flown to the wrong receiver!
Jimmy has turned into a recluse,
Oceans of tears grace his cheeks, never shall he walk on stage again!
I break with the flow to say Karan Razdan is an Acting Genius!
In the depths of Disco Descent,Superstar Sam is rejoicing!
His father evilest is pleased to see his Hell spawn in a better mood
But underneath the maniacal laughter, father evilest is shocked
His prodigal Hell-spawn has gone mad with his addictions
The height of Jimmy's mental issues!
Father reveals that Jimmy has become extremely fragile
The death of his mother horriblest has caused him
Extreme anguish and he cowers when seeing a guitar!
Jimmy's extreme fright at seeing the dreaded guitar! NAHIEEEE
It seems that the Masala universe has been dislodged
Our two guiding lights have succumbed to madness
Ohh Masala Lord, thou hast destroyed talent that thou hast put on this earth!
Jimmy has become afraid of the very instrument he sharpened
To strike and bring the city to its knees under his stardom!
And our tragic Superstar Sam, what shall become of him?
So many lives destroyed over the power of Disco
Fie fie on Disco! Let it wither, let it die!
It perpetuates the cycle of Dard-e-disco
Bappi-beats hath destroyed the wiggly hips of our stars
The shiny costumes hath made them blind of their humble origins
Two men intertwined by their passion for Disco
Have fallen to the depths of Disco Descent trying to conquer it!
Disco ist a killer!
By the end of this, you'll probably be hooting along with Pagal No.1 Superstar Sam!
September 27, 2010
Once every so often, there is a movie that just goes above all expectations and touches your masala dil, Shakti is one of those films that ran with my heart and induced a Barsaat Cry! I for one am upholder of Masala ideals, wherever there is a missing son/daughter/hamster or a rain song, then you know that I'll be there! (I was trying to copy the whole idealistic speech from Grapes of Wrath, but that would be too much!)
Anyway, Shakti is a film that I wholeheartedly love because it elevates all its masala trappings turns it into a level of cinematic magic. The script was written by masala scribes Salim and Javed, so there are lots of typical and archetypal staples that we get in this film. But somehow due to the performances of the two greatest actors of Indian cinema, Shakti becomes a film of aggression, Oedipal drama as well as some necessary dishoom-dishoom!
Look at my Anil cho chweet!
So lets start off with Ashwini Kumar(Dilip) telling his grandson(Anil Kapoor-looking soo young) abour his father. I like how I was able to foretell that Anil and Dilip would also be in another favorite of mine, full of drama and dace-offs in Mashaal, I'm just that good y'all!! Ashwini and his wife Maa(Rakhee) have a very peaceful life along with their son Vijay(Master Raju-my filmi baccha son). Ashwini is a police officer and is always getting into tussles with JK(Amrish Puri) and KD Narang(Kulbhushan Kharbanda), when he arrests their right hand man, and my favorite villain from Toofan, Goga Kapoor!
Goga Kapoor with some better hair and getup than Toofan
Ashwini manages to lock up Goga, to the ire of the principal baddies JK n KD, so the two men decide to kidnap Vijay in exchange for Goga. Ashwini is worried, and what follows is such a strong scene to shape the rest of the film. Ashwini refuses to let Goga go, and shouts on the phone, "Go kill him if you dare, just kill him" about his son, which Vijay hears and is really shaken by, that his father cares more for his job than his son.
My son Master Raju about to become a Vigilante!
Awww it's all downhill from here!
Vijay manages to break free, and is saved by KD who lets him go. Vijay manages to get home before Ashwini comes to save him, and the next day, Vijay keeps replaying the phone call in his head. This small incident mushrooms later when Vijay grows up and drifts apart from his father, Ashwini on the other hand acts like nothing happened and doesn't see why his son is so darn angry all day long. This was great writing on Salim n Javed's part because they seem to blur the lines of who's right and wrong. Vijay, who holds that incident against his father and Ashwini, who ignores his son for his duty.
My only quibble: Rakhee as Amitabh's maa? NAHIEE!
Also its good to see the focus on father-son issues rather than the always brilliant but usual dependence on the mother figure. Though Rakhee puts some gray makeup on, she does a brilliant job of trying to mediate between the two men in her life, and another point addressed is how she just accepts that her husband is more focused on his job and neglects his home life and her.
The other woman of the piece is Roma(Smita Patil) who meets Vijay on the train, and then is rescued by him from some thugs!
What health and safety conscious thugs these are!
The nicest and most down-to-earth jodi ever!
Amitabh n Smita have such a easygoing jodi that worked really well here, and their courtship scenes are so wonderful because they are universal and real. The two of them walk home, and awkwardly and flirtaciously get to know each other, this was definitely refreshing to see and though there's a flower n dancing in the trees song later, there is a good progression towards their love, its not "WOAH I LOVE YOU RIGHT THIS MINUTE, LETS SING!!!" Even though its a small supporting role, Smita gives it her all, and her character isn't a usual condescending heroine that begs Vijay to leave his bad world, they live together and have a shotgun wedding but I definitely liked this change!
But getting back to the story, Vijay is jobless till he lands a job with KD, who hires him on the spot at his hotel. KD is a smuggler and this doesn't go down well with Ashwini who goes on a lecture about how Vijay will shame him if accepts the job, and Vijay quite rightly tells him to get lost and of course he's kicked out of the ghar!
WOAH Dilip just pulled out the "Extreme Daddy Issues for Life" card!
Vijay leaves home and is spotted by Roma who lets him live with her! Oooo progressive! Tensions between the two men become increasingly fractured, when Vijay is accused of the murder of some drunk guy that hassled Roma, Ashwini again spares his personal feelings no thought and jails his own innocent son. KD now bails Vijay out and tells him that JK is responsible for this mayhem. And as we all know when Amitabh is named Vijay, he naturally turns into ire personified Vigilante Vijay. I was able to overlook this for a bit, because I understood that Vijay was supremely hurt that JK would humiliate him in front of his father by framing him! And the crucial moment here was that KD was rubbing it in Ashwini's face that Vijay had found a new father figure! BOOOM!
JK now is upset with his former partner KD and Vijay and tries to kill them! Of course this is hilarious because Amrish is in full anger mode and roaring out his lines!
Can you imagine how angry he sounded!
Amitabh doing his amazing leaping about!
KD now thinks of Vijay as his son for saving him, but Vijay has a great line about how the word son has become a gaali or swearword for him. What follows is some amazing drama and face-offs between Dilip and Amitabh.
Good positioning and fabulous actors!
Its usually troublesome to have two amazing actors on screen together in a film, for example who was the sappiest but best in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham or Mashaal with my Anil and Dilip, there's usually a telling scene where one actor goes the extra mile than the other. But in Shakti you have two of the most competent actors ever not competing but just adding to the drama, to make it almost Shakespearian(yes it's OTT but there's so much good acting here!). Dilip, master of the method acting and emotional delivery is stellar as Ashwini Kumar, he makes the character human instead of masala caricature of an egregiously horrid father, when his wife dies and he's crying for her is an example of just how solid a performer Dilip is. We empathize with Ashwini, who's let his career interfere with his relationships and how he's unable to rectify them till the end.
One of the best scenes ever!
Amitabh too imbues such pathos into Vijay, sure people can say its another variation of the many vengeful Vijay's that he's played before. But really you'd be missing the point, this Vijay is more anguished than the Vijay from Zanjeer or the calculating Vijay from Trishul. This Vijay is jaded and bitter and crushed that he can't live up to his father's ideals and instead decides to "act out" in the general sense against his father. But what struck me was how Amitabh played him as strong in pursuing his own identity however opposing from his fathers. In one of the more famous scenes in the film, Vijay tells Roma that his father has two wives, his mum and the law, and that his father loves his "step brother" his pride more than Vijay, and this could be another moment of AB doing his typical angry Sharaabi shtick but it was revealing in his pain and I loved it!
There's a moment from the screencap above, where these two actors just join forces in making this film transcendental. Vijay has been released for a short while to attend his maa's funeral, and he sees his father crying and joins him in mourning. Its these quiet moments where these two titans of the screen play off each other so well, and it makes me love films even more if in one scene with these two can elevate the lousiest film in the world to art, then I'm happy.
The famous drunken sadness scene!
I could be going overboard in my praise but I really haven't seen a film where two actors have just burned the screen by sheer intensity of powerful acting, that too in a dressed down masala film like this. Sure there are astounding moments in arthouse films and middle of the road cinema that can be equally as amazing. But with this film I was just jolted up that this was Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar both crying and mourning together and facing off together in a normal film like this.
I'll try and recover from all that cinephile gush, perhaps it because I was reading my Bhagwan Francois Truffaut's book on films that made me hyperventilate and spew with praise. ANYWAYS masala films always have stunts or thrills that make your adrenaline somewhat rise up if you're not laughing at the extra who fell over that wasn't even hit. This film has got lots of thrills that are actually good and made me go "Ooo watch out Amitabh!!" or make me go "Woah now thats some action!"Vijay being chased around by a mad tractor! Transformers gone WILD!
Amitabh going all Dirty Vijay on us!
The film was really thrilling towards the end with a chase in the Mumbai Airport, where planes are actually about to take off and Dilip and Amitabh are running around and in between them, very well done!
If Dadamoni is in the film even for a paycheque role, it stills classes up the joint!
Kids, when I like a movie I REALLYY like a movie, and I know everyone's masala intake is different but me I can take it by the tonne-load, but this is a really fabulous film showcasing the two best actors of Bollywood playing off each other very well, and disguising the masala trappings into a really intense narrative.
I leave you with an imploringly wet and sexy Amitabh to beckon you to see the film:
Aaja re aa zara!