This is Tony, the evil killer idiot box!
I simply had to start Shameful Classics off with a resounding Kabooom with one of the most special duds and classics of Abhishek Bachchan's illustrious career!
Mumbai Se Aaaya Mera Dost (2003) is that wunderkind of a movie that captured my 13 year old dil! I was already a fan of Abhishek since he began, but even I could recognize the dreck he started off with, so seeing the promos to this film got me so excited see it! It's also intertwined with my life, I moved to Vancouver in 2002 and this was my first summer being back to my desh ki dharti and the promos made it look so intense and a gamechanger role for Abhishek. It wasn't out at that time, but seeing the bombardment of promos got to my young mind! I was determined to see this against Tere Naam which released on the same day. Two very diverse roles for both Salman and Abhishek and naturally we know who won in the end and had legions of idiotic boys copying that dreadful Hugh Grant mixed with gangster floppy shag! But once I came back to horrid(come on i was a angry teenager!) Vancouver I vowed to search for the best available print to continue my support of Abhishek over all other heroes. And by chance the best Aunty dvdwallah had both films in a 2 in 1 disc. Needless to say Tere Naam was watched several years later!
So a nostalgic tale later, this just had to be on this list because it is so shameful to like this nonsense film but I adore it! Shameful is as the dictionary says disgraceful or scandalous scandalous behavior and it fits perfectly with this film as I can't help but feel ashamed to champion something that loses steam so quickly and has the stupidest plot line revolving a TV. But it works as a Shameful Classic because for me its reminder of a gullible 13 yr old being taken in by the hype machine and being 20 and still loving it! However being me, and my wicked sense of humour, modesty be damned there, I need to champion the best character of the film: TONY THE TV!
But first let's get to the egregious filler: The film suffers from such a Lagaan hangover featuring the same baritone voice of Bachchan Sr at the beginning, many of the same cast members, a rural setting. The promos heightened this element to the max with an intense Abhishek brooding all the way through and glaring. His entry is suitably smouldering:
Ohh who's kohl rimmed eyes are those?
The film features so many spectacular entrance scenes for each major character which still impresses me and the 13 yr old inside, the other villain than Tony the TV is Thakur (Yashpal Sharma) who emerges in all his unibrow and hairy glory from the river, with foreboding chanting screeching in the back. So just in case you didn't know he was EEEVIL:
This was a very entertaining entry for a 13 yr me!
There's also the ridiculously well-dressed and gorgeous village belle Kesi (Lara Dutta) whose designer black chuni flows off her face to reveal her to our lovelorn hero. I have to admit the makeup and designer did such a good job in the envy department, just look at her jewels:
Diamond necklace, sparkly earrings, and fabulous eye makeup: the modern gaon ki chori!
The Tale of Troublesome Tony the Dictator TV
But getting to best stuff is the brilliant entrance of Tony the TV and his equally deadly friend Sally the Satellite cable! Like I said, this film is redonkulous, a complete case of super editing in the trailers betraying my angry teenagerly heart. Kanji the newly returned boy from the city brought these two to his gullible village:
All hail the modern invention of the SATELLITE!
Upon Tony's entry, he sends the villagers into a quandry about what he might be: are he and evil Sally a giant water umbrella or a boat? The film is actually quite hilarious in these moments of culture shock, I can shamefully say with a lot of hints of pride that I haven't laughed like that since the actual classic of my youth Deewana Mastana! Before you say, Besharam at my comparison ! Here's why there is so much win in this movie, Tony the evil TV introduces the villagers to many other shameful movies like a lot of CHICHI:
Chichi in his actual chuddis has been unleashed on the innocent folk!
There are two comic relief characters that Tony has it in for! Tony introduces the local barber to a very naff Feroz Khan-the-cowboy movie who has a hilarious dream about being a Rajasthani gunslinger with his Clint pose and cigarrello:
I love the irreverence of this film, gunslinger getup with the trusty donkey!
One other comic relief man is introduced to the equally awful and shameful masterpiece Jaani Dushman, not the fab old one, but the new one! Tony entrances him into performing his life in slow motion steps. He even causes a very Sergio Leone filmed face off between the two men, which veers into the batshit and hilarious. I really cannot emphasize how bad it is that I was hooting with laughter as the film increasingly became revolved around the TV! That's not the best/worst of it in a very meta moment I found that Tony the TV reached his terrorizing hilt when he spied Abhishek enjoying the subliminal messages of the Chichi films and Sandy Danza cooking shows, he decided to inflict such pain upon him with showing a kiss or otherwise known as 'The Founding Father of Sexy Snogs' with Karishma and Aamir in Raja Hindustani:
Just look at the defeated and crestfallen Abhi :(
In a cavalcade of contrivances all orchestrated by the crap screenwriter or by the secret machinations of Tony and Sally, a war of epic proportions breaks out!
TV - The Devil's recruiter!
Hai Hai! Tony can also usurp power like a proper 80s villain might!
Yes a war that all stems from the TV, as the local evil pundit stirs a war of sizes between Tony and the Thakur's TV the more modest Mini! Tony will not have his reputation tarnished and his brainwashing works on all the villagers as they take up arms against Thakur and Mini! This also calls for a dramatic/howlarious and tough song of battle:
Like Cleopatra, villains need to moisturize before battle properly!
To add to the spectacle an actual TV crew from Star News are drawn to this upcoming jung by Sally the Satelite's newsworthy and deadly rays! They capture the entire climax of the film on their own cameras with the cameramen jumping around as people are getting stabbed. The journalist gal even proclaims 'We can even send this to Fox News, to America!' which is the most apt audience for such a fabricated war!
And just at the height of the action of the Tony orchestrated war when Kanji is about to kill the Thakur, the lords of the Shameful Universe let this icon step in and keep the peace:
Yes... it's Chunky Pandey
It is one of the most satisfyingly stupid and brilliant moves pulled by this utterly nuts and fabulous film that I will recommend to everyone. I mean just looking back at my journals of coming to Vancouver, i detailed the movies I wanted to see over here but couldn't. There was a fierce desire to like this film because of the promos and my unwavering support of the other Lambhu of the industry! If you've heard about that latest film about a killer rubber tire then I'd ask you to approach this movie the same way! Tony the TV is the main villain and anti-hero to which the film unexpectedly finds a centre for all the characters to act as foils around him! Acting as a Masala Hitchcock, I hope you never look at your demonic TV the same way after this film!