“I Have Mother!”

Or, as it’s rightly said in Hindi, “Mere paas maa hai!” was, still is and will remain the most famous dialog in Bollywood for the next few decades. The 1975 classic Deewar set new standards in Indian cinema and elevated mortal beings into superstardom. Sadly, the ’70s were all that Bollywood could offer in terms of originality, innovation and pleasure. Apart from the occasional gem, a majority of  the movies made in Bollywood today are worthless pieces of stool.

There is one – just one – formula that all Bollywood movies follow nowadays:

A meets B.

Falls in love with B. 

A thinks life is all roses and unicorns. Sings a song or two. 

But, oh no! What’s this? B is in love with C! How unexpected!

A is shattered. Depressed. Sings a song or two.

C, meanwhile, is a jerk and does something inhuman, untrustworthy. 

B loses faith in C. B is depressed. Blames self for misfortune. Sings a song or two.

A swoops in like a knight in shining armor. Consoles B.

B falls in love with A. All is fine, sing a song or two.

Optional (for violence): C and A have a fight. 

If A and C are men, you have a strong romantic movie filled with songs, drama and action. If A and C are women, you have a spicy, romantic chick flick.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but every one of these so-called ‘new and improved’ movies work on these lines. This is the core formula. The unchanging storyline for any movie worth it’s salt to pass inspection. Package the formula with a college theme, a superhero theme, a gangster theme, and just about any goddamn theme – you get one crappy movie after another.

The Bollywood Crap Factory has been churning out disaster after such disaster for the past twenty-odd years. And it’s amazing how people just fall for it each and every time. Either that, or re-hashing successful old movies with more masala and lesser clothes and disgusting lyrics to excite more hapless people.

Unabashed over-the-top acting with too much drama and too many emotions and too many movements of the eyebrows, relying too much on non-Indian folk to add some elements of ‘variance’ or as the producers like to call it, ‘a global touch’ – these are few of the trends that are bound to backfire and implode sooner or later. Actors who engage in silly publicity stunts, those who sell their souls to be on a reality show and those who sell their bodies to get featured in a newspaper – we have all kinds of lunatics in this business.

I crave for the day this ridiculous trend is overturned for something better. Bollywood needs a face-lift. And soon!

Deconstructing A Movie Review: “Haunted”

Haunted posterTwo nights ago, my dreams were haunted by images of a crazed piano teacher trying to rape a moderately pretty woman. I didn’t understand what this meant until I realized it was a premonition of something far more horrifying. I went to see the movie “Haunted” at Inox and to my surprise, the story line was similar to my dreams. Okay, I just made that up. I did not dream any rape scenes. I was just trying to make this review a bit more interesting, because the movie has absolutely nothing to offer.

I won’t give any statutory spoiler alerts because you don’t need it. The movie’s storyline, plot, twists and turns can be predicted with pin-point accuracy after watching the first five minutes.

So, here’s the deal: In 1936, a sex-hungry piano teacher lusts after his student, who’s a moderately good-looking dame. He tries to rape her one fine day, and ends up getting hit by a candle-stand on the head and dies. (By the way, when he dies, he falls on her boobs and get a good look at them). So, this guy dies and comes back as a ghost and finishes what he started. He rapes the chick for a week (yeah, ghosts can rape women, apparently) and in humiliation, the girl kill herself. Then she becomes a ghost. But the fun is just starting – his ghost keeps raping her ghost in the house for 80 years. Yeah, its a lot of rape.

Eighty years later, the protagonist of the movie arrives in town to sell the house and realizes there are two ghosts in there, playing hanky-panky. He sees a photograph of the chick and falls in love with her (obviously) and decided to “set her spirit free”. Whatever that means.

So, get this, he goes back in time! Yeah, he goes back in time to 1936 and tries to prevent the girl from killing the pervert pianist. Instead, in a fantastically typical Bollywood twist, he fails to do so. Astonishing! Anyway, he decided to tackle the raping ghost himself and does all sorts of feats worthy of a Jason Bourne Award for Unbelievable Acts of Physical Endurance, seeks help from a church and finally a mosque, and kills the ghost. Yeah, he kills the ghost in the end.

How does he do it? Well, I think you should watch the movie for that. Why should I be the only one wasting money on such pristine crap?

Vikram Bhatt does a decent job in direction, Mahaakshay Chakraborty does not do justice to the direction. He looks as if he is about to fart all the time, he runs like a girl on dope and dances like a chimp on dope. Tia Bajpai has nice boobs and that’s just about all I can say about her acting skills.

The sound effects are good enough to keep you from falling asleep with timely crescendos and unnecessarily loud shrieks of a ghost getting raped. The movie which had a lot of hype before its release, claiming that its pushed Bollywoord’s horror genre to a new high, fails to live up to its expectations. Every one of the ten people in the huge (empty) movie hall were testament to this fact.

Its definitely worth a watch, if you have two-and-a-half hours to kill and are bored in life and need some good desi entertainment. Else, I’m surprised the movie is still in the theaters.

Show-Lay

He was twenty-four years old when they cut off his hands. Both of them. They chained his hands to two pillars in an abandoned quarry, pulled them out and slashed them off with a pair of pick-axes. Or maybe Samurai swords, I don’t really remember. The man who cut off the hands was called Gabbar. And the soon-to-be limbless man was called Thakur. No last name. At least, I don’t remember it now. This is a story of an incident that took place close to eighty years ago, when I was still a kid, living in the remote village of Ramgarh, somewhere in the hills of South India. And this story is not for the faint of heart. I call this ‘Show-Lay’.

To understand why Gabbar cut off Thakur’s hands, we need to understand the men themselves. Thakur was a man who had an unswerving belief in the pornography industry. Back in those days, when owning a television was a luxury and condoms weren’t invented, Ramgarh had a thriving adult movie industry, run by the brilliant marketing genius Thakur. At23, he was the youngest porn star in the world at the time, and perhaps the first. The only mistake he ever did was cross Gabbar’s paths. He regretted that day for as long as he lived.

Gabbar, on the other hand, was a foot model. He had the most exquisite feet in the whole of India and brands like Cows and Alli McFeet featured Gabbar in their advertisements. No one could pull off a pair of silver-studded brown leather boots like Gabbar could, and the most famous advertisement to this day, has been Gabbar sporting the latest summer line of Cows, and walking slowly on the Ramgarh rocks, with a leather belt trailing behind him. Women literally fell over themselves to worship the ground he walked on, and naturally, he had a huge female fan following. There were rumors, don’t quote me on this one, that Gabbar had insured his feet for a whopping fifty rupees from accidental damage, sexual damage and gangrene. Yeah, gangrene – he never removed his boots during the night. Or so I’ve been told. And back in those days fifty rupees could buy you a ticket around the world with spare change left over to buy an island.

Long story short, Thakur slept with Gabbar’s girl – the famous Basanthi. With a ‘B’. We had strange names back then. Basanthi was famous all over South India for her, er, horsing around. Yeah, there’s no better way to put it. She used to ride anything that moved and she loved her hooves. I mean, boots. She became so attracted to her stud Gabbar that she had a very special nickname for him – Dhanno. I don’t know what that means, but rumor has it that they liked to play rough – with whips and restraints and a lot of screaming. Her ecstatic cries of “Chal, Dhanno!” reverberated through the village at night. And we all knew that Gabbar was one lucky cowboy.

Thakur not only slept with her, but made a movie out of it and it was called “Basanthi ka Dhanno” starring Basanthi and Thakur. Gabbar lost his mind and chased down Thakur through the hills, caught up with him and cut off his hands. He was still wearing the boots. From that day on, Thakur made it his life’s ambition to take revenge on Gabbar, to put him behind bars and probably, strip him of his boots for good. He vowed never to smile until he achieved this. So, he hatched a plan – a plan so brilliant and so daring, that all of us village folk were astounded at the simplicity and the high projected success rates. We hoped he would succeed not because we liked Thakur, but because the plan was so good that it deserved to succeed.

Thakur paid for and got two of the world’s most famous adult movie stars from Italy – Veeru and Jai. I have changed their names because they are good men at heart and I don’t want to soil their memory. So, Jai and Veeru waltzed into town one fine summer afternoon and Veeru promptly fell into his assigned role – keep Basanthi “occupied” while Jai tries in vain to seduce Thakur’s widowed daughter-in-law from his third wife, while at the same time, trying to piss Gabbar off by copying his moves.

Veeru and Jai succeeded in irritating Gabbar to such an extent that he forced Basanthi to dance on broken bottles as punishment for sleeping with Veeru, and he made the two studs watch until they couldn’t take it anymore. By this time, Basanthi was getting pretty tired of Gabbar’s antics and his penchant for extracting horrendous vendattas and she agreed to help Thakur in his nefarious plan. Thakur smiled to himself – his calculations had been right, and everything was falling into place perfectly. Just when he thought he was ready for the master stroke, things began to fall apart.

He had sent his manservant to fetch vegetables from the market and it was around midday when he realized that his breakfast had been a bit too spicy for his stomach. He dared not go to the loo alone because he knew his weakness – he couldn’t, you know, er, how do I put it? Well, he had no hands, so you get the idea. He waited and waited, jumping from one foot to the other, squirming in agony, when he spotted Jai sitting outside blowing on a er…  a “mouth organ”, if you know what I mean. Thakur sent the naked guy away and beckoned Jai inside and asked him the favor.

“Why can’t you do it yourself? I was busy with the mouth organ. I have a few new tunes,” said Jai.

“I can’t. I don’t have to explain it to you,” told Thakur, furious.

“The loo is right there. Why can’t you go on your own? I am not cleaning anyone else’s shit. I stopped doing that a long time ago,” said Jai.

“Try to understand!” screamed Thakur. “I can’t do it!”

Just then, there was a gust of wind and Thakur’s blanked that he had wrapped around himself blew off and Jai saw that Thakur was, well, crippled. He tried hard to keep a straight face at the sight of the old horny geezer with no hands,  and helped him into the loo. Some people say that Jai slipped on a piece of soap, but others are not too certain about whether what he slipped on was a piece of soap or something else altogether. Whatever it was, he hit his head hard on the cast-iron sink and bled to death.

Veeru, in his alcohol-induced state of near-comatose stupidity, believed Thakur’s story of Gabbar sneaking in the loo and killing Jai, and went off in search of the notorious foot model. He found him hiding among the rocks, and promptly went on to beat the shit out of him. No puns intended. Thakur intervened at the last minute and ordered Veeru to stop killing the guy. He put on Gabbar’s famous boots and told him, “You took away my hands, now I take away your boots, Gabbar.”

“No!” screamed Gabbar.

“Give me those boots, Gabbar!” Thakur screamed like a rabid dog in heat.

“No!”

“Give! Me! Those! Boots!”

“Aaaaaaa!”

“Aaaaa!”

And when both of them screamed “Aaaa!”, the whole village heard them. It took us a while to realize that it wasn’t another one of Thakur’s porn movies, but the real deal. Gabbar never dared to wear boots again. In fact, he ran away and was never heard from again. Thakur lived to the ripe old age of forty before passing away in the middle of an intense 3-day marathon. No, not the running type, if you know what I mean.

Veeru and Basanthi lived happily ever after, being ridden and riding, respectively.

I grew up, moved to the city, lived my life to the fullest and now, I can barely remember my name, but this story of Ramgarh shall remain with me forever. Vividly. Someone should make a movie out of this or something. It’s really an intriguing tale.

Bollywood Does it Again

Karan Johar & Tweety Bird: Separated At Birth?Or, more precisely, Karan Johar does it again. He has taken a cliched plot, soon-to-be washed up actors, ridiculously lame jokes and unoriginal catch-phrases from How I Met Your Mother and dished out two-and-a-half hours of pure and unadulterated crap.

He calls this soporific, brain-damaging spiel ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ – a phenomenon that I had the misfortune of watching last night.

Here’s what happens in the 135-minute joy-ride from Hell:

(Relax – ignore the spoilers, you’re not missing anything worthwhile)

There’s this guy, see, who’s disgustingly like Barney Stinson from HIMYM – he’s against the concept of love and he wants to sleep with a new woman each night. He considers the age-old concept of love as lame and does not want any part of it. Ironically, he works as an assistant to a Bollywood movie-director who specializes in just this of crappy movies. So, here ends the interesting part of the movie. Before it begins.

He meets a girl, who falls in love with him. He says he doesn’t want to fall in love. I think he hides the fact that he’s ridiculously and unbelievably gay, but that hasn’t been shown in the movie. He rejects her advances – which is strange, because when he first meets her, all he’s thinking of is how beautiful she is and how he can get into those pants of hers. Anyway, contradicting plot lines are the backbone of this crapoweseome* movie.

And then, as with all the other slipshod Bollywood movies, the hero (or rather, the actor-playing-the-lead-role) realizes that he’s lost his mojo and can’t get it up with any other woman, and all he thinks about is this chick. So, he decides to fall in love lest he spend the rest of his ‘manhood’ making love only to himself and the ever-present girls-gone-wild video that seems to be playing on constant loop in his room. (How bizarre)

He tell her that he loves her and now, its her turn to bitch-slap him and walk away. Aww, the poor sod is all heart-broken and decides to follow the chick all the way to New Zealand, in the hopes of scoring with her. But he realizes that the chick has agreed to marry some other loser named Raj, who wears atrocious shirts that look like something a cat dragged in, pooped on it and dry-humped your neighbor’s barbie doll on. So, our hero (or rather, the loser-who-plays-the-actor-who-plays-the-lead-role) decides to be generous and let her be taken by his nemesis.

And, just when he seems to settle down in his head, resigned to his fate of returning home to live with his insanely liberal mother (who, it seemed, would appreciate the beauty and charisma in anything from a sordid threesome to a full-blown monkey orgy) and marry some girl that she’s chosen for him, fate delivers the knock-out punch – his flight gets delayed and he realizes that he’s not in a Bollywood movie but rather in Paulo Coelho’s Alchemist, interpreting each and every coincident as a ‘sign’ from the ‘ooparwala’.

He runs back to the chick, tells her he loves her, and this time, amazingly, she says yes. Apparently, by this time, she has realized her mistake – she did not want to spend the rest of her life smelling of cat poop.

They hug, they kiss, the movie ends and the audience pukes.

There you have it – fresh from Karan Johar’s box of unbecoming movie ideas that he cooked up while getting drunk with four hot guys from Canberra who took turns in showing him exactly how handsome he is. Well, serves him right. Inox and PVR theaters all over the country are smelling of vomit and they have decided to shut down for a day to clean up the mess, under the pretext of the Bharat Bundh today.

My rating: Minus 34.5 / 10

*Crapowesome: A word that I invented while writing this post. This means an awesome amount of crap filled into a very small space, to the point of overflowing. It’s an adjective.

NewsCracked! :)

newscracked

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the BNN ICN 9 o’ clock news! Today’s breaking stories:

1. Big Sobb Season 2 ends in dramatic fanfare!

2. Akshay Kumar wears pants inside-out!

3. Madhuri Dixit misses a gray hair while combing!

4. IT company employee sneezes!

5. Aviation minister is high. Literally.

… and other important, earth-shattering, life-changing news stories! Only on BNN ICN. Stay tuned!

For God’s sake, give me a break! Some punk winning a reality TV show is prime time news? To be aired again and again? To be repeated in nauseating detail? To call up that punk’s uncle over the phone and talk to him on National TV?

I thought these news channels were a bit sane. Apparently not. Absurdly enough, this piece of ridiculous ‘news’ was aired right after a brilliant coverage of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. Talk about losing the plot. 😀

I should start my own news channel, and air only news that I think is important or worth airing. I wonder how long that channel will take to become famous. I’d call it ‘NewsCracked’… 😀

Bollywood: A Cynical Deconstruction :)

Western philosophy has often used architectonic terms—metaphors of base and superstructure, foundations and edifices, and founding moments and founding fathers…

– Of Grammatology, Derrida

Bollywood: Successfully Selling Shit For Almost 100 Years!

The last Bollywood movie I saw was called Sarkar Raj. I saw this in the month of July, and it was a forgettable experience. I broke a self-imposed rule of Bollywood abstinence and watched the movie, shelling out an unbelievable amount of money for the night show. Over time, Bollywood has churned out crap after stinking crap, and I find it amusing (and slightly disturbing) that the industry still exists and is dubbed as the richest film industry in the world.

A few years ago, there was a sudden increase in “item numbers” in Bollywood, a low-budget version of underground soft porn, and this revolution kicked off probably the biggest number of flops ever recorded in any film history. Of course, I wonder where the directors and producers find the time to make these movies while battling plagiarism suits from Hollywood.

“Bollywood’ – the very name is somewhat of a joke. What the fuck does it mean anyway? Dictionary.com told me that “boll” meant the pod of a cotton plant. Apt, don’t you think so? Add to this the miserable Lollywood of South India, and we have a lousy bunch of losers who want to make movies under the garb of originality, creativity and hope! 😀

Coming back to the interesting point of plagiarism, I’m sure one in every three movies have been lifted from their Hollywood counterparts. Isn’t there such a thing like a copyright anymore? I think not. The films themselves are comparable in quality to the dirt in our belly buttons, and very rarely is a movie made that can be watched without cringing. And what’s the deal with the bad spelling, anyway? Kkkkkcompany? Singh is Kinnnng?? Gimme a break! 😀

Put together a bunch of washed-out actors and directors, throw in a round or two of tequila shots, make them believe that they’re Mankind’s last hope and what they come up with is a screenplay like Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav! This 3-hour load of fragrant shit was a sensation among the less-sophisticated audience.  😀

Whatever’s been said and done, I know for a fact that it’s going to take something really sensational to make me watch a Bollywood movie again. I’ve had enough of second-rate droll to last me a lifetime. Hollywood has it’s misgivings too. I’ll save my rantings about the world’s second lousiest film industry for a later post. Yeah, I’m not a big movie fan. I like books and plays better! 😀

Image Courtesy: Cartoonsunder30seconds.com

===============================================

Errata: Lollywood is the Pakistani film industry, and not a South Indian one. I sincerely apologize for the mistake.
Kollywood, however, refers to the Kannada film industry in Karnataka! Holy Shit! 😀

===============================================

One More Promise…

I am usually a man who keeps my word. I don’t make promises I can’t keep. But recently, I’ve been on a breaking-promises spree. It all started with the these words:

“It was a dark and stormy night…”

Peanuts enthusiasts will recognize this as Snoopy’s favorite (and perhaps, the only) opening line in his novel. In my room, I have a poster of Snoopy, hunched over his typewriter and typing out these words, and these serve as a sort of inspiration whenever I sit to work on my third novel, which is chugging along at a snail’s pace. Sadly, these words proved ominous yesterday.

It was a dark and stormy night as I did my best to balance my ancient bike as I raced along the empty streets of Bangalore, at midnight, returning home after a particularly heavy dose of stupidity and insaneness after seeing the movie Sarkar Raj. I won’t even get into how bad the movie was, because, honestly, I can’t. I slept through it. 😀

Anyway, as I was riding back home, I passed a store whose name was “Promise General Stores” and all of a sudden, it hit me that I had to write a statement of purpose to a friend of mine who was in Nebraska. I had promised him that I would send it by Monday evening (Indian Standard Time) and I had completely forgotten about it. I hope he does too! 😀

This is the hundredth time I’m forgetting to write things this week. I had to send out some press releases the other day and it completely skipped my mind to do it. I was sitting at my desk and wanted to check my mail and opened Mozilla, and when I saw the home page I completely forgot why I was sitting at my desk. I just browsed some hot chicks’ pictures and went out for lunch. 😀

Even writing this post, I was supposed to write something on Bollywood and the movie Sarkar Raj, but instead, I was sitting with my WP Dashboard open and thinking what to write about! I think I have Alzheimers!! Help! Is there a doctor in the house?

My ex was probably right when she used to say that I don’t keep up my promises! In my defense, I have amnesia! I don’t even remember my middle name! Do I have a middle name?? 😀

Anyway, here’s a promise I intend to keep: I am gonna post this after this sentence! 😀