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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

The Disco Dancer Movie Review

1983. India was on the verge of something big. Something really big. What big? What big? Disco Dance fever which burst upon the national consciousness like a gumboil. Thanks in no small measure to this movie.

First up, you a
re treated to God's bal-avatar called Jimmy, effortlessly essayed by an adorable poppet of a child artiste. Good old Kaka wrapped in designer polyester, plays his uncle. They dance and sing on the mean grotty streets of Mumbai for a living, with technology waaaaay ahead of their times, what with all their analog instruments capable of producing those electro-robotic-digital sounds (pewwww.... pewwwwww) in between verses and choruses. Divinity evidently has a way around the most mundane of limitations. (How could you think otherwise? How could you?!)

During one of these dance-o-ramas, Prabhuji dares to cavort with a rich little girl kid, and falls in love immediately with her, only to be shown his place by her father, P N Oberoi, played with lingering menace by Om Shivpuri (there's the sound of a deathly rattle in the background whenever he infests the screen, not unlike a bile belching Texan rattlesnake. Very menacing. Not that I've been to Texas, but it sounds cool...). Sore with Prabhuji's sauciness, he gets both mother and son implicated in a false thievery case. The object in question? A cheap plastic toy guitar nonetheless. Oh the humanity.

That sowed the wild oats... (err.. or should that should be seeds?) of our dancer's bloodthirst. Prabhuji's mother takes the rap, and on return to their humble abode, they are greeted by the whole mohalla going "Maa Chor, Beta Chor", which scars him in subtly inexplicable ways.

They leave Bo
mbay for Goa. Not a bad trade-off that. Prabhuji grows up in a flash amongst the party happy Goans. (Must have been all that protein rich sea food, and fresh air). To be a dancer on the not-so-mean and not-so-grotty streets of Goa. What were the odds of that, honestly?

Meanwhile, the lovable rattlesnake's kids have grown up too, his son Sam(Karan Razdan) being a Disco Dancer, and his daughter Kim (well... Kim) well, just grown up. Now Sam is supposed to be the 'national disco craze'. A song (Usha Uthup going at "Koi Yahaan Nache Nache" with full vim and vigour) does full justice to his primary talent, which is making Sunny Deol look like a ballerina. Drunk with success and shady looking booze in shadier looking bottles, he insults his manager (Om Puri - called David Brown. Which I think is the coolest character name ever in Bollywood) and on a whim, refuses to perform on a sultry night in Goa. Good Ol' Dave quits in a fit of apoplexy, and vows to create another Sam.

Cut to Prabuji's lotus feet. You know it's him, when you see those dapper legs, scissoring across your senses like 100 cc bike riders on the dirt tracks of Andheri East. The Goan authorities evidently were really pushing hard to ameliorate his life, and thoughtfully made street lights blink in shiny disco ball fashion at midnight, just so that Prabhuji could hone his chops. And we say we've never had good governance in India. Pah. But we digress. David Brown likes what he sees, and immediately takes Prabhuji under his scrawny wings.

And s
o begins one man's personal quest to avenge his childhood trauma. You are battered relentlessly with a series of songs interspersed with 5 minute story breaks in between, with ultra trippy costumes, magic mushroom sets, distinctly high dancers and some divine ethereal mujik courtesy Bappi-Da. I'm not dwelling too much on the songs here, cos you very well know what I'm talking about. No red-blooded human needs an introduction to these ditties. Would be blasphemously condescending for me to even attempt to describe them. Very few soundtracks have had the kind of soul-changing/stirring impact that this bunch of songs has had over the years and will for ages to come. To savage an H P Lovecraft - ism - not dead which eternal lie, stranger eons death may die...

Somewhere along the way, Prabhuji falls in love with Kim, taunts S
nake thereby extracting his emotional pound of flesh for his mommy's insults at the various parties he meets, and emerges as a challenger to Sam's throne all of which give Fangsy great heartburn. So he tries to get Prabhuji bashed up and fails (cos in that fateful scene, Prabhuji snaps his fingers generating reverb and echo effects which scare the pants off the goons. He barely needed to whack them after that). At the end of his tether, Snake re-wires Prabhuji's electric guitar at a show making it 'live'. The mother of God comes to know, and reaches for it just before he does. And croaks heartwrenchingly, leaving Prabhuji with a lot of misfiring neurons and a general phobia of electric guitars in general.

Thus in one fateful stroke, he forgets how to (gasp!) sing and (asphyxiate!) dance. The world is drenched in gloom, and somewhere in Scandinavia, this catastrophic event single handedly led to the birth of black/doom/death metal (source uncredited). (Why Scandinavia? Because, metal history aside, a look at my measly traffic distribution reveals a search for "Gunmaster G9" from at least one country in that region EVERY ****ING DAY)

Till the day of the International Disco Competition dawns. Countries like Africa and Paris send their teams to win here. One look at their moves, and you start to get that inevitable itch to see Him dance again. All he has to do is wiggle his pinkies
to win this baby, you say. Really. The other dancers are *that* good.

Just when you are about to yell out your encouragement along with Kim who tries her damnedest best to get Prabhuji's feet twinkling again by yowling "Jimmy Jimmy aaja aaja aaja" till your fingernails shrivel, Kaka suddenly perforates your haze, with an awe inspiring "Gaa Jimmy Gaaa!!!!!" war cry on his fevered lips, designer polyester on his body and electric guitar in his hand.

Prabhuji's neuron blocks snap, and dance he does. Hoo boy. And how. Prabhuji gets his mojo back, the crowd goes apeshit, Kim is happy, Kaka can't stop gloating, and just when everything looks to be all right wit
h the world, the cold blooded reptile resurfaces and tries to plug Prabhuji. Kaka plays the bullet affinity card, and dies bleeding in Jimmy's arms.

"Vengeance is mine!" screams Prabhuji. And dispatches the evil snake to hell. No prizes for guessing how. It's quite shocking actually (lousy pun intended).

Thus, all karmic debits and credits being suitably balanced out in the cosmic account
book, the Lord goes back to doing what he does best. Like providing gristle for severely blocked blogger mills for instance...
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7:19 AM, February 08, 2007
Blogger Supremus said...

ROFLMAO! ROFLMAO! A classic review on an a classic movie! Oh my god!

"leaving Prabhuji with a lot of misfiring neurons and a general phobia of electric guitars in general." -- ROFL!    



12:56 PM, February 08, 2007
Blogger SEV said...

Dude. There are no words.

Brilliant.    



2:42 PM, February 09, 2007
Blogger arpana said...

wow!!!! Can I open an official Dirtscapes blog fan club please ? Please? I promise to screen every mithunda movie there ever is every single weekend in the fanclub premises. :)
( sidenote - is your word verification thingy angry at me in particular or does it have a general sense of angst against everybody who visits your blog? xgkfpfw !!??!!!??!!! hurrmph!)    



11:23 PM, February 11, 2007
Blogger GREATBONG said...

Beautiful ! Gaaa Tapan Gaaa    



11:50 PM, February 11, 2007
Blogger Tapan said...

Supremus,
ROFL here too. This movie is a classic man. No two ways about that.

Satish,
Thou art most kind. As usual. :)

Arpana,
Why thank you... but careful girl, promises to screen every Mithun movie ever made can be really hard to live up to. You have been warned. :) (Let me know if you need a wall-to-wall photo of me for the fanclub.)
The word verification thing? It's generally belligerent. So it's not you.

Greatbong,
Thank Ye. Thank Ye. :)    



4:05 AM, February 12, 2007
Blogger Nautilus said...

Fabulous!!!!

Brought back such pleasant memories of another era where vamps were vamps and heroines were heroines and heroes never experimented with grey characters! I miss Kalpana Iyer and her Koi Yahan Aha Nache Nache! Imagine Karan Razdan as Mithunda's nemesis...what was B Subhash thinking!!!!    



12:18 PM, February 13, 2007
Blogger arpana said...

:)    



6:03 PM, February 13, 2007
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one hell-of-a-movie! Always try to catch the movie when it's shown on television.
"'D' se hota hai dance, 'I' se hota hai Item (lol), 'S' se hota hai Singer(if i'm not mistaken, always tend to forget that one) 'C' se hota hai Chorus, 'O' is hota hai.....Orchestra!!" *bows*
LMAO! Love the movie!

M.    



4:10 PM, April 27, 2007
Blogger Sam said...

one hell of a review!!
lol......
can't stop laughing mate!!    



6:58 PM, June 22, 2007
Blogger Tapan said...

Nautilus,
I thought Karan was a beautiful fit - if not for anything else, he makes Prabhuji's dancing even more ethereal, by sheer comparison :)

Anon,
That 'full form' routine is brilliant. Remember mugging it up as a kid, and impressing relatives with it...

Sam,
Thanx...    



3:27 AM, July 16, 2007
Blogger Beth said...

My favorite of your many good Disco Dancer-inspired turns of phrase is probably "making Sunny Deol look like a ballerina." You've seen Jeet, right? Whenever I think of Sunny dancing, that's my mental image. And now he has a tutu on in it. Genius.    



12:15 AM, July 30, 2007
Blogger Mr. Imperfect said...

"A song (Usha Uthup going at "Koi Yahaan Nache Nache" with full vim and vigour) does full justice to his primary talent, which is making Sunny Deol look like a ballerina." Boy o boy that was great. I was very much tempted to link this review on mine. Great writing dude!!!    



2:53 PM, September 20, 2009
Blogger GREY said...

Guys...any idea, where's Kim now? That babe was steamy...    



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