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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Twang!

Sunday, July 01, 2007
As is wont to happen, we grow up. (Profound. Yes.)

And as part of that process, we erect boundaries around ourselves - prim and propah social mannerisms, decent behaviour in public, eclectic tastes in music, art, cinema, the art of appreciation, the urge to be 'with it'. And lose a little bit of our own selves thanks to the efforts we put in, in being the stars of our own pantomimes.

And every once in a (hype saturated) while, there comes along a movie(e), which shows you what a trashy little front-bencher you really are. You start watching it (might I say it?) cynically, and without knowing it, you learn how to whistle, cheer lustily, hoot, jeer and boo. Not to mention laugh till you can laugh no more. Yes, it has to be Aap Kaa Surroor - The Moviee, The Real Luv Story.

Primarily, and solely a Himesh Reshammiya vehicle. You would REALLY have to have serious issues in your life to think otherwise. The movie has only one objective, and it plays that card to the absolute gold-edged hilt. The story, the songs, the screenplay, the dialogues are all but ancillary. You wouldn't even miss them if they weren't there (which is kinda true actually, they just aren't there). Instead, the movie(e) does what is meant to do. De-mystify, and further mystify the Himesh-ian hype machine.

The story starts with an Indian 'rockstar' called HR (I know there will be a seething minority who would object to him being positioned as a 'rock' star, but play along now, will ya?) on a tour of Germany, where everyone speaks incredulously American accented English. It's entry time for aapro hero, who dodges assorted white extra fans who buss him on his furry cheeks, and kick starts the proceedings with a typically upbeat song. As soon as the song ends, and the fans (on screen and off it) have stopped clapping politely, the Polizei arrive and arrest our man. Shocked, taken aback, bewildered (this would have to be inferred from the dialogue next, because our man HR sports exactly half an expression throughout
the movie. Irreverently inscrutable.), he screams

"It's a mistake!!!!!!"

(To which half of the theatre responded,
"We know! We know! But we are gonna sit through it, ticket khareeda hai, kya karega?!")

HR is arrested for the murder of a TV reporter who was doing a 'sting' on him. HR proclaims he's innocent, but then woe cruel world...

Cut to disjointed flashbacks, where HR walks us through his German experiences thus far. How he arrived, his metrosexual Robin, how he schmoozed with his tour manager Khurana, and Khurana's 'business' partner/lawyer called (hold your breath) 'Ruby James' played by the ever pouting and supremely reliable Mallika Sherawat who (suprisingly(?)) comes on to him very strongly indeed, and how he fell in love with Riaa, played by a lady with a creepy botox-shock smile/weep expression combo.

The rest of the movie is devoted to painting HR in the noblest light possible, how he disproves the murder charge, how he saves the day, and gets married to Riaaaaaarghhh...

As a result, you are treated to the following

--> Raj Babbar is shown to be the father of the murdered gori TV reporter. How he got lucky with a German woman, to sire such a hot daughter is not covered, because it is the stuff Oscar winners are made of.

--> Hilarious one liners. All unintentional. For eg,
Incarcerated in a German prison (where HR gets to keep wearing his cap), he's meeting up with Ruby James (that name again...). Dialogue?
HR : "Kya tumhe maalum hai ki maine khoon nahi kiya hai?!"
Ruby : "I am a lawyer. I know such things."
Theatre audience : "WTF?!"

--> The scene wherein he finally gets hold of the murder weapon is sheer cinematic genius. Seen to be believed. (Hint - HR has innate musical abilities.)

--> Self deprecatory pot shots at his cap obsession, his nasal voice. (Very cleverly done, actually.)

--> The Gayatri Mantra in a tympanum curdling avatar, rendered by HR. Also, it is Riaaarghhhh's ringtone, if that helps establish some context.

--> A cute little kid with a hole in her heart, who is told that God has given her a hole in her heart, so that it can expand somehow, and fit in all the love that she's gonna get from God and assorted people. (Trouble is, the kid buys it. Disastrously disturbing.)

--> Lush overacting, the likes of which hasn't quite been seen since the last Barjatya hit came out. (One almost pines for Alok Nath to pop up from somewhere. He should have had a cameo at least. Damn.)

--> A tribute to Prabhuji, from HR, which happens when he's sloshed. He dances like God for a full 30 seconds or so. (This automatically ups HR's respect credits. I know at least one audience member who was overcome, and couldn't laugh for a full minute.)

--> Minimalist cinematic touches, in addition to the predominantly phantasmagoric ones. For eg, hostage scene. HR has to give the murder weapon to the villain in exchange for Riaaaarghhh.

HR: "Riaa."
Villain : "Gun."
Eyes meet. Exchange complete.
See? Why embellish such taut sequences with needless dialogue, when you have pretty much the rest of the movie to do so? Shmart.

--> The plot being explained patiently to you by ALL the characters, just in case you lost track while you were trying hard to figure out whether there was one in the first place. The makers knew the perils. Appreciated.

--> The mystery of what 3 auto rickshaws are doing in Germany is unravelled. See it to believe it. (It is a pretty clever nod to his auto driver fanbase. I was geniunely impressed. One more respect credit.)

--> What exactly makes God laugh. (Excluding your best laid plans, of course...)

--> A TV can do what a dog can. (Dog reference - Tuffy from Hum Aapke Hain Kaun?)

It is a must watch. And to no one's surprise, this probably has the makings of a winner. This man has a shrewd head for business, and is smarter than most people give him credit for. There is no doubt as to whom this movie is made for.

Him-self? Yes.

But you can join the ride too,
while it lasts. He makes his millions, you get your money's worth. That's the suroor-ific part...

posted by Tapan at 12:05 AM