Friday, September 25, 2009

Dil Bole...Mat jaaa

BOMBAY (25 Sep): Last weekend I found myself persuaded by my friends to see the latest circus act -- Dil Bole Hadippa (DBH). And since spending hard enough dough on sure-shot tripe is my favorite pastime nowadays, I duly obliged.

DBH delivers on all expected fronts of a Yash Raj movie. The audience feels like it has been through a lobotomy coupled with an anal probe, where the anaesthetic was replaced by Vogon poetry. Let us look at the checklist for a patented Yash Raj film.

1. 100% Punjabi theme. Check.
2. All Punjabis living/defacating/mating/studying/sleeping in sarson ke khet, and driving either a truck or a luxury car. Check.
3. Lead cast shoddily speaking colloquial Punjabi words to construct pseudo Punjabi sentences that make the ears rot. Check. Bonus points if Punjabi words are restricted to vich, pind, asi, tusi, saada, te, tuada, chak de, balle, lalle-di-jaan, oye-hoye. Any other words are completely banned because Yash Raj Films' pseudo Punjabi department doesn't know what they mean or how to pronounce them.
4. One dimensional storyline with out-and-out good and bad guys, and side characters completely ignored. Check.
5. Stupid misunderstanding at the end, which any living organism with the IQ of an amoeba would easily counter in real-life, but which separates the lead hero and heroine. Check.
6. 4273 Sikh junta who are always around in complete Bhangra gear, should the hero/heroine desire to gyrate at any point in the movie. Check.
7. An intellectually retarded, but emotional "heart of gold" possessing parent. Check.
8. Harvest season going on irrespective of the month of the year, and the farmers singing in the fields in full make-up. Check.
9. Portraying super-emotionality and obnoxious conservatism as Indian and everything good. Check. Bonus points if there is a character who is the antithesis of this portrayal and who by the end of the movie is shown as a loser.
10. Highly retarded characters (usually a relative of the main character, or a servant) providing really boring "comic relief". Check.
11. Sappy emotional mono/dialogue that would form the key turning point of the movie. Check. Bonus points if the lines look out of place in even a 1950s movie.

I could go on, but I guess you get the drift. On the plus side, large parts of the movie do qualify for the "so bad it is good" category. And Rani Mukherjee, who is competing for the Best Actress in the Anorexia Category against Kareena Kapoor, looks "different". Come on girl! Bring on the flab and thunder-thighs! That's what the male crowd paid their 150 bucks for! As another minor plus, Shahid Kapoor has finally transitioned from "so bad I want to kill him" category to "I can tolerate him if he doesn't ham" category. Speaking of hamming, the only truly funny scene in the movie is the one where he emulates the Emperor of Hamming, SRK, from DDLJ.

Yash Raj films also have a proud tradition of possessing gaping logical loopholes, a tradition which they have heavily strengthened with this movie. Cases in point:
(a) When there is a Indo-Pak village-level match, the entire guest village easily gets a visa to visit the host village. That includes Rakhi Sawant.
(b) Every team member calls the captain "Sir", not because he has been knighted, but because he demands so and because the team is funded by his dad (his words, not mine!). It doesn't matter that the captain looks 10 years younger than many of his teammates.
(c) There are multiple video cameras that provide HD coverage of the village-level match. IPL organizers must be crying themselves to sleep on seeing this.
(d) Putting a moustache and turban is enough to disguise a girl as a man. It doesn't matter that there is no other body hair, the voice is still husky, and the chest is still, how shall I say it, merrily pointing outwards.

It suffices to say that I had to watch No Country for Old Men later to nullify the brain damage suffered that evening.