Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I simply watched The Expose’ and Heropanti over the weekend

Adrian Kent in his brief and well written history of the field of quantum mechanics expresses the conundrum of the discipline in physics, says that to understand it mathematically one must solve this puzzle:

Imagine you have three friends, John, Mary and Jo, who absolutely never talk to each other or interact in any other way. If any one of them is in town, there’s a one-in-four chance that this person will bring you flowers on any given day. (They’re generous and affectionate friends. They’re also entirely random and spontaneous – nothing about the particular choice of day affects the chance they might bring you flowers.) But if John and Mary are both in town, you know there’s no chance you’ll get any flowers that day – even though they never interact, so neither of them should have any idea whether the other one is around. And if Mary and Jo are both in town, you’ll certainly get exactly one bunch of flowers – again, even though Mary and Jo never interact either, and you’d have thought that if they’re acting independently, your chance of getting any flowers is a bit less than a half, while once in a while you should get two bunches.

(Hint: There is no right answer as the question itself is incomplete,I think!)

While questions about how we think of sub atomic particles- which exist probably at a scale of less than 1/ 100000000th of a metre are best reserved for an idle Tuesday afternoon, with a few chilled beers, my concern is with respect to an equally perplexing yet pertinent question: Why did I watch Himesh Reshamiya’s The Expose and Tiger Shrof’s Heropanti over the past weekend? Any answer describing the complementary movie tickets that one got due to various friends running out of company are to proximate to be discussed. But it must be said that this is not a question up for any detailed analysis in the first place. I simply went and watched the two movies over the weekend.

Still perplexed? Well I can perhaps offer an explanation. Open Magazine, has on occasions carried a few pieces describing the elitist branding of popular cinema, starring Rajnikanth and Mithun, as being mediocre. If one were to even begin looking past the perceived blasphemy of mentioning Rajnikanth and Mithun with the term ‘mediocre’ in the same sentence (or Rajnikanth Sir and Mithun in the same line), there is a larger point mentioned in those pieces:

Mithun Fans will trick you into feeling guilty about your reviews and make you got to expensive places alone where you will end up paying the bill .


Rajnikanth is another proof that not everything can be analysed just because there is something called analysis…He is the very end of analysis…it is no coincidence that the people who really love him are people who do not know that there is a form of employment called analysis .

Keeping with this humble assumption mentioned in the new found bastion for all things objective , originally Indian , and zealously patriotic , that is Open Magazine; I shall refrain from making comments on the popularity and acting prowess of the lead actors in the two movies. I just wish to indicate why I think they both stand a great chance of becoming extremely popular. For a ‘so-serious-that-people forgot I was being sarcastic’ review and for an extremely lazy and caricaturised review (literally) I would direct the readers here , here , and elsewhere .

One cannot begin to describe the multiple layers with which the movie The Expose’ starring Himesh Reshamiya, is formed with. Should we look at the acting and directing talents of Mahesh Bhatt’s forever protégé’ Anant Mahadevan? Should we discern the fact that it has songs which may be thought in school curriculum as examples of figures of speech? In fact to learn oxymoron and onomatopoeia watch out particularly for the song ‘ice cream khaungi, kashmir jaungi, sholon main bhadke jiya…(himesh sounding of a note best described as kha kha kha)’.

However, movies like the E-X-P-O-S-E (yes that is how a song from the film spells it out) , do not quite generate the same buzz as other Bollywood movies and neither do they receive the famous ‘word of mouth’ appreciation. But to make ends meet still it is a movie for which all its punch dialogues all covered in its trailer . Sample this, “Ravi Kumar apne langot ka paaka hai. Usse bistar main neend kea lava aur kisi ki zaroorat nahi hai.” From playing the singer in Germany who falls for the girl with the Gayatri mantra ringtone as her ringtone in Aapka Suroor (watch out for the scene at 1 hour 45 minutes and six seconds when an auto rickshaw shows the proverbial middle finger to the German Cops) , to portraying a Gorakhpur born former Mumbai superduper cop who ends up being a 1960s South Indian movie star in The Expose, one can see why the movie and himesh himself could go down in the record books, in all seriousness, as being a cult hit. If that may be the cases then watch out for trivia questions in the future on which brand of cigarettes Himesh Reshamiya’s character Ravi Kumar smokes? For those of you who have not seen the movie I shall not let out the plot any further, but only say that it is a trick question.

Be the nostalgic reference to Jackie Shrof’s Hero and the whistle tune, the fact that Tiger Shrof can and does make mince meat of an entire family of Prakash Raj’s henchmen (yes, all of Prakash Raj’s family are henchmen to Prakash Raj), or that the lead actress appears for most of the screen time without uttering a word, you know that Heropanti has been made for a star. This movie again has not quite received the fan fare that it could have, but it has nevertheless managed to get good reviews for the hero’s dancing and action sequences. Disparaging remarks about Tiger's acting talents and his facial features are doing the rounds of quite a few reviews in the media. The latter is particularly depreciating and unwarranted. Tiger form being the threat triple threat (acting, dancing, and fighting) is quite wrongly being reduced to a ‘not masculine enough hero'. What they do forget however, is that for every minute he is on the screen jumping and kicking the bad guy in slow motion, or when he is breaking and popping in a song, or when he is doing all of that and yet finds time to jump over the heroine and kiss her on the forehead while landing back on his own two feet, you simply cannot take your eyes off him. It is however, only a matter of time before he finds his acting feet.

There are those others who are quite brilliantly talented, have an innate talent for great facial expressions, have two feet which they use to dance, who can pull off the sublime and the ridiculous in one song, but who are still relegated to the sidelines. Yes, yes, and yes, I am referring to Govinda. Sample his prowess and ease in front of a camera any of the David Dhawan movie series, the now cult movie sandwich , his amazing Superman song, and a brilliant show stopping dream sequence in Andaaz Apna Apna. Some may argue that Anil Kapoor and his appearance in this song with Juhi Chawla deserve a mention, but he is not clearly as good a dancer as Govinda. Further he does not quite fit the neglected criteria thanks to his new found ‘Hollywood’ inspired fame. It is no coincidence that the literati, cultural studies students, and film critics, have not produced anything even remotely meaningful on Govinda. It is not coincidence still that their willful negligence pervades through the internet save for this reference on how Aamir Khan loves the movie Sandwich. One only hopes that Varun Dhawan does not fall victim to that claim, though one must say that he has a long way to go before he can emulate Govinda’s comic timing.

However, there are certain actors who develop a comfort level on screen in terms of dialogue delivery, comic timing, even if they cannot command screen presence, or even when they exhibit an inability to choose a script that can highlight them properly. It is my firm belief that Himesh Reshamiya and Tiger Shroff can find that space. There is on the other hand not competition such as the Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi meme fight which has captured the internet over the past year. Tiger versus Himess is too close to call, and they really do occupy diverse spaces; the former the space of action and dance, while the latter occupies the broad arena of music producer, film producer, singer and actor, all at once.

I suggest that you dear reader also catch these movies before they are out of the theatre screen.

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