Narcissus meets Elephant
Imagine attending a reading-session of a self-published author, which, instead of lasting the usual 30 short minutes, starts from page one and carries on to the end. And you have to pay him for it!
What is it that spurs us to greater heights? What inner force drives us to tap through the crust with our tiny beaks and break out of our eggs? Why does the stone roll and gather no moss instead of staying still and wallowing in the stuff? What reckless sprit compels the tiny eaglet to crawl off the edge of a warm nest on a mountain top to suddenly discover wings and fly?
Today, junior artistes, filmy paraphernalia are not content with merely staying behind the camera; they wish to bounce in front of it, as if calling out to the whole world to notice them. Directors, like Alfred Hitchcock, want to appear in cameos, singers, like Himesh, want to sing in person and not just in the soundtracks, choreographers, like Ganesh Acharya, want to shake a leg themselves rather than let the actors do it, spot boys want to be in the spotlight, and lemons want to hog the lime-light.
When you have been around long enough in the business, no one tells you what a lemon you are.
So when a seriously rotund choreographer, tired of a lifetime of turning two-left-footed actors into dancing divas, decides for a change to do the favors unto himself by becoming the hero, sorry shit like this happens.
Possessed by no more than a vanity of gargantuan proportions, shorn of all ideas, snuffed out of any creative spark, Ganesh, after pawning the family heirlooms, sits in the oversize made-to-order Directorâ€™s chair and proceeds to cobble together a 2-hour miasma which sees his massive frame stretch from one corner to the other of the 70 mm silver screen.
He derives creative inspiration (another lame expression in Bollywood for plagiarism) from the Arnold Schwarzenegger-DeVito starrer, Twin. If you are beginning to wander toward the dreadful thought that Ganesh is the Schwarzenegger half of the pair, then, do not despair; you are wrong. Luckily. For he is the DeVito half, the lean manâ€™s unlikely sibling. Bollywoodian saga is replete with oft-told yarns about twins separated at birth, doing much damage to the audienceâ€™s patience and comprehension later on, and here too, by lifting the idea, Ganesh flogs the half-dead, if not already deceased, poor old horse.
The film has an all-star cast: Amitabh, Hrithik, Ranveer, Ajay Devgn, Akshay and Govinda â€“ all the usual suspects. Then why would it draw scorn from me? Why the coolness of the cinegoers, why the emptiness of the hall, why the silence of the popcorn, why the dust on the film cans?
Because, all these stars are pooled in only as an afterthought in a cameo appearance while the credits are rolling at the end of the movie. Ganesh, after editing, might have realized what a deadpan fare he has dished out and in his horror run to the stars to lean in with a song and dance. And they would have grudgingly obliged- who doesnâ€™t do an old pal a favor?
The plot- you guessed it didnâ€™t you? Twins get separated at birth. Fat boy sets out in search of his estranged mother and brother, uncannily carrying a picture of himself as identification, in the innocent belief that his twin must be cast in his true image. A fat man in search of himself should set off a laugh riot, create a comedy of errors of Shakespearean proportions, instead lame duck slapstick poorly timed and scripted whimpers in a flat fall.
The lazy writer, not keen to send Humpty Dumpty far afield, has him arrested by his own brother, a cop. Further, to save himself trouble, the lethargic writer lets the mother immediately recognize him as her long lost son. The fat man found, is led home to momâ€™s home cooked curries and brotherly affection.
Shouldnâ€™t it end here?
But where is the typical Indian love interest? In is bunged the raven-haired Nupur Sharma who, with her almost non-existent waistline looks obscene in front of the mile long girth of our homegrown Danny DeVito. Her juicy breasts, tugging at the bra strings, swell like rising half moons across a snow-white sky. She wears her heart, like a fluffy dandelion, on her sleeve, and blows it cop-ward as soon as she senses the man has a speck of decency. So overcome is she by the power of suggestion, that she is ready to cast off her clothes at the slightest scent of a mate. She slams home one day at the copâ€™s place, demanding that he teach her how to tie a flaming red sari. As they trip and fall, love blooms, and that chapter, thankfully for Ganesh who is impatient to get back in your face, is forever closed.
Is that it? What about the bad boy? Well, there is one, painfully constructed, after whom the cop pants and chases, for reason some or the other, left best to your imagination. How would you round off the story otherwise, what would be the signal for a yawning audience to get up and leave, if the shrieking sirens of the police didnâ€™t come to nudge them gently out of sleep?
Once toward the end when Ganesh is put under the knife and laughing gas for some injury, one wishes they would cut away at some of his flab as well, for his girth is so vast, that were one to hug him, one would need to form a human chain around him. He has to wear hooded sack clothes, pulled up all the way to his head. This shaven bear is no teddy, though he speaks with the tamed lisp of one.
Ganesh, now that you have, and we have seen you in color, perhaps it is best for you to leave the fine art of filmmaking to people who are capable of it.