Year of the Khans, not: How the big Bolly men screwed up

This wasn’t just the year of the Bollywood man. Nah. Unless of course a cute Chaplin rip-off by Ranbir Kapoor can possibly measure up to a Kareena Kapoor munching cigarettes in Heroine or a Bipasha Basu jumping into, umm, whatever is the ghostly counterpart of a bed, with a maggot spewing ghoul in Raaz 3.

Be it Sunny Leone, who filmed a two hour movie breathing like she was just back from a 10-km run, or Vidya Balan who had the Bengali diction scurrying for cover behind a Bengali shotgun called ‘culture’, the Khans of the Bollywood world had stiff competition this year. And they fared quite miserably, at that. Though my pet hate would be Akshay Kumar trying to do a Dabangg in two films this year, here’s why the big five of Bollywood need to be sent back to film school again.

Saif Ali Khan in Cocktail: First things first, Saif Ali Khan is not hot. Even in any obtuse hypothetical world. And to make you believe that women, with those otherworldly abs like Deepika Padukone’s, would be dying to get into the sack with him, would be just a sad reminder of how aesthetically-challenged several Indian women are.

Why did the Khan’s inflict us this year?
And someone tell him, pick-up lines look good on Tom Cruise. Not on him. Especially when they go like this: “I was just thinking ke aap believe karte hain love at first sight mein… yaa main dobara ghoom ke aaoon.” The world might have moved on from ‘maine aap ko kahi dekha hai’ lines thrown at you in coffee shops to wanting to be ‘good friends’ on Facebook, but Khan in Cocktail seems to be in no mood for Twitter-age euphemisms.

He is just a good ol’ Indian man. Who doesn’t mind following a hot woman to her bedroom just hours after they have met. But who will skip his morning shave, afternoon meeting, lunch and washed clothes in love. With a long haired, fair, demure, woman who pulls a dupatta over her head like we put on shades in the sun. Cute, no? After all, you should be able to tell between a woman and a car right? Paints and dents can be pardoned and kept in the hallowed Indian home only if they’re on the latter, isn’t it?

Salman Khan in Ek Tha Tiger, Dabangg 2: Watching a Salman Khan movie these days is a bit like it felt like watching Shaktiman in the nineties. Where you know, everything else – the heroine, the bald men making eyes and brandishing knives, the chairs, fans and everything else on the set, were only waiting for the man in a black cape and golden headband to swoop down over them and kick some ass. Nobody remembers anything that ever happened in Shaktiman, except a Mukesh Khanna flying down from ceilings and mountain tops, on buffed crooks with ketchup on their face to scrawny scientists in starched white hair.

Ditto for Ek Tha Tiger.

All that you come back with is Salman Khan jumping off stuff – rooftops in Iraq to cupboard tops in India. And jumping on stuff – ISI in Cuba to goondas in India. And between all that jumping, muscle flashing and who’s-the-boss ‘look’ throwing, he’ll usually grope his butt, belt or something else and get away with calling it ‘dance’.

Ek Tha Tiger was a Dabangg set in Iraq and Dabangg 2 was Dabangg with 2 slapped on its name.

If you want watching a movie to feel like chewing gum – Salman Khan is your man!

Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan: We actually forgave Shah Rukh Khan for Ra. One. Even the south Indians, who in their nightmares don’t mix curd with chowmein like SRK would have liked us to believe.

But the Big Khan, surely, doesn’t believe in returning favours. So, he gave us Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

Where, well, he did what he does best. Fall in love and sing in love. Only, you came back envying Katrina Kaif’s patience as she let the SRK guy ham and sing and read out poetry as she sat pretty in London parks, subways and coffee shops. Imagine dressing up in all that Gucci Armani glory and then sit through a date with a guy who sounds like he should either be in the Lok Sabha or sell Slim Sauna belts in non prime-time television!

The day we figure out why SRK did that (JTHJ that is) to SRK, we will also know why people turn up in Arnab Goswami’s show to carry their ear drums back in their pockets.

Aamir Khan in Talaash: You don’t hope to see an Aamir Khan in Talaash. No. I would settle for an Emraan Hashmi instead. But yes, the smarty-pants Khan did indeed turn up in Talaash. And chatted with a ghost who spoke in the tone Nargis did in Mother India. I don’t blame him. Now where would you find a ghost with that discerning a sense of style – white lace dress, black boots and all things Goth. Bet if Aamir Khan didn’t get her, Vogue would have!

He also set high standards for grumpy-ness in Talaash. Show me one better grumpy looking man, I’ll show you Bappi Lahiri sans gold chains.

It’s difficult to dislike Khan, even when he sheds the calculated number of tears on TV. But Talaash changed that. For a while now.

  1. Bored 10 years ago

    HAHAHAHA … great read! Thanks for posting Baba.

  2. sputnik 10 years ago

    Salman still has the biggest hit of the year in Ek Tha Tiger and Aamir was good in Talaash. So disagree with the writer.

    And Ek Tha Tiger was not Dabangg – even the action was not the same. It has become a fashion to equate all Salman films as same. Taken was about a CIA agent and it had all the ridiculousness and an invincible Liam Neeson who single handedly kills so many people. These same people who bash Ek Tha Tiger will find nothing wrong with Taken.

    • Bored 10 years ago

      Isnt Taken sequel a big downer? Dont think Dabangg 2 will have the legs to get to the expected 175 cr range.

    • Baba Ji 10 years ago

      the writer has made the same comment on salman films that i made in sotd thread .there is no vulnerability or excitement in the roles that he does. villians are casted to get beaten up. thats the only part they play.A RAW agent portrayal should have been realistic but again he was superhero who could dodge all the bullets,could catch a flying plane etc. it was not full OTT like dabang though.

      • Baba Ji 10 years ago

        regarding talaash, writer is right that its genre belongs to the films of vikram bhatt. just bcos they star hashmi,its considered low brow.aamir acted well in whatever was given to him. I also said that he was in SMJ mode.his role as i said that time too,was one dimensional.

      • sputnik 10 years ago

        James Bond, MI, Bourne Identity are also spy movies and they also have superheroes who dodge bullets and catch flying planes. So ETT is no different.

        As hithere said Sixth Sense cannot be dismissed as Evil Dead just because it also has a ghost. Similarly Talaash does cannot be dismissed as a Vikram Bhatt film.

        Aamir was good in the role of a cop who could not get over his son’s loss and who blamed himself for his death. There are lot of good/great performances which can be called one dimensional.

        • Baba Ji 10 years ago

          Who says action in those bond,BI identity films are not bad? I have always critised them.But they have better writing than ETT.

          You and hithere are confusing between a genre and a film. CCTC and drunken master belong to the same genre. similarly,talaash indeed belongs to the same genre as vikram bhatt films. may be a better film than a bhatt film but in the same genre.

          • hithere 10 years ago

            You give Talaash to Bhatts and you will get a very different movie on same script 🙂

          • Baba Ji 10 years ago

            agreed . and if you give prachya pinkaew the script of CCTC, it would also be a remarkably different film. I am not denying that.

          • hithere 10 years ago

            I definitely prefer Bourne series (or Jack Ryan) to James Bond movies. For some reason I am not satisfied at end of Bond movies and they look and feel same.

        • Bored 10 years ago

          Ahem, is Skyfall same as ETT ?????????

          • sputnik 10 years ago

            Have not seen Skyfall but the ETT airplane scene is much more plausible than the airplane scene from Golden Eye.

            The whole invincibility of the spy hero is same whether its ETT or Bourne or MI or Taken or James Bond movies. Have not seen Taken sequel either.

          • Bored 10 years ago

            Damon’s Bourne movies are not same as Bond movies till Brosnan. And Bond franchise has evolved since Craig took over. But the new Bourne went the other way.

            MI franchise is much like previous Bond movies and yes they are somewhat more sophisticated versions of silly Bollywood fantasies like ETT.

            But wake me up when Bollywood comes up even with a copy of Skyfall.

    • hithere 10 years ago

      ETT was one of the better Salman movies. It could have been much better if you remove bollywood elements.

      • Bored 10 years ago

        Nonetheless, ETT was like those silly Dhoom movies – Sorry, but Salman’s standard is indeed so low.

  3. Baba Ji 10 years ago

    she is also right about saif. he is too over age to be playing the roles that he does. In cocktail to see him romance those two girls half his age was disturbing to watch. even in race promos,he looks tired and old. john will overshadow him.

    • sputnik 10 years ago

      I had said similar things about Saif in my review.

      “Saif is good in some emotional scenes but very annoying in a lot of other scenes because he clearly looks too old for the part. They try to pass him off as a 32 year old but he looks more like a 40 year old. He seens so wannabe when he is trying to be cool like a fresh out of college grad. There is a stupid scene where he keeps talking in Hindi to a some British girl and another where a drunk Saif keeps screaming while a lady is singing.”

      Cocktail Review

  4. Baba Ji 10 years ago

    “Imagine dressing up in all that Gucci Armani glory and then sit through a date with a guy who sounds like he should either be in the Lok Sabha or sell Slim Sauna belts in non prime-time television!”

    sputnik – why katrina used to take guitar lessons from a poor wannabe street singer with no credentials? there must be quite a few classes in london I am sure.May be that old ddlj mentality of aditya ” aakhir indian indian ke kaam nahe aayega videsh mein fir kaun aayega””

  5. stewie griffin 10 years ago

    hahaha..nice article..
    copy or not barfi was the best movie this year imo followed by omg..performance wise it was ranbir kapoor and chulbul pandey…

    if ever a character overshadowed an entire movie it would be dabangg 2. dabangg 2 lacked the twists and turns required but still was very entertaining thanks to chulbul pandey..
    his romance wid his wife is so much better than what srk offered,equation wid dad also was endearing..if only arbaz had added some more such moments instead of pandey jee song and saanson ne song…

    salman’s next is supposedly stalin…i watched it recently and the movie has a potential to be something like omg or rang de basanti or munnabhai…all they need to do is remove tha anti pak element,the way too much ott action and some cheap jokes..salman has a very good opportunity to make a masala movie wid a very strong social message..entertain as well as educate..the help 3 idea could cover so much stuffs happening in this world..but i think i am expecting too much..sohauil is the director and it will most probably be a copy paste wid salman beating 100 guys at once..if they copyy paste..dont even bother trying to relaease in pakistan

  6. Serenzy 10 years ago

    “remove the OTT action and some cheap jokes”

    Ha! 😀
    In a Salman Khan Movie??

    • stewie griffin 10 years ago

      if u see stalin ull get cheap panty jokes which i hope they will remove…and if u see stalin action even salman action will seem very normal to u…what i mean is i want to see ett level of ott…not bg or stalin type…in stalin the guy just beats up thousands…
      but there is so much room for vulnerabuility in the character though…also there is so much room for getting social messages across…like rape and how ppl should behave..wen a girl is getting harassed ppl shouldn’t stand around and take pictures…salman mentioned tht in the interview for which he was wrongfully bashed by masalabai..hopefully he’ll put some good social related stuffs..if he doesn’t i would feel mightily disappointed

      wid the correct mix of action and romance,salman after a long time has come across a script tht has perfect potential for making a masala movie which is entertaining yet has a strong social message…i hope he doesnt screw it up wid just a copy paste job

      ps: btw baba u r fast becoming salman of tanqeed..big boxoffice draw..every post u post is getting big no of seems u r competing wid urself here..all we need is srk and aamir too to push u further..congrats 😀

  7. mate 10 years ago

    I think Akkineni Nagarjuna did better romance in Super than Salman in Dabangg 2. He is an actor capable of showing all the varieties in one role just like Salman. Nonetheless both are great actors and living legends, hats off to them.

  8. cr7 10 years ago

    there used to be a time when srk used to be dragged in every post .not even remotely related to him . and now he is not even discussed..not bashed ,not defended . good times ahead for srk 😀

  9. Suprabh 10 years ago

    Totally disagree with this article, except “akshay trying to do a dabangg twice” (havent seen K786 but expect it to be poorest man’s dabangg and hence a wannabe act)

    Aamir in Talaash- He was as good as the role demanded of him

    Saif in cocktail– haven’t seen cant comment

    Salman in Dabangg2- Fantastic– single handedly made the movie super entertaining for me even though the movie had practically no story to tell

    Salman in ETT- the chutiyapa of second half of ETT was as baseless as it gets..I dont really see Salman’s fault in that

    Srk in JTHJ– possibly the most stupid movie of Bollywood’s modern era, Srk’s job was to make it more cheesy and he was very successful at that.

  10. mate 10 years ago

    I think Talaash ghost angle was the most intellectual move ever made in BW mainstream cinema. The man who gave the idea of gigantic moustache for Aamir, not only added much credibility to his character but all the brilliant cop characters done by all the great actors including Sanjeev Kumar in Sholay and Dilip Kumar in Shakti, were hided under its brilliance, apart from his choohiya jaisa moo.

  11. Ankur 10 years ago

    This writer has habit of writing such pieces. 😀 Her description of SRK and JTHJ are the best.

    The ghost climax in Talaash is disappointing. Aamir’s acting was okay but he seems to have Ghajini hangover. His snarling, or protruding his eyes were all same. The only difference was that he didn’t clench his teeth like a wild animal as he did in Ghajini!

    Salman is a “no comments” deal for me. No idea how his films work. I only like him offscreen because he is not pretentious.

    Hype may get them face saving (or amazing in case of Salman) box office results but the Khans are no longer giving their best.

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