Super filmi week: Of warring Khan bhakts and meeting Mogambo!

Last week, I asked you if know the name of Amitabh Bachchan’s bungalow in Kabhi Kabhie? Well, the answer is Ateet. Speaking of the past, here is a lowdown of my super-filmi week:

Monday
Game of Thrones
My love for the movies intrinsically finds a connection in the mundane. Say the words ‘oranges’ or ‘sherbet’ and pat comes a quote from Andaz Apna Apna. Guess what? I am not the only one.

A sudden dust storm transforms Delhi’s already smoky atmosphere into a massive envelope of grimy brown haze. On seeing a picture of it I posted on Twitter, a reader and fellow movie buff likens it to the Dubai sand storm sequence from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Too bad, I am not Ethan Hunt and what’s exciting in the movies doesn’t translate to excitement in reality. Especially when the wretched storm leaves your balcony looking like the climax of Man Of Steel.

Game Of Thrones compensates for the bad weather with the best episode of this season so far. It’s not even possible to breathe about the HBO show without giving away something, considering even nudity amounts to a spoiler. All I’ll say is I love the momentum of Season 6. The thrill and tears I experience whilst watching episode five, The Door, is something I sorely miss at the movies these days.

Tuesday
Sultan poster
The trailer for Salman Khan’s Sultan, where he plays a Haryanvi wrestler, is out and the Internet is exploding with all sorts of reactions. Despite a predictable premise, the Salman-Anushka pairing looks promising and its blatant ‘underdog triumphs’ swagger is tailor-made for wolf whistles.

Non-fans dismiss it as trying too hard for respectability while his overwhelming fan base cannot stop raving about Bhai’s brawn power.

But the most hysterical response can be found under the trailer’s YouTube link in the endless hostilities exchanged between Salman and Shah Rukh Khan’s fans. Although the stars themselves don’t play any part in their projected Sultan versus Baadshahrivalry, anything from one Khan invariably riles the fans of another.

Here’s the most decent sample I could find in a heap of uncivil volleys.

SRK fan: ‘is it realising on eid?….. I am 100% sure that it can’t beat SRK’s RAEES…… I will not see this shit…..’

Salman fan: ‘we know that srk’s career is falling down now days so his fan trying to make confuse about salman khan….. the mass like or not that we can see from like and dislike not by comment my dude….one man can comment 100 times but one man can’t like more than one so what saying mass about trailer of sultan ??? huh’

Wednesday
Salman Khan in Jaan-E-Mann
A lovely song from Jaan-E-Mann, Ajnabi shaher, pops up on TV.

It takes a lot to distract me from Gulzar’s penmanship but Salman’s make-up here always does the trick. The amount of lipstick the Dabangg hero sports in the number, I am surprised L’Oreal hasn’t invited him to endorse their brand on the Cannes red carpet yet.

Here’s another time he flashed a super pink pout for the screen.
Salman Khan in Sanam BewafaEr, SRK fans, don’t gloat just yet. You might want to have a look at this.
Shah Rukh Khan in Mohabbatein
Thursday
Aamir Khan
When you’ve seen a movie too many times, it’s the random stuff about it that catches your eye the most.

While watching a fun scene from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, the one where Sanju causes mischief between the Rajput School and St Xavier’s boys, I notice the shirt on Aamir Khan looks rather familiar.

It doesn’t take me long to remember… the answer lies in another favourite movie — Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin. Ostensibly Aamir was shooting for both movies simultaneously — DHKMN came out in 1991 whereas JJWS hit the screens in 1992 — and overlooked this tiny detail.

Looks like perfectionists can err too 🙂

Interestingly, his colleague Shah Rukh Khan wore the same floral shirt for a song in both his 1993 releases — Baazigar and Darr — where he essays negative characters.
Shah Rukh Khan in Darr & Baazigar

Friday
Waiting
I am at the swanky new 15-screen PVR Superplex to catch an early morning show of Naseeruddin Shah-Kalki Koechlin starrer, Waiting. What a prophetic title too!

You see, 40 minutes later, the movie still hasn’t started owing to some technical glitch. “The copy is taking some time to load, Ma’am,” one of the attendants sheepishly informs me. With no more time to waste, I ask him for refund and head to a nearby multiplex to catch a show due in 15 minutes.

Fortunately, the running around proves worthwhile. Anu Menon’s delicately told tale of limbo and closure presses all the right buttons. If you haven’t caught it already, please do.

Saturday
Quicksilver
It’s X-Men time! Although I pretty much yawned through X-Men: Days of the Future Past, I didn’t mind Apocalypse. I don’t know if it’s due to the complete absence of expectation, but I enjoyed it more than the ghastly Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

True, it’s full of loopholes, unrealized characterisations and contrived conflicts but it’s also unpretentious and vigorously cheesy. The variety of mutants, their gimmicky tricks sustain its dynamic quotient even when the script itself doesn’t.

Then again, except for the fine-tuned First Class, I’ve always found the franchise terribly one-note in nature. My biggest takeaway from Apocalypse, once again, is Evan Peters’ Quicksilver — the scene-stealing mutant deserves his own movie.

Sunday
Amrish Puri in Mr India
I am reading Amrish Puri’s engrossing memoirs, The Act Of Life, where he reveals an interesting contrast between his Saudagar co-stars Raaj Kumar and Dilip Kumar.

Playing the proverbial villain, he was often getting roughed up by the reel good guys. But the reality of it wasn’t always pleasant either. Like how Raaj Kumar wasn’t the least apologetic about his aggression even if Puri was vocal in his pain.

He’s diplomatic about his frustration. “I still respect him.”

On the other hand, while shooting Yash Chopra’s Mashaal with Dilip Saab, the latter went on a apology spree after he caused injury to the Bollywood villain.

My personal memory of Amrish Puri is most haunting. Sometime in November 1999, barely a month old in my job at rediff.com, I traveled to Delhi with my colleagues to cover the Sansui movie awards. At the party that followed, I bumped into the Mogambo star and approached him for an interview.

Sporting a hat and amber-hued glasses that barely conceal his dangerously dilated eyes, this tall, intimidating figure smiled and told me, “I take money (to give an interview),” in a manner so creepy and surreal, I almost fell.

This column was first published on rediff.com.

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