Super filmi week: When Tabu struggled with a 500 rupee note

It was a crazy week for the world. I cannot claim any different. Read on:


Rishi Kapoor in Karz
Rishi Kapoor in Karz

My nephew, yep the same little fella whose on-a-loop obsession for Masoom’s Lakdi Ki Kathi I griped about not too long ago, has discovered cute, curious ways of expressing his wishes. Like requesting for a song from Delhi 6 by cooing like a pigeon.

You can never predict what will capture a kid’s imagination.

Growing up, I watched a lot of movies and the strangest things caught my attention or inspired me to recreate them in a puerile way.

When I first watched Subhash Ghai’s Karz, my only takeaway was Simi Garewal taking off her glamorous wig towards the climax to reveal a striking grey mane and the image of Rishi Kapoor getting an electroencephalogram with a whole lot of thingums fastened on a helmet to check if his brain’s functioning properly.

Blown away by the technology of the latter, I decided I wanted one as well.  Except I was too young to even communicate this to my family. What I did then is grab a dozen clothing pegs, clipped them onto my hair and imagined an anomaly.

My head hasn’t been straight since.


Kader Khan and Tabu in Pehla Pehla Pyar
Kader Khan and Tabu in Pehla Pehla Pyar

It’s a fairly humdrum Tuesday until the PM drops the demonetization bomb and all hell breaks loose.

And of all the things in the world, it reminds me of this recurring gag in Tabu’s adult debut, Pehla Pehla Pyar.

Directed by cinematographer Manmohan Singh, this terribly tacky Roman Holiday rip-off stars Tabu as a runaway princess trotting out a Rs 500 note, a substantial sum in 1994, for miniscule payments even as do-gooder Rishi Kapoor pays off her bills.

Itne bade note ka koi chutta nahi dega tereko,” Kader Khan cautions Tabu after she pops up that 500 bill to settle a minor grocery purchase. “Arre yeh paanch sau ka note toh mera diwala nikal dega,” yelps Kapoor on learning he’s to pick the tab (yet again) for the same.

I don’t know about Pehla Pehla but prophetic? Hell, yes!


Pooja Bhatt and Anupam Kher in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin
Pooja Bhatt and Anupam Kher in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin

Remember the scene in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, one where Anupam Kher is walking his precious, pampered daughter Pooja down the aisle yet appalled at her decision to marry a gold-digging twerp?

Just before he lets go of her hand, he cannot help but wonder, ‘Tum aise ullu ke patthe ke saath shaadi kaise kar sakti ho?”

It triggers a last-minute doubt inside Pooja’s rash, impulsive mind. It’s not like she loves the dolt anyway. The man she’s fallen for (Aamir Khan) is no picnic but they’re good for each other. Within seconds, she realises the dumbness of it all and scoots off to reunite with the love of her life. But not before dramatically dumping the doofus groom in a manner that makes daddy proud, “Main tum jaise ullu ke patthe ke saath kaise shaadi kar sakti hoon?”

Imagine an alternate ending where Pooja goes ahead with her sham wedding? Inconceivable, yes?

Just like United States of America picking Donald Trump over Hilary Clinton for President. Sorry but crazy analogies occupy my mind as I digest the joke that went so far, it became serious.


Cara Delevingne in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Cara Delevingne in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Down with a terrible bout of cold and fever, my only respite comes watching the sparkling new trailer of Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

There are lots of reasons to celebrate Besson’s return to the world of science fiction after the great, goofy (in Roger Ebert’s words) The Fifth Element.

Based on the French comic, Valérian et Laureline, whose influence can be noted in Star Wars as well as Fifth Element, the 2017 summer release is high on spatial shenanigans and CGI extravagance.

What’s attractive though is how it acknowledges just about enough cheese to deliver a uncomplicated, fun treat.


Farhan Akhtar in Rock On 2
Farhan Akhtar in Rock On 2

While watching Rock On 2 at an early morning show, I am rather flustered by the superficial eagerness of Farhan Akhtar’s Aditya Shroff to help out a village in Meghalaya on a grass root revel.

Mind you, there’s nothing wrong about depicting altruistic gestures on screen but to convince the viewer of good faith is a delicate task.

Aditya Shroff’s unbelievable transformation from the guy who doesn’t think twice before signing a contract that compromises his band’s ideals or friend’s creativity to someone so consumed by his devotion to give the needy a better life that he forsakes his role as father and husband wants us to believe he’s Gautam Buddha of sorts.


Need I remind him it took Ashutosh Gowarikar more than three hours in Swades to purposefully establish Mohan Bhargav’s desire to give up his charmed life in US as a project manager of NASA and ‘light bulbs’ in Charanpur.


A still from Dangal
A still from Dangal

Truth be told, I wasn’t really all that impressed by the Dangal trailer. But this new song they just released featuring a stout, stern Aamir Khan as Haanikaarak Bapu has me stoked about the December release.

Set to Pritam’s infectious tune and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s delightful lyrics around the playful fervour of singers Sarwar Khan and Sartaz Khan Barna, Haanikaarak Bapu hilariously conveys the grievances of the school-going Phogat sisters.

Sample this:
Sote jagte chhuth rahi hai aansoo ki pichkari
Phir bhi khush na hua Mogambo, hum tere balihari. 


A photo posted by Karan Johar (@karanjohar) on

Goodness Gracious Twinkle Khanna! Is there anyone who doesn’t love this woman?

It’s all about her on Koffee With Karan even as husband Akshay Kumar and host Karan Johar look on in awe and embarrassment.

Be it rubbing in K Jo’s appeasing ‘hostage video’ to ensure Ae Dil Hai Mushkils peaceful release, mocking her dreadful performance in Mela, admitting her relationship with Akshay started out as a ‘fling’ or her firm refusal to have a second child till he signed more sensible movies, Twinkle is unstoppable.

Also giggled at the Airlift star’s story about Mere Biwi Ka Jawaab Nahi, the long-delayed project opposite Sridevi, where neither shot for the climax to show the revenge they had pledged to take. Finally, the end product, according to him, just mentioned ‘aur phir un dono no badla liya’ and cut to a dance sequence – The End. Wish the video available on YouTube would support his decidedly more humorous finish.

Coming to Twinkle, sometimes, people who acquire popularity because of a specific attribute try too hard to validate the reason behind their success by being amusing because it’s expected out of them.

I love how wit is not merely a trait but part of her breath and blood.

This column was first published on

Also read:
Of post-festival blues and toilet titles!
Finding links of life in Dhoni’s Ranchi and Madhuri’s Mujrim!
Inside Dharmendra-Hema’s intensely private world
Power of Pink
The irrepressible cuteness of Pooja Bhatt
Indradhanush was our Stranger Things
When Saif Ali Khan wore Rishi Kapoor’s sweater
Getting nostalgic about the 1980s, Winona Ryder & Kishore Kumar
Rediscovering Gulzar’s Ghalib & finding Free Love
Applauding NTR’s Superman on screen!
Tripping on A R Rahman
A millipede and Kimi Katkar’s monsoon romance
Udta Punjab, worst casting decisions, and naheeee…!
Of warring Khan bhakts and meeting Mogambo!
Ranbir’s forgotten romance in Bachna Ae Haseeno
Funnier than Aishwarya’s lips
Clashing superheroes and crying Khans
OCDing on Neetu Singh’s LPs!
Garam Dharam, Mantrik Origins, Rockstar Cruise

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