Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Staying alive

Not only was he locked away for 14 years, he had to eat fried wontons every bloody day. Thrice a day. Six of them at a time. Fried fornicating wontons. Three meals a day. That’s close to one million wontons! (91,980, to be precise. Or, allowing for four leap years in the last fourteen, 91,908. He’s shown throwing away ONE plate of wontons, so we assume he’s still eaten nearly 92,000 wontons. Ninety. Two. THOUSAND. Wontons. And people complain about the GORE in the film?! The man must have been a walking chemical warfare zone!) Why did they bother with Valium gas when he was knocking himself out with his own?

Then … he tastes wontons to identify the restaurant that supplied them to the cell? It gets better. He recognised the cook by his shoes? The man wore the same kitschy faux snakeskin shoes for fourteen years? There is something seriously wrong with this film. Not that you needed my 87 paise on that, but truly, there is something very wrong with a film like this. I can’t believe I sat and watched two hours of grainy dark footage. Obviously it wasn’t the cheese and cutlet burger (don’t ask, I didn’t name it, I only bought it) that gave me acidity. My wife didn’t mind, she was drooling over John Abraham. Who says women don’t enjoy violent films?

And Lara Dutta a.k.a. Jenny Singh. The obligatory babe for the tough guy. Because hey, he hasn’t got some for 14 years, he has to bond with this taxi-driver babe in a singlet before the plot can evolve. Here’s a tip – when Dutt and Dutta get all hot and slinky in that red-draped room, go buy some more popcorn. This scene has to win the film equivalent of the Bad Sex award - from Balajit’s looks, it was either swing with Jenny or have Zutshi extract his teeth with that claw-hammer, and he’s still not sure he made the right choice. (I do, however, love the way Lara carries herself – fit, straight, a bounce to her step. Very wholesome. All the more reason she should diss the seduction scenes, she looks like she’s doing it by the numbers)

Mahesh Manjrekar appears, disappears. People die by falling from buildings (three), getting stabbed (at least two, though number of wounds much more), have various body parts either skewered or chopped off (a maniac’s version of “Won Can Cook”?), get skewered themselves (with a thrown katana, now there’s a ronin somewhere watching that and chortling “Who’s your daddy now?!”). Business as usual, Sanjay Gupta may have a tie-up with the Bangkok equivalent of Al-Kabeer. In-film advertising? Eewww.

There are no policemen in Bangkok, except two of them directing traffic in one shot. People can disappear, be abducted on busy streets in broad daylight (Lara’s taxi drives around thereafter with a smear of blood on the windscreen), be thrown off buildings onto the streets, walk around with hands chopped off. The Bangkok police don’t even bother to look outside as they pass the wontons and the tiger sauce.

And John. John? Are you listening? You’re just too damn decent to come across as a chilling villain. See, it’s all very well to be naturally charming, the ladies go bonkers over your crinkly smile, it’s even an advantage when you play a villain BUT only if the beast inside looks out suddenly. John, give it up. There IS no beast in there. Except perhaps a well-groomed Alsation. And John, you have an MBA, don’t you? HOW could you mouth those inane lines in the car, when Sanjay G is trying to establish what a hot-shot you are? You could lose a million a day for 60 years? That’s nearly 22 billion, John. What are we talking here, dollars or baaht? Or just the Bangali bhaat?

Why the hell did the Sanjay Dutt character – Balajit Roy? What kind of Bong name is Balajit? Maybe from down Tirupati way – have to use wontons and shoes and claw hammers to find his mysterious captor? All he had to do was get upwind of Bangkok and let one rip, he’d have smoked out the entire population. Which, after all, was more or less what the film did to us.



**** **** ****


18 comments:

anjali said...

OK, what movie is this?? I need to know what to avoid.

akr said...

its Zinda, and the plague is what it must be avoided like, i can see.
a riot, JAPji

Ph said...

You call it wholesome, we call it droolworthy.

Australopithecus said...

Now I really have to see this film.

km said...

"91,908 Wontons" would have been such a cool title for this film. Almost in the league of Zappa's "200 Motels".

krishna

Kele Panchu said...

Zinda was copied from a Korean movie. I've not seen both of them! I've to find out what the Korean hero ate while he was in jail (15 years). Is it possible that Baljeet's mom was a Punjabi, and she named her child? :)

Falstaff said...

JAP: Kudos for managing to avoid the obvious jokes about wonton violence in today's bollywood films. That must have taken some effort

Jay said...

Hey, what's wrong with eating fried wontons?!

Plumpernickel said...

Weird movie. I have to see it. I love seeing crackpot movies with weird food fetishes.

Loony Libberswick of Llapland said...

Are people really given wantons to eat in jails? Old Boy ate what? Or does logic matter anyway?

zigzackly said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
zigzackly said...

91,980 wontons isn't exactly close to 1,000,000, J.A.P, old chap..

But I quibble. I'm not much of a movie watcher, even less a Bollywood watcher, but I enjoyed your, ahem, review nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

The original Korean film packed much more of a punch

Anonymous said...

Bureaucrat Babu

Eminently readable blog. chanced upon this yesterday, and read through your whole archive.

Yestersay saw a movie called ' Mohulbonir Sareng'. Wonderful movie. Have you seen it?

Do keep writing. And we promise to keep reading.

'I do not have any Blog account hence anonymous' - Ujjwal

Priya said...

YOU watched a new-age Hindi movie?? Y.O.U? Dumbfounded. Speechless. Oshustho? Frustrated in life? Cause you surely can't be that jobless. You have shelf-loads of books from momma's to read & re-read I thought.

erebus said...

I HAVE to watch this.. sounds GREAT!

GREATBONG said...

Roy I presume can be non-Bengali too...Reena Roy?

sambar42 said...

I haven't seen Zinda, but when I saw the preview, I realised that it was a copy of Oldboy. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364569/

Including the wontons :)

The korean dude also gets wontons daily and once he is released goes from shop to shop eating wontons to figure out who has imprisoned him.