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.
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.