Action Jackson review: Backstory of Prabhudheva's version of 'Only God Forgives'
Those who have no sense of humour and can't tell a spoof from reality — though admittedly, it's a thin line in the present case — are encouraged to take a chill pill.
Our journalist was sent for a covert operation deep within the heart of Versova, Mumbai, to uncover the clandestine secrets of Bollywood. On this fateful night, he stumbled upon a meeting between Prabhudheva and his fabled Think Tank. With great mortal risk, he managed to record the audio of the discussion. Here are selected excerpts from that conversation. Those who have no sense of humour and can't tell a spoof from reality — though admittedly, it's a thin line in the present case — are encouraged to take a chill pill.
Think Tank (TT): Sir, you are great.
Prabhudheva: Forgetting the word ‘dancer’?
TT: No sir, you are generally great.
Prabhudheva: I know. But let’s get to business. I need to make a film that surpasses my previous movies in every single way.
TT: Sir, previously you have done Wanted, which began this migraine-inducing trend of Simbly South remakes that has taken Bollywood back by 20 years. You have made a crap load of money, so this time you should do something out of your comfort zone.
Prabhudheva: You mean I should put some effort into making a film this time?
TT: Effort is just a vernacular, sir.
Prabhudheva: I saw a movie called Only God Forgives. I didn’t really understand it, but it looked freaking awesome. I want to make something like that.
TT: Sir, but did that movie have enough cringe-worthy, regressive humour?
Prabhudheva: No, but I’ll add that stuff in. After all, that’s what I specialize in, innit?
TT: Even god forgives your need to portray women as idiots, sir.
Prabhudheva: Get this: My movie will have a hero who is a sadak chaap mawali who is good natured and from a small town. There will be an epically moron heroine, his regressive attempts at wooing her, her inability to resist him, a caricaturish gunda boss, slow-mo fights, camera angles that make you reach for Dramamine, and horrible, massy songs crafted as per the sensibilities of drivers of cement trucks. How does that sound?
TT: That sounds like every movie you have ever made, sir.
Prabhudheva: PRECISELY! That is the genius of it. Hear me out – the audience in the first half will assume I’m making the same movie again. But then there’s this insane twist that no one will see coming. There are not one ... but ... two heroes! Humshakals!
TT: You mean like in Rowdy Rathore?
Prabhudheva: I ... well ... THAT’S NOT ALL! LEMME FINISH ALRIGHT?
TT: Sorry, sir. Please, we won’t interrupt again. You’re an amazing dancer.
Prabhudheva: So anyway, there are two heroes, but this time, we’ll have Samurais, and Yakuzas, and Bangkok dons, and psychotic vamps, and swordplay!
TT: That sounds amazing, sir. How about making this a revenge tale without any logic?
Prabhudheva: Indeed. So the first hero is the regular attitude-throwing sadak chaap mawali who charms dumb chicks. The second one is like that first dude on acid. Instead of fighting in a desi galli, he fights in warehouses in Bangkok. His boss is bald and for some reason has one fake, blue eye. And he rejects advances from his boss’ mega hot sister.
TT: That’s great sir, perhaps the sister could be the major plot point in the film? Have you thought of something incredibly stupid to do that thread?
Prabhudheva: Of course. So the sister goes batshit crazy when Bangkok Hero rejects her. She either wants him in bed or wants him dead. She wanna be humpin and not be dumpin. She wants his chaddis, not to be best buddies. She ...
TT: I think we get your drift, sir.
Prabhudheva: So Bangkok Hero escapes to India to escape her and meets his desi mawali Humshakal, and they pull a Don on the villains.
TT: Perfection, sir. May we suggest Ajay Devgn as the lead? He’s trending on the sellout scale right now.
Prabhudheva: Yes, Ajay is perfect. I wanted Bhai for this movie earlier, but his tweets on his sister’s wedding creeped me out. Also, I realize the vamp lady is an integral part of the film, so naturally I need to cast someone who is hot, completely untalented and unintentionally hilarious.
TT: We believe model Manasvi Mamgai would fit the bill, sir.
Prabhudheva: And I’ll need a heroine for the desi hero. Her character is a listless, clueless, daft creature, someone who is an embarrassment to womanhood and the portrayal of women in cinema, some actress who does not give a tinker’s cuss about her critics and is determined to drag Bollywood back to the ‘80s.
TT: Sonakshi Sinha?
Prabhudheva: Right on. There’s plenty of comic relief too. And by comic relief I mean portrayal of comedy by relieving yourself via farts. Hey what is Kunaal Roy Kapoor doing nowadays? Call him na, I’m sure we could lure him with the fragrance of a paycheck. We’ll give him a scene where he farts tea on someone’s face.
TT: Lovely sir, to cash in on his fatness, there could also be a scene where he carries a plate of sev puri on a bike, and the wind blows over the puris towards the mouth of a motorist behind him. All done in terrible CGI, of course.
Prabhudheva: Hahaha! This is why you’re my Think Tank. Good boys! Here, fetch this stick. Go get it boys!
TT: [Sound of scrabbing and stick being fetched.]
Prabhudheva: There are plenty of films nowadays that try to be fun and crazy, but they take themselves too seriously. This movie will be completely over the top. It will be so over the top, it will be beyond over the top. It’ll be so bad that it’s good and that way, the dodos who generally see my films would be happy anyway, and it would also satisfy the elite multiplex indie snobs. It’s a win win!
TT: Terrific, sir. But the thing is, you’re such a good dancer, and your choreography effort mostly goes unnoticed, because the actors hog the credit.
Prabhudheva: It pinches me sometimes, yes.
TT: Let’s have a couple of self-referential lines about you in the film sir, about how you are the greatest dancer in the world.
Prabhudheva: That sounds good. But I’m a modest man, I’m only the second greatest dancer in the world. The first is Carlton Banks.
TT: But sir! You still have a first name that means ‘God God’! Which you freaking are.
Prabhudheva: I’m struggling to come up with a name for this film though.
TT: Sir, this is an action movie with dance steps like Michael Jackson. So...
Prabhudheva: Ah, I think it finally dawned on me. Pour me another glass, boys.