Flashback 2013: The death of macho man, rise of Deepika and more
Here's a look at 2013's trending topics onscreen in Bollywood.
Last year, all Bollywood roads led to a fictional North Indian heartland where kitsch and machismo ruled, whose honorary ambassador was Salman Khan and where Sonakshi Sinha was a permanent resident. This year, thankfully, there was much more than one beaten track. Here's a look at 2013's trending topics onscreen in Bollywood.
Traditionally, logic hasn't had much place in a Bollywood script, but this year, the Hindi film industry pwned science in a truly impressive manner, as the following notable examples demonstrate.
First, there were two zombie films and one of them — Go Goa Gone — even ended up doing respectable business at the box office. The other film was Rise of the Zombie, directed by Luke Kenny and Devika Singh, which had a limited release.
Then there was Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroop, which blast through nuclear theory with its inventive storyline. A deadly terrorist plot in the film was pivoted upon releasing pigeons, with radioactive scraps tied to their feet, being released into New York City's skies. These radioactive pigeons confuse all the Geiger counters in the city thereby allowing terrorists to smuggle in a massive, water-cooler sized nuclear bomb. What prevents this bomb from exploding? A microwave doubling up as a Faraday shield.
Laws of optics got a rewrite in Krrish 3 when director Rakesh Roshan decided sunlight reflected by a mirror turns into a single, fat, glowing, straw-like beam. Clearly, in the process of being reflected, the speed of light also slowed down, allowing us to see individual rays as the light of the sun flit from mirror to mirror.
However, it was Abbas-Mastan's Race 2 and its sublime dismissal of aerodynamics that was, for me, the most memorable pwning of science in a long time. In one of the film's many climaxes, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone escaped an exploding plane in a fancy sports car. Yes, the plane was mid-air. Of course, a car can't fly (obviously. D'uh!) so what's the scientifically viable solution to the problem of a hero and heroine being in a vehicle that gravity demands should crash land in seconds? Four parachutes popping out of the car's four tips, allowing the sports car to languidly sale to safety. It's the moment at which science must have wept for not being able to accomodate the world as Abbas-Mustan imagine it.
The rise of Deepika Padukone
When Deepika Padukone made her debut in Om Shanti Om, most people groaned because here, it seemed, was yet another beautiful woman with all the emoting potential of plywood. Aside from her fantastic figure and luminous smile, the only advantage Padukone had over plywood was that she could dance.
Her films — hits and flops — didn't do much to change this opinion until 2013. This year, we saw Padukone as an unscrupulous businesswoman (Race 2), a young woman who goes from geeky to gorgeous (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani), a kitschy south Indian belle (Chennai Express) and a feisty Gujarati Juliet (Goliyon ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela). All four films made more than Rs 100 crore at the box office, but perhaps more importantly, Padukone was charming in every role. She managed to make the caricaturish Chennai Express bearable in parts and despite the fact that Leela is as thoroughly idiotic as most Sanjay Leela Bhansali heroines, Padukone lit up the screen. In 2013, we learnt that unlike her model-esque peers like Katrina Kaif and Sonam Kapoor, Padukone can actually act. Brava!
The Death of Masala Machismo
Okay, this might be a little tainted by wishful thinking, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the over-the-top son of the soil who can make jeeps flip and make villains as well as heroines tremble is passé. Last year, almost every film in the top-grossing list had a hero made from a mould inspired by retro Bollywood and the physics-defying superstars of Tamil cinema. This year, Akshay Kumar's Boss, Ranbir Kapoor's Besharam and Ajay Devgn's Himmatwala are among the gentlemen who didn't get much love from the audience. It's interesting (and heartening) to see Kapoor as the crass Babli didn't strike a chord but the suave Bunny of Yeh Jawaani... charmed audiences. Considering the glut of stories set in the faux Indian hinterland last year, I'm not surprised the audiences are sick of seeing the same guy and the same action sequences. I'm just relieved.
Say hello to the new boys
Given two of the year's biggest hits starred Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, it's too soon to say that the Khanglehold over Bollywood is over, but 2013 certainly saw it loosen. A solid crop of buff young men made it clear with their films that they're ready, willing and able to take over from the 40-somethings who are currently the industry's golden guys. Ranveer Singh, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sushant Singh Rajput and Vidyut Jamwal are standing confidently alongside more established colleagues like Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan, Abhay Deol and Shahid Kapoor, and they're the next generation of stars.
They can ham as well as Shah Rukh; their muscles are as defined as Hrithik's; they have the acting skills to inherit the mantle of the Thinking Actor from Aamir. Admittedly, no one has the fan following that Salman enjoys (yet), but this competition should keep everyone across age groups on their toes. Oh, and if you're among the few who expect an actor to be more than a pretty face, Rajkummar Rao's your man.
Lyrics: the stupider, the better
Look, when we've survived a song called Gutar Gutar, the lyricist has to come up with some spectacular crap to make an impact. However, never let it be said that Bollywood shies away from a challenge. Once upon a time, even the most idiotic Bollywood film had songs so beautiful, that you could forgive the film for being inane. But those days are gone. This year, it seemed the task set before lyricists was to come up with the stupidest possible combination of words and sounds. Here's a random selection of five lyricists' creations that we have tried to but sadly cannot forget.
"Bum Pe Laat" by Sameer (Himmatwala)
Karo tit for tat
Maaro bum pe laat
Hey, chadhe tandoor ka, ye garam kabaab hai
Haath lagana nahi, ye toh tezaab hai
Chehre pe dekho iske, kitna rubaab hai
Iske har sawaal ka toh ye hi jawaab hai
Dil ka kaala paise waala hai iska Dad
Karo tit for tat... huh!
Maar de bum pe laat tu.
"Gandi Baat" by Anupam Sood (R...Rajkumar)
Gandi gandi gandi gandi gandi baat
Gul-badan dan dan
Deal done done done
One Two One One One ho gaya
"You Are My Love" by Sameer Anjaan (Krrish 3)
You are my love
You are my dove
You're my cuddly pudding pie
Tere kadmon mein dil rakh doon
Until I'm gonna die
Bye bye, bye bye!
Please don't try.
"Tu Bhi Mood Mein" by Kumaar (Grand Masti)
Tu bhi mood mein
Main bhi mood mein
Fire hai dude tere attitude mein
Tujhe karoon invite
Badi sexy hai night
Crazy baarishon mein aaja
Dil wet kar le
Aaja mamla set kar le...
"Sorry Sorry" by Mayur Puri (Any Body Can Dance)
I am a fool, I am a fool
I am a fool fool fool!
You big heart, you big heart
You got very big heart!
I come near, I come near
I come near near near
You go far, you go far
You go very very far
"Psycho re" by Mayur Puri (Any Body Can Dance)
Aye yenna poda rascalla
Arey yaar mere chal daru pila
(daru pila, daru pila)
De liver tere ko gaali
Daru buri cheez hai saali
Kaayko! re kaayko re kaayko pita kaaiko re
Peeyega nahi toh bheja hoyenga
Hey peeyega nahi toh bheja hoyenga
Dilip Kumar was initially supposed to be discharged on Thursday but the family and the doctors decided to let him rest in the medical facility for another day.
Earlier this year, Kumar was hospitalised for a routine health check-up.
Dil Chahta Hai or Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, I don’t care. As long as someone is making a film casting this trinity in the lead (Zoya Akhtar, are you listening?), I’m watching. With my girlfriends, of course.