Tag Archives: Bhai

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Why Arijit Singh needs to apologise to Salman Khan

While Tanmay was becoming the Bhat of all jokes, another incident stuck its head out of the muck yesterday. Turns out Salman Khan hasn’t allowed Arijit Singh’s song in the soundtrack for Sultan.

In case you don’t follow the Times of India, or have a life in general, you should have heard of the news. Turns out Salman Khan was at an awards show three years ago, and someone said something and Bhai wasn’t pleased, so he banned the singer from singing songs for himself.

Of course it should come as no surprise, as we are used to film industries where the actor is bigger than the writer, the director, the script, the film, even the sun; if he eats a lot of biriyani on that day. It baffles me how a star can take creative decisions on a film, when he’s not involved in the production in any way.

But that’s India, and that’s how things have run for the longest time. When actors have temples built for them, a singer is but a twig. However, this isn’t the first time Bhai chose to do what he wants. There have been the minor incidents of him shooting animals because he took his role in Suryavanshi – a desi Kannan the Barbarian – too seriously. He has also driven over people on footpaths – Being Drunk.

But among the biggest victories of Bhai, is the single-handed destruction of a certain Vivek Oberoi. Sometime in the mid-2000s, Vivek Oberoi must have woken up everyday feeling like the middle of an LSD trip. A relative newcomer, he had chalked up a body of work that included Ram Gopal Verma, Vishal Bharadwaj, Mani Ratnam, and Subhash Ghai. He was also endorsing Coca-Cola, and happened to date Aishwarya Rai. Which didn’t go down too well with Bhai.

Today, Vivek Oberoi endorses Babool Toothpaste, Kayam Churan and Polio drops. His co-stars are Aftab Shivdasani, his films have the budget of Bhai’s underwears. Every time he appears in an award function, he grovels and bows down to Bhai like we are in the 1780s and Zamindari is the prevalent system. Even today, under a song from Saathiya, you’ll find a comment – ‘He was a nice guy, shouldn’t have messed with Bhai’.

vivek

Of course, Bhai does what he wants. People who are close to him, irrespective of IQ or talent will be promoted. Like one-time National Pain in the Ass Himesh Reshammiya, and Sooraj Pancholi. Bhai will do what he wants, because fuck the world!

It’s strange how someone with neither talent nor goodwill, has risen to become the biggest star in the country. The common logic provided is ‘Bhai dil ka achha hai’. Which, if you think about it, is the logic used to justify chutiyas. If someone is nice, they’re nice. Yeh dil ka achha hona kya hota hai?

 

hitler dil ka achha heartranjan

 

I am perennially baffled by the fact that he’s today’s biggest superstar. Our parents had Amitabh Bachchan as their icon. For most of the 90s, your social standing could be decided on your preference between Shah Rukh Khan and Govinda. But what sort of a coked-up nation do we have to be, that Bhai is our biggest star. At most, I’d assumed Salman Khan would be Dharmender of our generation – beefed up, refusing to act his age, and generally off-kilter in the head.

But the answer isn’t too far away. Salman Khan today is a classic case of tremendous PR work. There have been enfante-terribles in Bollywood earlier. There were also actors who went to jail and got embroiled in legal battles. And yet, the metamorphosis of Bhai has been breathtaking. A few ramp-shows, a line of unusually tight T-shirts in malls, and suddenly Bhai has transformed into a ‘Dil ka achha Bhai’.

Maine Pyar Kiya Heartranjan final

It’s no wonder that Hindi films have generally begun to suck donkey balls. Look at the biggest hits of the last few years, and you’ll find at least two films a year that make you want to slit your wrist and spray the blood over the audience’s faces. With Bhai in both of them. Today, Bhai does Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje with Prime Minster Modi and speaks to reporters about eradicating illiteracy in the nation.

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And yet, I wonder why Arijit Singh has to apologise to Salman Khan? How honest-to-its-efforts can a film be, if your actor can take calls based on grudges from years back. It’s like the teacher failing you in 10th standard because you peed in the class in 3rd Standard.

And yet, it will happen. The comments have already begun to flow in – Aye, don’t mess with Bhai. Bhai is the greatest <3 <3 <3 Love from Syria.

Arijit Singh, a singer who worked his way to the top by hard work and credible hits, has to plead with Bhai to include a song in the soundtrack. I sometimes wonder if Malayalam and Tamil directors are reading such tripe and laughing at us. Or may be they aren’t, because they have work to do, like writing scripts and dialogues.

So, of course Arijit Singh needs to apologise to Bhai! How else will he get to sing in Housefull 27, and other path-breaking cinematic ventures like Saawan – The Mating Season. 

If anything, I fail to understand why Arijit Singh needs to write a letter of apology to Salman Khan. It is futile.

Cos Bhai dil ka achha hai. But I doubt he knows how to read.

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A very late review of ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’

I often think of myself as a timid man. One without the guts to go watch some of the movies that get released in our country. I know what most people say – ‘It’s just entertainment, leave your brains/kidney/urinary tract at home and watch them’ .  But I often back out of such ventures, my pusillanimous sense of aesthetics afraid to venture further than my comfort zone.

But last night, as I was waiting for sleep to seduce me, I discovered the film on Hotstar. Perhaps some things are destined. May be I was supposed to watch the film on a Sunday night, after two good joints and a day of fulfilling work.

Here is a very late review of ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. If you have watched the film, good for you. If you haven’t, don’t fucking bother. It’s only interesting if you like Trash movies.

And Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is top quality trash. Top draw, big budget, operatic trash that you can sit back and relish after a good dinner and some sweets. If you don’t like Trash, you might feel like cutting your stomach open and eating your liver.

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When the iconic 21st Century Fox logo flashes with its iconic tune and trumpets, you realise Bhai is going to piss over all the childhood memories attached to it.

In the Opening Credits, you realise who the film is going to be about. One frame in the Credits reads: ‘Salman Khan’s Costume – XYZ, Salman Khan’s Legal Counsel – XYZ, Salman Khan’s Service Tax Counsel – XYZ’.

Within 5 minutes, our man is dancing with men dressed as women in a song called Prem Leela. I turned around on my bed to lie down on my front, and pulled up my blanket, this was going to be a Trashfest of glorious proportions!
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Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is vintage Salman Khan.

It is Salman Khan not giving a fuck about you, himself, the cosmos, and Einstein’s Gravitational Waves.

This is Salman Khan in and as Salman KhanWhether it is waltzing from bone-crunching action to a song named

‘Meena ho Rajjo ho, ya ho Sheela…

(wait for it) …Prem Leela…Prem Leela

Or dancing in the middle of a dialogue, sending you back to painful memories of Hello Brother and Yeh Hai Jalwa. Or using random English words in the middle of a sentence even though he plays a village simpleton.

And in a glorious bit of Troll-casting, Bhai is joined by none other than Sonam Kapoor. That woman with such an enigmatic voice that when she talks, you’re unsure if she’s saying something/asking you a question/suffering due to a scarcity of Hajmola.

Sonam Kapoor and Salman Khan share the same initials, and acting abilities. In this film, Sonam Kapoor runs an NGO, flies in a chopper, and does ‘nice’ stuff, like distributing clothes and food to poor children. Salman Khan wants to thank her for her good nature and begins to behave like an 8 year old on cocaine – making faces at the camera, smiling, twitching, doing Prabhudeva steps in the middle of a monologue. Uski marzi.

After a while, the entire enterprise seems like a school’s Annual Day drama, where the Principal’s son is the hero, and the rest of the school is playing along. You think you are set for a regular Salman Khan film.

BUT
(Dhan Dhan Dhan…)
There is another Salman Khan. A sophisticated prince who speaks English.

In order to pull off the highly complex task of portraying another character, the makers resort to the classic Bollywood trick – giving the ‘other guy’ a moustache. This other Salman Khan is calm and composed. For eg, after a fencing match with Neil Nitin Mukesh, he says, ‘That was close, Ajay. Good job’.

This prince uses words like ‘Ranjishein’, and visits people on a horse drawn carriage, fully aware of man’s developments in the domain of automobile cars. Because, Salman Khan.

What follows is a classic case of dual identity, with Salman Khan playing both the roles with such nuance that you can’t tell who’s who. You can’t even tell who you are, after a point. In an effortless performance, Salman Khan skilfully walks the middle line between four lines of coke and six lines of coke.

There are other actors thrown in so that Prem doesn’t feel lonely on the sets.
There is Anupam Kher playing a desi Alfred, offering sagely advice to Batman Khan. I wasn’t surprised to see Anupam Kher essay the role, because honestly, I have only seen Anupam Kher essay ridiculously asinine characters all my life.

And it is surprising that he won a Padma recently even though there are SO many actors who have achieved much more. You’d think that only Congress and Communists did stuff like this – rewarding their Yes-men with rewards. And giving Anupam Kher a Padma doesn’t stink of sycophancy at all.

But let us not besmirch a Salman Khan film by looking at it through a socio-political lens.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is more than that. Watching the film reminded me of the time I had gone to a circus for the first time. I had never been to a circus, but I had read stories, and watched Mera Naam Joker across its runtime of four centuries, so I was excited. I wasn’t a kid or anything – must’ve been around 23, and there was this girl who I thought was cute, and she for some reason wanted to go watch the circus, so I tagged along.

It was a very self-aware experience. I was amazed that they still do stuff like that – elephants balancing on cycles, and clowns whose pants slip off and dwarfs on unicycles on ropes. After a little while, I was transfixed. I had let go of my self-aware, I’mGoingToBlogAboutThis avatar, and enjoyed the entire show.

Watching Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is a bit like that.

At one level, it is a film that has Salman Khan in it. But at a deeper subliminal level, it is also Salman Khan educating the nation about the various varied effects of psychotropic substances. When he is listening to other people talk, for example, it is the perfect expression of a person who has smoked one too many of Shiva’s Regals. When he is fighting, it is a perfect demonstration of coke-rage. When he is singing songs, it is to display the wonderful effects of Ecstasy. When he is being romantic, he smiles with the glee of a sublime blot of Amsterdam acid. It’s a layered performance in the truest sense.

Bhai is showing us as a nation how to handle life’s complexities. He has chosen the largest mass-medium in the country to spread the message.

Bhai is, after all, being human.

A very high human.

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