Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Random thoughts on Krrish

I have no problem as such with astrology and don’t think it’s all bogus; in fact I enjoy listening to the good and bad things that will happen to others. But I’m just not very keen to have my own future told. When people wave copies of my horoscope excitedly at me and begin to mouth words, I have a standard response ready. “But I don’t want to know that I’m going to spend six years in a coma in my pomp, or have an extra-marital affair at age 84, or win a Nobel at 32,” I tell their gaping faces, “for without suspense, life is barren.”

This has nothing to do with anything, except that (minor spoiler alert) there are two separate scenes in Krrish where a character looks into a future-seeing machine and sees another character holding a gun to his head. This sets off a frenetic (since in each case the future is a mere 10 minutes away) chain of events where pointless attempts are made to prevent the inevitable. Much energy is expended in deputing henchmen when the person in question should just have resigned himself to his fate and spent the 10 minutes checking to see how many Grand Slam titles Roger Federer will end up with, or whether cockroaches really will survive the holocaust. But ideally, he shouldn’t have looked into the future-seeing machine in the first place. No good can come of these things. Interpreting the present is a tricky enough business for most of us.

– One of the common questions raised by superhero comics/films is how no one manages to figure out that (for instance) Clark Kent and Superman are the same person – especially since the only form of disguise is a pair of glasses, a nervous speech pattern and the ability to put on the inner garments before the outer ones. The women in these movies can be anything from intrepid reporters to upwardly mobile corporate types, all very smart within the confines of their profession – but when it comes to cracking the superhero’s identity, they don’t quite have all the cubes in the icebox. Priyanka Chopra nearly ruins the first half of Krrish with her shrillness and her misguided attempts at slapstick comedy, but it’s in the second half of the film that her character really outdoes herself. Such is the coruscating acumen of this girl that when young jungle boy Krishna (who she already knows is endowed with extraordinary powers) disappears and in his absence a leather-clad dude who looks exactly like Krishna (except for a mask covering his forehead) shows up, rescues children from a burning building and proclaims himself to be “Krrish”, her reaction is to furrow her brow and say:

“Mujhe shaque ho raha hai ke yeh Krrish apna Krishna hi hai.”

And later, when Krishna gets his friend Christian to pretend that he is the superhero:

Priyanka (slapping her forehead): "Main bhi itni paagal hoon. Maine socha hi nahin ke Krrish ka asli naam Krishna hi nahin, Christian bhi ho sakta hai."

Uh yes, or maybe he could have consulted with Rakesh Roshan’s team of numerologists and worked out a new superhero name that wasn’t at all similar to his own. I mean, how would fun come if Clark Kent called himself “Super-Clark” or Bruce Wayne “Batty Bruce”?

In short, Lois Lane 2, Priyanka 1.

– Hindi film sequels do tend to be bummers. In at least one that I can think of from the 1980s (Nigahen, the sequel to Nagina), we learn that the happy couple who frolicked around tree and lake in the first film ended up dying young and tragically soon after. Revisiting Koi Mil Gaya may no longer be so much fun once you know that the loveable idiot Rohit will eventually spend 20 crucial years of his life held captive in a suspension chamber. Tch.

17 comments:

  1. I hated Koi Mil Gaye, so I don't plan to suffer through Krrish. But I wanted to pipe in and declare my loveee for the Krrish soundtrack, especially that pretty one "Chupke"-something.(yes, I know that's every other Hindi filmi song, it's still makes pleasure-ful listening:)

    Batty Bruce..that's very awesome:)

    Also...on an unnecessary tangent...I think the perhaps obvious answer to the common superhero question is that no one wants to believe that this average joe-shmoe with his glasses and his nerdy little ways could be powerful. There's a "we see what we want to see" message lurking in there that I find sweet and poignant.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Remember minority report? The concept that what is seen is essentially a shadow of the future (and one of the outcomes in parallel universes). Hence, once you've seen the future, your actions can change and hence change the future. But I guess they wouldn't risk such an idea in a Hindi film.

    ReplyDelete
  3. i find the looking into the future and trying to prevent what will happen business a bit irritating...
    it always reminds me of what Dumbledore tells Harry in the Prisoner of Azkaban -
    The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.

    Wish Rakesh Roshan would take some clues. And the situations in which i end up quoting from Potter doesnt cease to surprise me ..=P

    ReplyDelete
  4. *dont cease to surprise me
    i cant type

    ReplyDelete
  5. Remember Priyanka's first line in the movie - mein kahan hoon? after that, I had no expectations and she met them all.

    and no digs from you on the Bournvita-piyo-Lays-khao-strong-bano bits...? disappointed :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. havent watched both Koi Mil Gaya or Krissh so no comments on that front, 'bout the future bit - it is fun to listen to the predictions only to prove them wrong later on..

    ReplyDelete
  7. Charu: yes, completely forgot to mention the in-film advertising. Excellent stuff - especially the Hero Honda Carnival of Bombay, was it? Samsung was a key player as well. And the "thanks to our sponsors" message at the start was one of the longest I've ever seen.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Krissh was a like a round up of all Hindi movie cliches... the whole den on an island.. villain deperately trying to be mean (I actually felt bad.. after Iqbal, i dint expect Naseer like this!)..i ,actually at one point, remembered shaan.. and well the less said for priyanka... the better. This just shows how misleading promos are. One sequence of him in his costume .. and all promos have him like that... sigh. another sequel in the dumps. Was watching Koi.. Mil Gaya over the weekend.. and realised .. it was still imminetly watchable..

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, the outlandish villain and the den on an island are really more like a channeling of the standard superhero-film clichés – which were the inspiration for many of the Hindi movie clichés in the first place! I thought Naseer’s performance was geared towards parody (he probably figured that was the best way to salvage something from a poor script). I don’t think it was comparable to Shakaal in Shaan – there was no irony there, it was just Ramesh Sippy’s disastrous attempt to outdo Sholay and create a villain who would be Bigger and Badder than Gabbar...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jai: Ah, the classic Appointment in Samarra story.

    I'm not sure that knowing the future destroys suspense though. It just shifts the question from what to how. At some level, we all know the future (we're all going to die) it's figuring out how we get there that makes life exciting.

    As for the secret identity question - I'm not sure it's quite that common. On the whole, I would say Superman is probably an exception, in that the Clark Kent / Superman distinction is largely about whether he's wearing contacts. It's much harder to argue, for instance, that people who meet Bruce Wayne should be able to see that he's Batman (yet another data point to prove that Batman rocks and Superman sucks).

    ReplyDelete
  11. Noticed a unsual thing in Krrish: in the flashback scene which is showing something which happend 20 years ago, Rohit is shown talking on a mobile to his mother. I wonder if mobiles were around at that time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well, ya, but I think that little point can be forgiven. After all, Koi Mil Gaya was set in 2003 (when the film was made) and so one would probably have to imagine that this one is set in 2023 or something! (Of course, as is often the case when a contemporary movie has a sequel set several years later, both films are really just set in one of those hypothetical time-continuums that have nothing to do with our real-world calendars! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. raju bathija, no offence - (meant atleast) but with soooo many things unbelievable and crappy about the movie, it is interesting that you noticed the mobile phone.

    was reminded of this column Filmfare used to run (still does?) somewhere towards the end pages - 'readers don't digest' - where readers who have watched movies where the hero who is believed dead and has been cremated comes back to life and the herione does not recognize him because he has shaved of his mustach and suchlike, write in pointing out that in scene12, the heroine has a blunt cut while in the scene immediately following that, she has waist long hair. or some such thing. and they used to have cute titles for each of these astonishing letters too like - hairy tales? (sorry jai for all this space)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Charu: true, true. That's a point I always make to friends who love nitpicking about the little things in a Hindi movie. I don't mean to be snobbish or anything (I was weaned on these movies and love the worst of them), but really, why nitpick when almost nothing in the film (right down to the most basic characterisations) is connected to the real world?

    The irony is, if I start talking at length about the larger problems of logic in a film, these same nitpicky friends will tell me to "stop taking it so seriously, it's just a movie".

    That said, "Readers don't digest" was one of the most entertaining things I've ever read. I still keep a look out for it when my mum brings a Filmfare home.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Jai: thanks, well said :).
    Charu: No offence taken :).

    ReplyDelete
  16. can anyone temme the number of flash backs that that we saw in this flcik?rekha-hrithik,hrithik-priyanka,others-hrithik ...oh gosh ....if that was not eneough we seee the future and the present as well....same crap twice....damn roshanji surely knows to save money and fool public

    KRISH supernatural hero or gorge of (indian)jungle.

    ReplyDelete
  17. the only thing the film lacked, i thought, was a long list of references or a bibliography - minority report, the matrix shits, e.t. of course, spiderman, jet li flicks, et al. the bhoot bits were quite cute, really, and the hrithik-bimbo love theme sounded good almost every 100th time.

    ReplyDelete