I was looking for movie-to-have-on-in-the-background-while-unpacking, and Netflix reminded me that it has Dus now (for full list of all Indian movies on Netflix, check out accessbollywood.net here; for my opinion and recommendations of Indian movies on Netflix look at my post here). And I am so glad I was reminded! It really is the perfect movie. In a very particular category of movie.
If you like young Abhishek with an unshaven look at the top 4 buttons of his collar shirt undone; Suniel Shetty wildly slapping people because of his unhappiness over his wife leaving him; Sanjay Dutt being responsible and also shooting people; Shilpa Shetty wearing tiny skintight tank tops and cargo pants and a gun holster; Raima Sen doing one of her rare mainstream Hindi performances; Vishal and Shekhar inventing Bhangra/Hip-hop; Zayed Khan and Dia Mirza showing off their surprisingly real chemistry; Esha Deol in that brief moment when she was famous; and, of course, Pankur Kapur doing an entertainingly over the top character part with dyed hair-Then THIS IS THE FILM FOR YOU!!!!!
However, if you like, I don’t know, plot? Songs with melodies instead of just crazy beats? Acting? Dialogue? Any sense of the reality of how physics, cars, bombs, guns, or police investigations work? Well, then this may not be the film for you.
Really, I’ll make it simple. If this song makes you go “Oh yeah, I want to see this movie!”, then you will love it. If it makes you go “wait, why are these naked woman hanging off stripper poles? Why is Abhishek Bachchan pretending to rap? Why do we keep seeing slow motion shots of Shilpa Shetty’s tramp stamp? Why do we keep seeing slow motion shots at all?”- well, then you may have a mind too intellectual and analytical for this film.
For me, personally, this song makes me go “oh yeah, I HAVE to watch this movie!!!!” In fact, that’s what happened this morning, I was just going to watch the opening, and then the song came up, and I realized I had no choice but to watch the entire thing.
The thing is, like Bang Bang (another perfect film), this movie just has no pretensions to be anything else than it was. If you compare it with, say, Baby, I had issues with Baby. Not a lot of issues, but it felt like there was a little bit of propaganda going on under the surface, and there were all these kind of stylistic triggers to it that told us we should believe what it was telling us. Whereas this movie is just kind of the class clown trying to entertain us, not the teacher trying to teach us something.
So, yeah, it’s another ridiculous “anti-terrorist unit” kind of film with a big bad Afghani terrorist villain. And the women are all super sexy, and the men are super violent. But I don’t care, it’s entertaining! And the music is really good! I mean, like, REALLY good. This is one of the albums that put Vishal and Shekhar on the map.
(Shilpa, in the formal version of her cargo pants and tank top. Which is sexy, but also a crazy flattering outfit! I kind of want to wear something like this.)
And Abhishek and Zayed have to jump off the roof of a moving car before it explodes, and Suniel Shetty beats a man to death and Sanjay Dutt looks responsible and tired and rubs his eyes, and Shilpa looks sympathetic and secretly in love with him. Oh, and Dia Mirza is there to be pretty. So everyone has their little talents.
I guess there are some kind of interesting things about the film. If I absolutely have to analyze something (which I guess I do, right? That’s why you read these things?), the casting of Sanjay Dutt is kind of interesting. Here he is, playing the head of an anti-terrorist unit, talking about how terrorists are a scourge on the country, and the way this evilness has reached so deep into everything and he doesn’t know who he can trust any more. But, wait a minute, IT’S SANJAY DUTT!!!! Out on bail for an arms/terrorism charge while he is filming this very movie!!!!!
But all of that is why this casting works so well. The main point of Sanjay’s character is that he has Seen Stuff. He has sacrificed for the country, he is tired and sad and responsible for others and worried about them seeing the same stuff he saw and getting as tired and sad as him. Which works just as well from either side of things, the guy who was arrested for terrorism or the guy arresting him.
Really, it works better for the guy being arrested. I know movies like to say that cops live at a different level than other people, that they are all sad and wise and so on and so forth. But that’s a lie, really. Most cops just go to work and come home. If you want the kind of sad hardened Seen Things effect, Sanjay Dutt, ex-drug addict who got caught up with the mafia and thrown in and out of jail, he’s your best bet.
Oh, and I guess it is also interesting to think about in terms of how adaptations work. There is a large smattering of 24 the TV show in here. And also a little bit of the Usual Suspects. And a smidge of Lethal Weapon 2 (the Joe Pesci parts). It all feels kind of familiar, but with all your favorite parts of the familiar films and none of the boring stuff. Plus songs.
Really, watch it! I’m not even gonna bother with a spoiler section, because you should just see it for yourself!
Oh, and also, REMIX OF THE TITLE SONG!!! Even better than the original.