Poor Salman! Once again getting the short end of the stick. Only 5 days of pre-big movie release celebration. Christmas, and my killer flu, got him all delayed. Oh well, Salman is also super nice, so I am sure he would be fine with my spending my days in bed and/or with relatives instead of celebrating him to the utmost.
(Reminder, since this is my first one in a while. The idea of these posts is just to get us thinking about previous films, give you some watching ideas of what might help you understand this week’s big release, and generally get us talking about the stars and the script and everything else for the upcoming movie)
This is one of the movies that recently popped up on Netflix. And I thought “why not watch it again? Just for a laugh”. Only, it turned out to not just be laugh-at fun, but actually fun! Much much better than I remembered. Still ridiculous as a whole, but ridiculous in a kind of fully committed way that is tragically rare.
Especially related to Salman’s performance in this film. He is so incredibly sincere, he makes you believe it, even though it is really really dumb. It’s a great role for him, the perfect combination of little boy and big heart, plus back when he was really really hot still a little bit.
And I’m not kidding about the romance in the snow reminding me of Tiger Zinda Hai. There’s something about snowy romance. A purity to it, it’s not all hot and steamy and sexy like tropical island romance, it’s all about beauty and poetry and stuff like that. It works really well for the romance in this film, which would be really really inappropriate otherwise. But with the clean cold snow everywhere, it just feels magical instead. And I look forward to having that magical romance be mixed in with Tiger Zinda Hai‘s age inappropriate romance and action scenes.
Salman has a wonderful role and gives a wonderful performance, Mithun Chakraborty has an odd role and gives an odd (but entertaining!) performance, Sneha Ullal has a boring role and gives a boring performance. And, there is no way not to point this out, she looks EXACTLY like Aishwarya Rai!!! But younger and less striking. Which was more remarkable before Salman cast Zarine Khan in Veer, looking EXACTLY like Katrina. He definitely has a break-up routine.
What really makes this film soar is how it fulfills your dreamy fan fantasy about Salman. He is the older cool guy with the fancy car that all the girls dream about, only the son of the Ambassador to Russia instead of a movie star. And “all the girls” are all the girls in the Indian-Russian community, not like all of India. And then he notices her! Our heroine! Our dreamy shy traditional heroine! Thrown in his way by circumstances, and he comes to love her in all her dreamy shyness.
It’s a film that’s all about Salman, but isn’t about Salman at the same time. He isn’t there to be all cool and have us admire him, he is there to help fulfill the fantasy of being that “normal” girl that he falls in love with. And our heroine is purposefully opaque so that we can throw ourselves into the fantasy of being her.
And because that is the fantasy, to not have to do anything at all, not even be interesting, and still have him fall in love with you. Let him do all the work of being charming and entertaining and fun! And you can just sink into a coma (as she does at one point) and let him carry you around.
I didn’t realize until this watch that this film was made by the same team as Sanam Teri Kasam. Which makes sense, they are very similar films, super romantic, passive heroine and active hero, high emotional drama moments abounding. And also with great songs. The directing team mostly does songs, they only made these two movies and I Love NY, otherwise it’s all music videos.
(Music videos like this!)
Salman must have liked how they made him look in this movie because he brought them back to do three song sequences for him in later films, “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain”, “Dagabaaz Re”, and “Premleela”. What I noticed in their songs is that they tend to tell little stories. “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain” has the chorus, but in between there is Salman trying to give Sonakshi flowers, following her around the fair, and so on. “Dagabaaz Re” has the elaborate journey through the city neighborhood. You watch the songs and think “this is such a cute little idea! I almost wish I could see a full movie like this”.
Well, Lucky: No Time For Love is that full movie! It doesn’t seem like it, the plot appears needlessly complex if you go through all the “and then she has to run from a rapist! And then he doesn’t realize she can’t drive! And the rivers are poisoned!” kind of stuff. But really it is just a cute little idea at the heart of it. Our dreamy teenage heroine is thrown in with older cool dude who ends up feeling responsible for her and they fall in love.
And that’s what I am hoping for from Tiger Zinda Hai. I don’t want a super complicated spy thriller movie, I want a simple idea, a man and a woman who retired from spying after they fell in love wand what might bring them back.