Shahrukh Birthday Countdown, Karan-Arjun! Part 5, Final Part

Last part! Awwww, I’m sad. It was fun having this crazy movie in pieces.

I left off at Amrish Puri in Jodhpurs.  He is all upset because these mysterious strangers have come to the remote village he rules with an iron fist and are beating up his thugs.  What. Is. HAPPENING?!?!?  (he asks).

And he is answered by a scene that might be funny?  Not to me, but surely to some person in the world who enjoys Johnny Lever.  Johnny Lever is trying to trick the corrupt doctor type person who has seen Salman and Shahrukh in the village and is ready to turn them in.  He gets the doctor to say he has seen them, and then uses double-talk to try to convince them that the doctor has really just seen a photograph of them.  It could be funny if you were fluent in Hindi, I guess?

Anyway, the real reason he is there is KAJOL!!!  Which is also of course the reason all of us were put on this earth (in order to worship her wonderfulness).  Johnny has something a little more specific in mind, and manages to pass her a message that Shahrukh is there, and planning to rescue her.  GET ON WITH IT, is my message.  I want another scene of SRKajol in one frame!  Not this back and forth through Johnny Lever.

Back to evilness!  What a relief, to be done with comedy!  Evil is way more entertaining!  Anyway, evil thugs went to her house and roughed up Raakhee.  No!  Not Raakhee!  Salman and Shahrukh must retaliate.  By ripping off Sholay.  I have now lost track of how many films this thing has ripped off so far.  But all in kind of clever winky ways!  Not like Dilwale which just did frame by frame imitations of stuff that they knew most audience members wouldn’t know; this is slightly altered versions of stuff that they knew we would know they were imitating.

Anyway, they are going to throw a sexy gypsy show at the tents where the evil guys are hiding their guns, and then steal all the guns while they are distracted.  Just like “Mehbooba”.  Only instead of Helen, they are using Johnny Lever.  No, really, Johnny Lever in drag is the lead sexy dancer of the gypsy troupe.  Okay, that’s one of those times where knowing it is a reference makes it even funnier.


(Exactly the same.)

And, song!

And, heist!

And, heist discovered!  All are mad!  Evil plot developed, the villagers can’t get away with this (okay, I’m getting Sholay flashbacks again).

And now I am really getting flashbacks because their retaliation plan is EXACTLY THE SAME. Yep, here is a small child running into the village square.  And his mother sees him.  And he collapses.  And the crowd gathers so she can’t see him and she asks “what happened?  where is he?”  Okay, so it’s not a blind Muslim man, but it is pretty darn close to the “Itne Sannata kyun hai bhai?” scene!

And, yep, they have also sent a threatening letter with the small child!  They will kill another small child every day until Salman and Shahrukh give themselves up.  When your plan is evil-er than Gabbar Singh’s, you know you are really evil!

Cut to, yet another Sholay reference!  A little boy is running outside the village when suddenly he freezes because he sees the two gundas (the same ones who killed Shahrukh and Salman back in the pre-death sequence) coming towards him, slowly pulling out their guns.  Only, unlike in Sholay, he doesn’t end up dead (stupid Thakur Sahib arriving too late)!  Because suddenly Salman and Shahrukh appear and call for him to run back to them!  And, MASSIVE FIGHT!  With lots of flashbacks and stuff!!!!  Culminating in Shahrukh and Salman stabbing and killing the guys who stabbed and killed them in their last life!  Little boy, presumably, goes on to live a long and happy life and never thinks about how he was used as bait to bring to remorseless child killers to a brutal end.

So, now Amrish Puri is really freaking out!  And wearing Jodhpurs again.  He decides the only solution is to move the marriage way up!

Meanwhile, Raakhee has finally remembered that girl she saw desperately fighting and being dragged into the mansion and is ordering Shahrukh to bring home her daughter-in-law.  Well, after some prompting from Mamta, who never even met Kajol!  What is with these boys?  Now that they have each other, they don’t need girls?  It’s all “Kajol who?”

And, song!  Because the engagement is being celebrated at the Kali temple?  And it is open to the whole community even though Amrish Puri is all mad about things?  Anyway, Shahrukh and Salman do a whole dance to honor Kali (which is probably also a good idea going into the final fight sequences).  And Mamta and, eventually, Kajol join them.  It’s kind of like the first rough draft of “Mehndi Laga ke Rekhna”, but not nearly as hot.  And with an evil Amrish Puri instead of a gently fatherly Amrish Puri.

(still like the remix better)

And apparently all that worship had an effect, because when next we see Amrish Puri, he is all “My enemies have come to me here!  In my own Hawali!  Everything suuuuuuucks!”  And Kajol’s Dad is like “maybe we should wait and do the whole wedding thing later?  I mean, these all seem like really bad omens.  Plus, an engagement song?  In a Kali temple?  That’s just weird!”  Amrish of course will have none of this, Amrish never backs down about forcing young women into marriages, no matter what movie he is in!

So Kajol’s Dad goes to see her in her room and actually apologizes!  He says he should never have tried to marry her into this horrible household and she should make a run for it.

Cut to Kajol running and…I’m sorry, I can’t focus on anything else, because she is wearing LEOPARD PRINT!  A LEOPARD PRINT TUBE TOP!  How is this a Kajol outfit?  THIS IS NOT A KAJOL OUTFIT!!!!  This is a Fran Drescher in The Nanny outfit!  THIS IS A TRAVESTY!

Anyhoo, I will try to let it go and move on.  HARD THOUGH IT IS!  So, Kajol is running, bouncy-bouncy, to the gate.  At the last minute, Evil Cousin pulls up in his Evil Jeep!  He’s going to shoot her!  But her father knocks the gun away and yells for her to run, RUN!!!  Okay, I am coming around on Dad.  She runs through the gate and runs down the road, to Shahrukh!  Who was alerted by a random small child (the same one he saved and also psychologically scarred for life earlier?) that some girl was running to the village.  Does this happen often?  Do they always let Shahrukh know, just in case he might be interested in a random girl?  But none of that matters because, finally, another SRKajol scene!  And it is goooood too!  But short.

She comes running to him, calling his name.  He sort of stumbles over to her, like he can’t handle it or believe it.  They are patting and pulling at each other’s arms, like they are still getting used to having each other again.  She explains that her father had a change of heart, he sent her to Shahrukh.  Shahrukh finally embraces her, smells her hair (her hair looks really good here too!), she rubs her head against his chest, he kisses her hair.  It’s kind of uncoordinated and clumsy, but in a “naturally overcome with emotion” way instead of a “poorly rehearsed love scene” way.

But, noooooooo!  Bad guys pull up behind her and start shooting!  And there is HER FATHER!!!  Who says, basically “What, you thought I was a good guy after all?  Naaaaaaaah!  Totally don’t care about you, just used my own daughter as bait to get Shahrukh to come out of hiding!  I’m eeeeeeeeeeeeevil!”  To which Amrish Puri says “Man, I thought I was bad!  You are so much worse than me!”  And when freaking Amrish Puri thinks you are a bad parent, you know you are bad!  Even Shahrukh gives him a little bit of a “what is with this guy now?” side-eye.  Also, I understand the telling her to run and pretending he is helping.  But what was the point of the whole natak with Evil Cousin and the gun at the last minute?  Oh well, it certainly made the reveal more surprising for me, the audience member!  So I won’t worry about it too much.

But, just as all seems lost, Salman!  Who stands in super tight black jeans and a leather jacket up on top of a stone arch thing and throws a Freaking Spear through the back of a random gunda extra, so hard that it pins him to the ground!  Naturally, none of the other gundas want this to happen to them, so they start shooting at Salman, and he takes off running.  And then they look back at SRKajol just in time to see them running off too!  Oh, also, all the random gundas in this scene, and in all the subsequent ones, are wearing matching red shirts.  Star Trek homage?  Or just clearly visible on film and confusing to the eye so you don’t realize that you are watching the same stunt guy die 3 times in a row?  Which is probably why Star Trek did it too, now that I think about it!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is redshirts.jpg

(picture these guys, but on horses with swords)

So, yeah, Shahrukh and Salman on the run!  Bad Guys following in jeep and on horses, with swords!  Naturally, they can’t keep up with two guys on foot.  The bad guys in the jeep keep following both of them, they hunt through the village, and then meet in the central square, but when they get to the center of the village, there is no one there!  Where are they, wonder the bad guys?  Oh, and the most important part of this scene, is that it finally reveals that Amrish Puri is wearing a lavender leather jacket!  It is his most amazing outfit of the film, and it was saved for last.  Anyway, moving on from that (HARD THOUGH IT IS!).

So, the camera slowly pans up and reveals that the villagers are all lying down on the roof of the houses.  Okay, that’s cool.  It’s probably stolen from some other movie, but I don’t know which, so I am giving this to Rakesh as an original idea by default.  Amrish Puri certainly doesn’t figure it out.  Instead, he keeps calling for someone to come out and talk to him.  And who should show up, but Raakhee!  Standing up on a roof using her “I am the embodiment of the spirit Kali!” spooky voice!  Amrish Puri tries to shoot at her, which is just foolish and obviously doesn’t work.

And another Sholay “homage”!  While they were distracted looking at the village elder, Shahrukh and Salman were getting in position behind them on top of a structure!  and instead of Jai cooly shooting a gun out of Samba’s hand (it was Samba, right?), it’s Shahrukh making a determined and noble face while shooting a pebble out of his little toy slingshot, which sort of bounces off Amrish Puri’s forehead.  It does not make him look that cool.

So, everyone shoots at Salman and Shahrukh, but they run super fast so the bullets can’t touch them.  And then they keep running (run run run!) through the village.  Remember way back at the beginning in the pre-death sequence when they raced each other home?  This is a cool little callback, they are both racing down shortcuts and back alleys of the village, only this time using it to trap the bad guys.  I like it!  It’s like the second lifetime is a do-over, where you can have all the skills from your last life, but also the foreknowledge to use them better.  Like a video game!  But with Kali Ma controlling everything!

So, right, they are doing their separate runs through the village in order to lead the bad guys into ingenious traps!  Well, more accurately, to lead the bad guys’ horses into horrible injuries.  Oh my gosh, if you are a horse person, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!  I am super not a horse (or any animal besides dogs) person, and even I am a little disturbed.  So, first, Shahrukh leads the bad guys through an alley with a big gate.  And as soon as he is through the gate, he has a couple villagers slam it shut.  Just in time for a couple of poor horses to run into them and fall over!  I know it is a fake gate made out of cardboard or something, but those horses are really struggling!

Meanwhile, Salman has his own ingenious horse destroying plan.  He runs his bad guys into an alley, then ducks to the side, as their horses’ feet are caught in a net!  A couple of villagers are holding a rope, which Salman grabs, and then SINGLE-HANDEDLY LIFTS A NET WITH HORSES AND RIDERS INTO THE AIR.  Okay, exactly how strong is this character supposed to be?  He’s from Kali, not Hanuman.  Also, again, poor horses!  Oh, and then they drop the net o’ horses on top of the jeep following them, and Salman is home free!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bajrangi-story_650_051315012511.jpg

(In Bajrangi Bhaijaan, he could totally have lifted a horse.)

But Shahrukh is still being chased, both by a jeep and horseback riding swordspeople.  And in the jeep is, I am pretty sure, that same guy that Salman beat up back in his flashbacky fight scene!  Not like the character is back for revenge (although who knows, he could be!  Humiliated by his defeat, he walks the streets, searching for vengeance, secretly hiding and observing his enemy, finally tracking him down to his home village and volunteering to work for his nemesis…), but like they are using the same stuntman again.  And he is wearing an American varsity jacket.  Why is this person making a living in an underground fighting ring, and now working in a remote Indian village?  Is this some sort of study abroad gone terribly terribly wrong?

But, it’s okay, Shahrukh still has his bitty-baby slingshot!  He runs towards the horsemen (away from football hero jeep), pulls out his slingshot, puts on his determined face, and shoots them both off their horses!  With a slingshot?  Is it really that powerful?  And then he runs over to the horses, and a stuntman pretending to be him leaps up on to one of them, then leans over and picks up a gun as he rides by, and awkwardly leaps off again carefully never facing the camera.  And then cut.  And then we are back and it is Shahrukh!  Shooting the gun from behind a fence!  At two guys on horses who go down really hard when they hit the tripwires!  Sadly, I mean the horses, not the guys.

And time for a Salman check in!  Salman ended up with football hero jeep chasing him.  but of course it can’t catch him, because it is merely a jeep, while Salman is running on foot, the superior mode of travel!  He gets a good head start, then climbs straight up a conveniently positioned vine.  And then he drops down off it once the jeep is past, startling the two swordsman!  They foolishly attack him, he grabs swordsman 1 in a wrestling hold, and swings him around just in time for swordsman 2 to shove his sword through swordsman 1!  Poor swordsman 2 will carry the guilt of that to his dying day.  Which is now, because Salman uses swordsman 1’s sword to kill him.  And then a bunch of villagers jump down from the tree and drag away the bodies while Mamta and Kajol peak their heads out from behind a tree trunk and laugh.  Yes, that really happens.

And, pots!  More horseman are coming, but Kajol and Mamta are ready for them!  They have apparently rigged a giant slingshot behind the tree (good thing Shahrukh gave Kajol those lessons!) and they are using it to throw big clay pots at the horseback riding bad guys as they go by.  How effective would this be, really?  I feel like either not effective enough to be worth it, or so deadly that having Kajol and Mamta giggle in a girlish fashion while doing it is not actually appropriate.

And then just when they run out of clay pots and the horseman start shooting back, more pots!  Remember those poor villagers who have been lying (laying?) perfectly still on the roof of their houses this whole time?  Well, now they get to stand up!  And throw metal cooking pots at the horse guys!  Again, I feel like this is probably a less effective fighting maneuver than it could be.  Although it’s a kind of cool visual, seeing pots raining from the sky.  And it was probably fun for all the random crew members who got to play the villagers in this scene.

And, Salman!  No really, that’s how abrupt the cut is.  He’s just suddenly there, filling our screens.  Two horseman are riding down on him.  The first one, he just grabs a tree limb size branch and leaps up and knocks him off his horse.  The second, he slides along the ground with his arm outstretched and clotheslines the poor horse!  Again, very bad tripwire probably used here.

But just when he thinks he is free, oh no!  It’s football hero jeep coming from one side, and another two horseman coming from the other!  Does Amrish Puri just have hundreds of guys on payroll in case they are needed for a situation like this?  How is that cost effective?  Do they have secondary responsibilities the rest of the time?  Are they like horseman/swordsman/tax accountants?

Luckily, Shahrukh shows up just in time to drive a truck into the jeep!  And Salman takes out one horse by punching it in the face, while Shahrukh takes out the other by leaping down and whaming it in the side with his feet, knocking it over.  I’m just going to pretend those were all CGI horses like in Bahubaali, because otherwise it is way to sad.  And again, I’m not even a horse person (stupid non-dog animals)!

Down some other alley comes another horse, only to be stopped by….Johnny Lever!  He gives some English quote thing?  I honestly don’t know if he is quoting an American or Indian film.  The stunt guy riding the horse looks a little confused as well.  Also confusing, the Get Smart theme music is playing the background.  Is that a clue?  Is it a quote from Get Smart?  It really doesn’t feel like it.  Anyway, Johnny pretends to shoot him with a finger gun, but then he is actually shot!  By humorous doctor type character!  Ha-ha?

(this theme.  But with Johnny Lever)

Back to action!  Finally, Salman and Football Jacket face off!  And also Shahrukh and other notable bad guy (the one who was Kajol’s bodyguard in her first scene).  They intercut between the two fights, but it is pretty clear that Salman is the one with more fight training.  Lots of kicks and punches with him, lots of just sort of wrestling clinches and stumbling about with Shahrukh.  But they both go through walls and break pots!  So it’s a good movie fight in my book.

But then!  Just as Shahrukh has defeated his guy and Salman is about to defeat Football Jacket, Evil Cousin shows up!  On a jeep!  With a machine gun!  He laughs (evilly) and prepares to shoot Salman!  Oh no he didn’t!  Shahrukh leaps in!  Out of no where (seriously, so many huge leaps in these scenes!  Is this village seeded with trampolines?)!  He knocks Evil Cousin off the jeep!  They are rolling around on the ground together fighting for the gun!  Salman goes to help, but the random guy Shahrukh was fighting a minute ago (I guess he didn’t completely kill him?) shows up and grabs him!  Shahrukh and Evil Cousin are still rolling!  It looks really really sexual!  They both have hold of the same gun and are slowly fighting for control of it!  Evil Cousin has sort of an orgasm face!  Shahrukh is kind of thrusting his hips back and forth with effort!  And, shot!  They both relax.  Salman looks over, alarmed that his boyfriend has been cheating on him. (okay, that description got really sexually, but I swear it wasn’t me!  It was the movie!)

And, Evil Cousin is riding a horse!  Up to Lavender Jacket Amrish Puri.  So I guess Shahrukh is the one who got shot?  Wait, no, now Evil Cousin is falling off the horse, because I guess they just tied his dead body up there?  (And these are the good guys?)  Oh, and Mr. Saxena is also there, trying to make him feel better about the death of his son.  Amrish is having none of that, and promptly shoots him.  At which point Kajol runs out (from where?) screaming “Daddy!!!!!”  Why Kajol?  Why?  He was the worst father in the world!  Even Freaking Amrish Puri thought he was bad!  Let him die in the dirt, unwept, unhonored, and unsong.

Anyway, Amrish Puri has also apparently forgotten that Mr. Saxena was the worst father in the world, because he grabs Kajol and then is all triumphant over the dead body!  “Look!  Look!  My son is dead, and now I have your daughter!”  Also, Kajol’s face looks seriously upset in these shots, but I think it is just because Amrish is really grabbing hold of a hank of hair right at the nape of her neck and it’s legitimately painful.  And then he fake slaps her a bunch of times, calling on Shahrukh and Salman to come out of hiding or he will hurt her even more!

So, they do.  And as soon as they show up at the end of the road, Amrish Puri just tosses poor Kajol aside, she bangs her head on a wall, and passes out for the rest of the scene.  There is a nice shot where you see Shahrukh briefly shoot his eyes to the side and register that while he keeps facing forward, and Salman not.  A nice bit that both brothers are willing to give up their lives for Kajol, but Shahrukh is the one who really really cares. Amrish then pulls out two guns, on in each hand, and aims them at Salman and Shahrukh as they slowly walk towards him.  Okay, why not have one gun, held in your dominant hand, and just shoot it twice?  Like, now?  While they are slowly walking?

Anyway, because Amrish isn’t as smart as me, he waits until the absolute last moment, after shouting out one more taunt to their mother, to shoot.  And then Shahrukh and Salman both put their hands up and block the barrel taking the bullet in the hand instead of the chest!  And then in one smooth move, simultaneously, they grab both guns, yank him forward onto the ground, and turn with the guns now aimed at him.  Okay, I don’t think that would work in the real world on so many, many levels, but it sure looked cool!  Mamta thinks so too, she gets a smiling reaction shot (Kajol would smile too, but she is still knocked out in a corner.  And also, her filming schedule was tighter than Mamta’s).

And then they beat him up!  It’s not that impressive because Amrish Puri is not up for many cool fighting moves.  But it ends with him on the ground in front of them, and they shoot his arms off!  Not really.  More like, they shoot his shoulders so his arms just sort of flop around.  Which doesn’t make a lot of sense.  I mean, I know it is another Sholay reference, but when Thakur did it to Gabbar in Sholay, it was because Gabbar had taken his arms, so it was a cool sort of closing of the circl (I’m not spoiling Sholay for anyone, right?  We’ve all seen it at some point in the past 40 years?).  In this, I guess they just thought it would look funny to see Amrish Puri running around with floppy arms in a lavender jacket?  And they were right!  It is super funny!

So he runs ahead of the boys and they let him go, because it is hilarious!  And also because, it is not their place to perform final judgement.  Finally, Amrish trips, and falls on his back.  And the camera pulls back and we see a shadow slowly advancing on him.  Remember his cool “shadow of your death” line from back in the beginning?  Well, here’s his death shadow coming for him!  Yep, it’s Raakhee!  She’s so cool.

(so cool!)

Amrish begs her forgiveness for, you know, killing her sons.  And then waiting for them to be reborn and trying to kill them again.  But she is not having it!  She throws in his face (literally, not like as a conversational gambit) the wreath of flowers he offered her after he killed her sons.  It’s all dried up and gross looking now.  I would have thrown it away, because I am not as good as planning ahead for my big vengeance speeches as Raakhee is.  And then she says “Karan Arjun.  Take him.”  And Salman and Shahrukh stroll up with blank faces, pull out their guns and shoot him, just like their mother told them too.  And “Jai Kali Jai Kali Jai Kali” starts up in the background as we rapidly cut between Raakhee’s face and the scary Kali statue and Amrish Puri writhing as he is shot.  And that’s why you don’t make crazy widow ladies angry!

Oh, and there’s an epilogue!  Back in the Kali temple, Raakhee gives Mamta and Kajol the glass bangles she has been saving for 20 years to give her son’s brides.  Thank goodness, bangle fashions don’t really change, so they can still wear them.  And Shahrukh gives Kajol a dopey “awesome!  You’re my wife!” sort of look in the background.  And then the useless Priest and the “funny” doctor guy throw flowers on both couples, so I guess they are married?  And Johnny Lever isn’t there, so  I guess he wasn’t invited to the wedding. Good!  I wouldn’t invite him to my wedding either!

And, The End.

And after all of that, you know what I really really need to watch?  This!  It’s like the whole movie in 5 minutes, but better and more touching!

(No, really, I super love this video and think it is legitimately well-made.  You should all watch it!)

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