Monday, August 12, 2013

Breaking up with Mr Khan

I blame myself for going to the movie. It's not like one expects quality film making from Rohit Shetty. So, I have no right to have gone to the movie with no expectations (I saw the trailer) and then sit here and bitch about one of the thinnest plots Bollywood cinema has ever seen. That's okay. I deserve this movie and by being part of the brigade that helped the movie cross the Rs 100 crore mark, I have also unwittingly become a catalyst for more such movies to be made. I have made Shah Rukh Khan richer and the country a little dumber. I don't get to whine. But then as I watched the climax of the movie, I wanted to kick every single male character in the movie swiftly in the nuts over and over and over again.

Why you ask? Well, let me take a minute and paint the climax if you will let me (*and yes, spoiler alert...yawn*). The hero (who constantly and annoyingly keeps harping on and on about the power of the 'common man'), has to fight the burly villain, while the heroine watches haplessly as her father holds her hand stopping her from going to the rescue of her one true love (a man she met days ago). Yup. In the last minutes of the movie, the girl is no more than a mute spectator, the damsel in distress and a total Kajol from the last scenes of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (instead of calling him babuji, the heroine calls her dad, appa and begs him to let her go but never really puts up a fight). But the hero, played by Mr Khan gets to fight and beat up big burly men in a bid to prove his own manhood. Can you please kill me now?

One might wonder how in a movie filled with cliched tropes and failings, why I chose to be angry at the one stereotype that is unlikely to ever go out of fashion in Bollywood. It's because I was absolutely turned off by how helpless and victimised the girl looked in that scene and even if it preceded the so-called happy ending (come on you knew it was going to be a happy ending!), I was uncomfortable by how tied down the woman's hands were. Then as if she was a commodity, once the hero wins his battle, her father literally hands over the girl to the new alpha dog in the community. What's worse? The girl complies with it all these proceedings only too happily. In fact, Deepika Padukone exists in the film only to wear fabulous sarees that my mom and I salivated over and screw up BOTH Tamil and Hindi at the same time. For someone who is supposed to be a "village belle", her Tamil is so atrocious that any Tamilian would wonder what language she was truly speaking in. And she exists to set feminism back to the dark ages (or as I call it - 80s Bollywood cinema). In other words, the woman is total baukwas.

When I went to Chennai Express with my parents, I knew I was going to come out of a movie once again let down by Shah Rukh Khan but I came out livid and disappointed. Khan must have perpetually gotten a - 'can do better' - remark from his teachers back in school because that's exactly what he has been told since then with his career. When you watch Swades or Chak De or even Baazigar, you immediately forgive him for Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and every other bad film he has made along the same vein. But at some point you have say enough is enough and beg him to stop making films that exist only to help you drop more IQ points. Sure, Salman Khan makes bad movies too (and yes they are truly bad movies) but you don't expect anything else from him but when you watch Darr, you are reminded of someone who once used to be fearless with his roles. And now with Ra.One and Chennai Express, he has become an unfortunate but strangely willing punchline.Yes, he has always overacted but he has also displayed flashes of brilliance (Paheli was quite good). You were convinced that maybe just maybe he can do better. But now I can officially say that he has failed in his career. He may be laughing all the way to the bank but he no longer can boast of any kind of credibility to ever call himself an actor. He may not be a terrorist (although he does terrorise us with his bad movies) but he is definitely not a thespian.

So, here I am, a long term Shah Rukh Khan fan, (who at one point had his poster up on her bedroom wall), writing a Dear John break up letter to the very man she loved a long time ago. I can't take it anymore. I am tired of making excuses for him ("come on guys, he was so endearing in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa!") and have also officially fallen out of love with Mr Raj from DDLJ (I was 8 when I watched that movie and hence deserve to be cut some slack for falling one hundred per cent in love with that film). In a way Chennai Express is a blessing in disguise seeing as it has finally freed me. You see despite everything, I still continued to root for him even after watching him mix curd and spaghetti in Ra. One (because let's face it, every tambrahm mixes curd and Italian delicacies and then eats that concoction with their bare hands because we are that dumb). All it took for me for me to severe all ties from this "superstar" was to watch him in a lungi and gyrate alongside Padukone in a misguided tribute to the fabulous Rajnikanth. No, I am no longer his fan. Yes, I think he is a total sellout. And most importantly it has be iterated over and over again that he is no feminist as he purports himself to be (everyone by now knows about the Tata Tea advertisement). You see if he really thought men and women were created equal, he would not have had "his girl" passed around from man to man as though she was property. If he really believed in the power of his common man, his films would not show the common woman act stupidly (Jab Tak Hain Jaan!) or powerlessly. Screw you Shah Rukh. Goodbye. And just so you's not me, this is all you babe.

1 comment:

  1. You lasted till Chennai Express? I gave up on him after Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi... What an utter and epic fail that was! Like seriously, I felt like shaking the daylights out of him and asking "Did you HEAR yourself talk when you made this film?". Sigh. When I realized I had not one point about that film to defend him even to myself, let alone the ridiculing gang of friends around, I had to let him go. He's sunk to levels beyond recovery :( This is from yet another once-upon-a-time die hard fan of SRK, someone whose playlist almost entirely consisted of his songs and whose room was plastered with Rahul /Raj! Ah well. Hakuna Matata.