May 30, 2020
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Bang Bang

Obviously strange to buy the remake rights of a mediocre Hollywood film. More biza­rre to fashion an even worse Hindi film out of it.

Bang Bang
Bang Bang

Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Danny Denzongpa, Javed Jaffrey, Pavan Malhotra
Directed by Siddharth Anand
Rating: *

Something is obviously strange in opting to buy the remake rights of a mediocre Hollywood film called Knight and Day. What’s more biza­rre is that you are able to fashion an even worse Hindi film out of it. Bang Bang, which is all about the theft of the Kohinoor diamond and nabbing of a dreaded terrorist, made me feel like banging my head against the wall. However, besides offering a cocktail of neck-­wringing chases, countless car crashes, flyboard stunts and elaborately mounted song ’n-dance numbers, Bang Bang also offered me wisdom of a sublime kind. Here’s what all I learnt this Friday first day, first show:

  • That UK’s MI6 lacks even basic intelligence. It serves pizzas for a meal to the dreaded prisoners in its custody. Its holding cells are the easiest for a terrorist to escape from, what with the guards falling like nine pins in the face of an attack.
  • That the theft of the Kohinoor can stall an extradition treaty between UK and India.
  • That it snows as heavily in Dehradun as it would in Ladakh.
  • That it’s perfectly normal for Indian grandmoms to gape at their grown-up grand-daughters in the buff, in the shower. There’s nothing perverse about it.
  • That any fair, light-eyed Indian extra can be passed off for an angrez in a Hindi film.
  • That even if you are in picturesque Prague for the shoot, you will relocate briefly to the picturesquer Mykonos and Santorini for filming one romantic song.
  • That it’s cool to do things in slow motion. So, not just walking towards the camera, which is de rigueur, here the heroine kisses the hero in slo-mo, showers in slo-mo, even has an emotional reunion with her grandmom in slo-mo.
  • That a Bollywood film can foster gender equal­ity. So, for every bikini bod shot of Katrina, there are ample amounts of well-oiled abs and biceps of Hrithik on display.
  • That a girl who looks like Katrina Kaif might still have to resort to a dating site to find herself a boyfriend.
  • That Katrina can be cast in the role of a small-town girl. She can even be made to pass off for a bank receptionist. It’s a different matter that she still can’t be made to act. However much glycerine you may put in her eyes for simulating emotions, not single muscle will move on her face.
  • That a small-town girl, working as a bank receptionist, can fetch fancy takeaway coffee from some hip cafe for her colleagues every day. How much does she make every month, even if she looks like Katrina?
  • That the audience might know more about kissing than the hero-­heroine of a Hindi film. So when Katrina places a coy peck on Hrithik’s lips, one viewer tells her that she did it wrong: “angrezon wala maanga tha Hrithik ne....”
  • Lastly, a Hindi film can teach you how good humour often happens unintentionally. Like when the hero, in all earnestness, tells the heroine: “Meri zip kholo aur meri gun nikaalo”. Err, umm, ahem!
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