Having dealt with the sublime Ghaatiness that only Bollywood can provide, I think it’s time we took the next step. That’s right! Just because we happen to make movies that reincarnate our characters into anything from snakes to supercars, doesn’t mean that our cross-ocean brethren are much immune to this affliction. And this first list should reiterate that statement to no end.
The Mistress of Spices
Intended Genre: Modern Fairytale
Actual Genre: A Conventional, Albeit Fucked Up, Love-Triangle
Alright, this might be a cop-out on my part because this movie is as Hollywood as Slumdog was Indian. But cut me a break, I’m trying to ease into the transition here.
‘The Mistress of Spices’ hopes to be a modern fairytale love epic complete with a princess type chick trapped in a castle type place. Only, while fairytales are supposed to be bubblegum candy flossish, this movie pretty much reeks of jealousy, betrayal and the fury of a woman scorned, which hell hath none of.
About 3 minutes into the movie, we learn that Aishwarya is part of a divine sisterhood of spice healers (Which is like Homeopathy… minus the scientifically proven medicines, but plus condiments such as Haldi and Dhania). These spice healers are spread all over the world with their own individual stores and are held to a strict code of rules that they dareth not breaketh. Some of these include “Thou Shalt Not Touch A Human Being” and “Thou Shalt Not Leave The Spice Store You Are Eternally Employed In”.
About 5 minutes into the movie, however, we see ^ this ^ scene.
The commandments are evidently restricted to guys who have formerly played lead roles in the courtroom drama ‘The Practice’. Enter our prince charming, who has an accident in front of the store, and a literally untouchable love blooming between the two. Being the horny NRI that she is, the spice healer eventually gives in, after putting up a customary, and unbelievably fake fight. She feels him up. What follows is turmoil as the spices turn on her and bring doom to anyone she prescribes them to. At this moment, we can safely assume that the ‘Mistress’, as much as the director would want you to believe is Aishwarya, is actually Dylan McDermott.
Aishwarya pleads with the spices to give her one night of hot, steaming, monkey lovin’ with her man, after which she vows to move back to India to cleanse herself (!?) But that doesn’t happen, as after walking out on the guy the next morning after getting hers, the store is set afire with her in it. What follows is a ridiculous dream sequence diatribe from the original 90 year old Spice Mistress, the Mistress Mom if you will, about how Ash has cleansed herself and is free from the curse now.
So to sum up kids, the spices spend their entire life devoting themselves to curing other people’s problems, all the while balancing a relationship with a frustrated desi girl, while she’s off getting it on with corporate lawyers. In the end, the spices burn to the ground, while the adulterer lives happily ever after.
Moral of the Story – Nice guys finish last!
Batman & Robin
Intended Genre: Superhero Flick
Actual Genre: Movies That Induce Permanent Brain Damage Due To Excessive Cringing
Before the brillliance that was Christopher Nolan and Batman Begins, there was Director Joel Schumacher and this. George Clooney in a batsuit with nipples. Also featuring in Nipple Suits are Robin and Batgirl. Their unbelievable turn-on-edness aside, this movie deserves kudos for being able to come up with scenes, each successively more cringeworthy than the one that came before it. The bad guys in this movie are Arnold “The Guvanor” as the god-awful-pun-spewing Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman as the apparently seductive Poison Ivy.
Now, by awful puns I mean sentences such as:
“Ice to Meet You!”
“Revenge is a dish best served…. *Ominous Soap Opera Pause*… Cold!”
“Let’s Kick Some Ice!”
… and so on and so forth.
By cringeworthy scenes, I mean exchanges such as the one below. A little background – This is a scene where Poison Ivy has given the two some sorta love potion and has put herself up on auction or something… Don’t ask:
Batman: [Batman bids for Poison Ivy] One million dollars!
Robin: Two million!
Batman: You don’t have it. Three million!
Robin: I’ll borrow it from you! Four million!
Batman: Five million!
Robin: That’s a utility belt, not a money belt. Six million.
[Batman looks at Robin and then produces something from said-belt. And this is where it gets really fucked up!]
Batman [firmly]: Seven million.
Batman [with smug, gay grin] Never leave the cave without it!
I mean, a credit card? Scratch that. A credit card which is “Good Thru: Forever”!? In the words of a very wise man, the wise man being a friend-in-law… Gay!
You can almost picture the Ad:
Nipple Suit: $5000
Batmobile with Accessories: $500,000
MMS Scandal with Batman & Robin Making Out: Priceless
But the one playful banterish scene that really makes you respect Christopher Nolan for managing to take the franchise to where it is now, is the one given below, after the duo get anti-brainwashed:
[talking about Poison Ivy, whose USP is nature and flowers)
Robin: I can’t believe we were fighting over a bad guy!
Batman: Bad- Yes. Guy? No.
Robin: Well I’m totally over her, alright? Positively!
Batman: Me too! Definitely!
Batman: Great stems, though…
Robin: Buds, too.
Batman [nostalgically]: Yeah, those were nice…
Yes. Just what we want our friendly neighbourhood superheroes to think about before a major rescue operation. Way to go guys! *Thumbs Up*
Intended Genre: Survivor Story That Celebrates The Human Spirit
Actual Genre: A looooong commercial break with an interval in between
Yeah, a lotta other movies deserve to make this list before this one. And I actually think Tom Hanks was brilliant as ever here. But come on. Cast Away, in its lowest common denominator form, is an elaborately staged 2 hour Fedex ad. With Wilson sports equipment thrown into the mix. Here’s a quick summary for you.
Hanks is a Fedex manager of some sort who crashes on a desert island along with a few packages they were delivering. He gets off the island a couple of years later and delivers the package to the address it was supposed to go to. Oh, and while on the island, he makes best friends with a Wilson Volleyball. The end!
I mean, come on. “When it absolutely, positively has to get there….” “A real player’s best ally!” Jesus! Make it less subtle, why dontcha! In the middle of all this product placement orgy, there is a tale of lost love there somewhere. But when that love, Helen Hunt’s, last scene takes place 45 minutes before the actual ending with the product delivery, you can’t blame me for getting thrown off as to the point of the movie here.
Intended Genre: High-Paced Comedy Action Thriller
Actual Genre: Speed 3: Cholestrol Control
The premise is sorta interesting, I guess. A hitman gets injected with a highly concentrated dose of adrenalin or some shit, which pretty much means that if his heart rate falls below 100/min, it’ll explode. The logic is still a little fuzzy to me, so I would refrain from questions thereabouts. Anyways, for the next hour and a half, we see the guy trying to hunt down the rival assassin for an antidote, all the while trying to keep his heart pumping. Some of the novel ways he comes up with to do that include head banging to the Beegees and other equally unheadbangable bands, forcing a hospital intern to give him electroshock therapy while he’s still conscious and pretty much raping his girlfriend in the middle of a packed street to the cheers of an understandably excited, but shockingly shameless crowd.
The movie ends with the guy apologising to his girlfriend on the phone while…. wait for it… falling 30,000 feet from an aeroplane without a parachute. Oh, and the call is made while he is falling, after a mid-freefall execution of his assassin enemy. I kid you not! He hits the ground and dies after hanging up. But having said that, Crank 2: High Voltage hits theatres this Summer. Guess reincarnation isn’t a Ghaati concept restricted to us.
Intended Genre: Superhero Flick
Actual Genre: An Introduction to Rajinikanth’s Parallel Universe Alter-Ego
Even if you look past the fact that Daredevil is a pussy who gets beat on by a girl, Daredevil still kicks ass on the Ghaati front. About the ghaatiest scene to have ever been put on Superhero celluloid involves Daredevil’s Arch-Nemesis, who goes by the name of Bullseye. Kinda gives new meaning to the age-old hero catchphrase, “I eat guys like you for breakfast”, huh?
Anyways, Bullseye is about the lamest villain this side of Anupam Kher’s Dr. Dang. Bullseye is an Irish assassin who, unlike other supervillains who travel in killer private jets and choppers, flies economy class on a budget airline. In this particularly “Holy Hell, that did not just happen!” inducing moment, Bullseye is stuck next to an octogenarian who can’t keep her mouth shut. We’ve all been there. Getting seated next to irritating co-passengers. Where we haven’t been is this next scene where Bullseye breaches his threshold for patience and in a Rajinikanth-from-Sivaji inspired moment of random skill, takes a single peanut… bounces it off the frontseat tray… into her mouth… and chokes the bitch to death. Dude!
Maybe it’d have helped if she had nice “stems” or “buds”.
It’s a wrap for this edition then, readers. Later!