Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Dhoom 3 And Stream Of Consciousness

Just in case you care - CONTAINS SPOILERS
Just in case you care more - this is actually more of stream of unconsciousness, hence the incoherent tenses.

Courtesy - http://movies.ndtv.com

The invitation to watch Dhoom 3 came from the unlikeliest quarters. A banker and a CA duo. The CA, we shall call her ‘B’, is known for her fierce scowl when she encounters anything farcical. The banker, we’ll call him ‘J’, B’s husband, is a sedate gent with a constant, wondrous expression about every new experience in life – pleasant and unpleasant. Both are erudite – nonetheless – when encountered with a visual spectacle such as a flock of geese flying across clear skies – J will remember and recite a poem, whereas B will count the number of geese.

We settled down for a night show of Dhoom 3. B was already emitting her fierce scowls. Given a choice she’d have curled up on bed reading taxation laws – but J was hell bent on inflicting this movie on her. We’d been warned by other Aamir lovers that Dhoom 3 is not for the faint-hearted. I was nonchalant – when you’ve watched movies like Hiss or, say, Salma Pe Dil aa Gaya, pretty much nothing can unfaze you. In fact, I was pretty sure I would even enjoy it – I was not expecting 2+2 = 4 logic anyway. 

The movie started. Ten minutes into it, I could hear B hissing. On the screen, Jackie blew his brains out. I cleared my throat. Surely now the social services will step in – foster the kid...errr... But what the hell, I watched a Hollywood horror movie where a father blows his brains out after abandoning his two kids in a remote cabin in a remote forest. The kids are taken care of by a ghost till the cops and services find them. Ha. At least our movie was better...I thought feebly. 

While I was thinking about all this...I realised the movie had moved on. Suddenly a bare-chested Aamir is in a swanky apartment. One can see his silhouette. Man those are some ears. Not that I’m mocking, mind you. My own forehead is like a plasma TV and the nose rises like a TV tower. But still, I mean...when other chiseled men stand shirtless, ears are not the first thing you'd notice, right? Remarkable. It's the bowler hat I tell you...it's a bad idea...but of course...he’s a magician and he has to pull out stuff from the hat, I surmised. Or...or...maybe he’ll steal paintings, I thought. Thomas Crown affair and all that. Then suddenly he was scowling at me and running down a building with currency flying all around...and no one looks up at this man-in-black running off the wall of a bank. I hear a grunt from B. She starts her tirade. ‘Why would you not cover your face if you've committed a serious crime and are escaping in a public place?’ she questioned me. There was no time to reply because Aamir was on a bike. ‘See!’ B said. ‘No traffic jam also. In fact no traffic on the road.’

After much zipping around, Aamir now disappears in a basement car park or so. ‘So he’ll quickly discard his clothes in a bin, enter a lift in totally uncool clothes and escape. Maybe they’ll give him a wig too,’ I guessed. And bam! I was proved wrong. Instead of remaining out of sight, Aamir is now driving on a rope or something. To get to the next building. Next to me B has started tapping her foot in exasperation. Oh dear, I thought. As it is in the US, cops have become so jumpy and trigger happy. They’ll shoot Aamir down for sure – for endangering public life and property and for generally pissing them off. Maybe it is a movie of reincarnation I thought; after all, one of the main protagonists is about to die right in the beginning of the movie. But how would Katrina Kaif fit in, I mused. Maybe she was the medium or something. Oops...by the time I’d thought of all this, the movie had progressed. Turns out the cops had taken their sleeping pills that morning – they were paralysed with shock by this little man-in-black on a bike, driving on a rope. But I must have missed something because now Aamir was in some kind of an iron ore factory tap-dancing very angrily. I hear B cluck her tongue. From the corner of my eye I could see her leaning forward and staring at J – who sat with a wondrous expression. ‘It looks like J will start tap dancing,’ B said a bit loudly. J turned and smiled at her wondrously and went back to Aamir.

B and I exchanged notes about old colleagues and the political situation in the country. Ah. On screen, Katrina has appeared. In some kind of a trench coat and other ill-fitting clothes. I had lost track of the story a bit and was determined to keep up. Okay so Kat has come to attend an interview for the role of liquid electricity. What job was it, I wondered. A boiler expert or something? No! No! Got it! She was supposed to be a dancer. And a singer. And a trapeze artist. Straight away I knew she’d take off her weird clothes. Yes! Ha! The song started, and I truly, truly enjoyed her dance...she was spectacular. B agreed. ‘But look at her thighs, Shumona,’ she said. ‘How can a trapeze artist be so sturdy? She does not have the bone structure to fit this role.’  I looked at B, her specs perched on the bridge of her nose, her poor brow furrowed deep, her exacting brain circuits fusing out at so many illogical equations they were being subjected to.

But I had other fundamental questions. Why is a trapeze artist needed in a magic show? Wasn’t he a magician or something. No, no. Why will they call it the Great Indian Circus then? They’d call it The Great Indian Magic Show. Maybe they got a bit confused...like the way they got confused between trapeze tricks and striptease. Maybe I got confused. Whatever. The important thing to keep in mind till the end of the movie was that Aamir ..well something about Aamir and a bank. I thought I was back on track.

B hissed some more and settled down. But not for long. We were transported to Mumbai. Abhishek is driving auto very angrily. B and I discuss increasing auto fares as Abhishek and Uday kind of fly around in awkward angles. Right. So now, suddenly these two are in US of A. I know a lot of rude things have been said about Uday and Abhi...but you know, Uday’s ‘performance’ has been consistent in all the three movies. I wonder how he does it – maintain that whine. And it looked like Abhi and Aamir attended the same School of Scowling lessons.

After some more time, while I was thinking of my impending semester results, another chase had started. Aamir is encased in leather again...but they’d forgotten to give him a crash helmet...he was in some ordinary clear helmet – the kind I used to wear while driving my kinetic honda. Maybe they wanted us to appreciate his facial expressions, I thought. He was gnashing his teeth and wiggling his eyebrows. Overhead, Abhi was hanging from a helicopter taking aim. I had a vague recollection about a clown in one of the scenes...damn! I had to pay attention now. There was definitely something about a clown. And some blueprints. Or was I dreaming? I drifted off again as a song started and Kat and Aamir are swinging about and hanging upside down and all that. I mean the trapeze act...not fifty shades type. I kind of wake up ... Abhi is yelling at Aamir because the latter does not have a bullet wound. Both are scowling like anything now. I drift off. And I suddenly hear B exclaim in horror, ‘Oh god there are two of them.’ Yeah on the screen there were two Aamirs. One was scowling while the other had a weird tick and smile. B is almost slapping her forehead.

‘What does this all mean,’ I wondered. Doubles. Magic. Was this The Prestige meets Thomas Crown? You see I was still thinking that the bowler hat was significant.  On screen, one of the Aamirs continued to rotate his neck and bare his teeth. Maybe it is sci-fi, I thought. One Aamir was some kind of a clone who was a malfunctioning part-machine, part-human entity. I turned to discuss this possibility with B but her stare stopped me from uttering any word. Mercifully intermission came on.  

During the intermission, there was a trailer of Gunday. When I saw Ranveer and Arjun (and so much of hair between the two of them, really) – I thought arre wah! So what if the SC has passed a dubious judgement...Indian Art has become so liberal. I thought these two boys were the lead pair – such was the chemistry. But then they showed Priyanka and it was back to clich├ęd triangle. And I bet it is the cinemascope effect or maybe I was drifting off again...really her lips looked quite huge. It reminded me of the time when I had tried some dubious lentils that resulted in an allergic reaction – my lips puffed up and I had to take antihistamines. I’m told that’s in vogue. The puffed lips, not the antihistamines. I turned to B to tell her this – but she was emitting that fearsome scowl and had reached the end of her tether. ‘In what angle do these two hairy gentlemen look like bongs?’ Of course I wanted to tell her about poetic license and all that...but thought the better of it.  By then Aamir was back. I mean the clone with the tick.

I did not follow well enough...but the clone wanted to go on a giant wheel and Abhishek had grown a beard. And the clone was in love with Kat and he sang a song about that. I figured the clone was human only...a twin who had been hidden from the world and all that. While I tried to figure this out, the Scowling Aamir was in a wheel chair going to a bank. And the bank people thought Aamir is actually Jackie grown old. By then it was late in the night, and I did not know what was going on in the movie, and what was going on in my head. There must be at least 4 feet height difference between Jackie and Aamir. How such a mistaken identity is possible? My head lolls and I jerk awake because B has started her foot tapping again.

Some final chase is going on. Both Aamirs are out in the open. They are trapped on a boat or something. Both are on their bikes, one Aamir is scowling the other one is doing neck rotations. By the clanging background music, I know something stupendous is going to happen. I thought rotor blades will come out of the bikes and the bikes will become choppers and they will fly away. B too said as much, though her tone was more acidic. But what they showed was simpler – like both the bikes are joined by some tubular mechanism. It was a lot less dramatic. I know a lot of people sniggered. But if Bond’s boat can become a car, and vice versa...why is it not possible for two bikes to become one for Aamir?

But the chase ends because it is night time and the cops lose them. And people also have to sleep. So I thought the movie ended...like what next...surely the twins would have fled the place after such a close shave. I was about to collect my handbag and finish off the popcorn when I realized the movie is not yet over. The twins did not take advantage of the 8 hour lead escape time they’d got. They show up on a dam in broad daylight. And Kat is also there as a bargaining chip since the twin with the tick loves her and all. I must've missed a MAJOR chunk...how did the cops know Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will turn up at the exact same spot? Anyway, the scowling Aamir meets scowling Abhi and says take this USB (or something to that effect) which has all details of my evilness and let my twin brother go. Then after a lot of conversation, the twins decide to jump off the dam having expended all the stupidity they can muster. I thought okay now movie is over and still it is not over. Now Kat is doing the swinging to keep the circus alive or something. I begin to quake with fear thinking now she is going to get on a bike and once again the movie will start. But the credits started to roll, much to my relief. Makers of Dhoom N...if you are insistent on continuing this series...please make sure all future cases are solved by ACP Pradyuman and Daya. Thank you very much. 

It’s been more than a month...I don’t know what happened between B and J. I hear J is out of the house a lot these days saying he is training for a 10k. And B, who revels in Thomas Hardy and Tagore’s verses, has taken to watching Diya Aur Bati Hum.

© Sumana Khan - 2014

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