Monday, April 27, 2015

Tashan mein...

I watched Tashan (again) last night. This movie is the gift that keeps on giving. I feel like it gets better each time I watch it. There are so many small, small jokes and references… like when Bachchan Pandey goes to beat up the guy in the movie theater and titles of films flash up like dishoom sound effects. KRODH!

And I forgot how much I loved all the picturizations. Bebo's swishy, swishy costumes in "Dil Haara"… the ridiculous, sarcastic "Dil Dance Maare"… the gorgeous "Falak Tak"...

And everybody just seems to be having so much fun with everything~ even if poor Bebo looks painfully thin in "Chaliya."

But Tashan is one of those films that would be utterly opaque to anybody not already swimming in Vicky Achara's meta-narrative milieu. Does a passing, pointed, plot reference to Don mean anything if nobody picks up on it?

I think I'll re-watch Dhoom 3 next, just to see if I can pick up any trends...

6 comments:

odadune said...

To be totally fair, I went into Tashan with only a vague idea from a couple of reviews, including yours, that it was meant to be subversive or meta, and no familiarity with any relevant Bollywood films except Sholay, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, and maybe my unfinished viewing of DDLJ (as a distant ancestor of the NRI romance thing that the first half is riffing on). For me it was tough sledding in the pre-intermission sections, with only a few high points (Chaliya's sassiness, Bhayyaji, Enter the Pandey...) but really came to life once Bebo reunites with the two guys.

I only just realized the Don reference you mentioned, but part of that is that I've seen three different versions of the story (Ajith Kumar's, Amitabh's and SRK's in that order) without being terribly invested in any one of them. "It is not only different to care about Don, it is impossible." ;)

odadune said...

er, difficult, not different.

Filmi Girl said...

That's my point exactly! How much sense could it possibly make to anybody who doesn't have a solid grounding in the films it's riffing on? None. Or to those who didn't realize it's supposed to be riffing on anything, i.e. the critics.

But more importantly… you didn't like Amitabh's Don?! That makes me sad. I love the original Don. The new Dons are meh, even Billu(s) but at least the Billus keep the moral universe in tact. Farhan and Shahrukh's Don is just everything I hate about contemporary Bollywood-- a) remaking an older film without keeping any of the actual story content b) overuse of "cool" imaging c) it's boring, boring, boring...

odadune said...

My point was more that I don't much like the kinds of movies the first part is parodying, then or now, but I did get more references on later viewings. :) The parts of the movie that have actual character bonding or at least action scenes that make me go "wheeee!" are more comprehensible to me on all viewings.

The Amitabh version is certainly the best acted, but Billa had spoiled the plot twists for me and the directing on the old version felt amateurish compared to the cast, script, music, etc. I watched the SRK version because I like him in psycho roles, and just found that one really dull. (Also, why doesn't St Farhan of the Hipsters get ripped for the firangi backup dancers as hard as Anees Bazmi would be?)

Filmi Girl said...

Oh… well, that's fair enough. I have a soft spot for sleazy Saif, and what I loved about his character in Tashan was that he's specifically not "redeemed" by true love at the end. It was appropriate. I really enjoy the first part of the film for that. It's like the "Hum Tum" dude got dropped into the middle of a masala film. XD

Farhan, Dil Chahta Hai aside, just makes really dull films. He has no sense of entertainment. I have more faith in Zoya-Reema, even if Hipster Love Boat seems like dull dishwater.

odadune said...

Yeah, I like the fact that Jimmy gets a "happy ending" that is true to his character. :)

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl