Tuesday, August 08, 2006

lage raho: in public

And now, unveil'd, the toilet stands display'd
Each silver vase in mystic order laid.

After making news for a while and almost making it to the record books as the most renamed film in Bollywood, Lage Raho Munna Bhai FKA Munna Bhai Second Innings FKA Munna Bhai Meets Mahatma Gandhi is about to hit the marquee soon. Arshad Warsi as Circuit is welcome, but the rest of the film is a big question mark. The first edition mixed One Flew Over A Cuckoo's Nest, nods to Patch Adams, some prime hamming (the Dutts, Rohini Hattangadi), some DOAs (Gracy Singh), some great timing (Arshad Warsi) and a truckload of the summertime horse manure that Bollywood is slated to be plagued with in masochistic glee for years to come. The murder of interesting possibilities was, perhaps not so ironically, a hit. This prompted ego-mouth VVC and his celebrated director Hirani to embark on a fresh assault to the senses.

One must regard the Mumbai Mirror article about an authentic sequence in the film as a portend of things to come. After finding a swank shauchaalay in a mall (where else, one asks? We're close to 56 years of independence and clean public toilets continue to remain as common as dodos), they discovered that the loo was too big for a film unit (jack-making gents may please note this as a useful design requirement for future installations).

In addition to making regular visitors of The Blue Sea likely victims of anuresis, the unit ended up embarrassing the equipment (no pun intended) as well:

For one shot, I had to squeeze my camera into the tiny space between the wash basin and a WC. I think even my camera was blushing with embarrassment. (cinematographer Murali)

And then director Hirani tops this parable of the powder room:

On hindsight it appears funny, but at that time we were under tremendous pressure to wind up the shoot on time.

Despite the grammatical gaffe (in hindsight not on hindsight), that line contains two glorious puns to make this whole experience memorable to all but those who don't give a sh*t about scatological humour.

Now I know how they chose the final title of the film.

[1] from The Rape Of The Lock by Alexander Pope

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