Monday, June 02, 2008

mission dew

[dedicated to Sudarshan for making sure I didn't miss this]

Remember a Rajiv Rai dud called Asambhav: The Impossible? Lifting Loser Apoorva Lakhia (Ek Ajnabee, Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost) has decided to follow up on the shocking success of Shootout At Lokhandwala (In Which Big B Gives It Those Ones) with what must be a tribute to the inanity of Rai's cinematic dreck. The flick's called Mission Istanbul and is an example of Waiting List Bollycool.

How much can a motley crew comprising Vivek "I knocked off the unlucky vowel" Oberoi, Zayed "Is it Mirinda or Melinda" Khan and Suniel "Too bad to wait tables" Shetty promise? If the trailer's offered as People's Exhibit A, lots. After all, a film that integrates the slogan (डर के आगे जीत है) of a soft drink whose marketing campaign exploited extreme sports and video games can't be that bad, can it? After a relatively quiet 2007, Anu Malik has returned with nothing exciting so far (Anamika), but this title track might buy back some of the lost glory of nashaa nashaa (Aan: Men At Work). Or perhaps, as the title of the TV show and movie franchise that share the initials of this movie suggest, this might not be his day.

Consider now, the lyrics of the title track (imagining the energy of the utterances is left as an exercise to the listener/reader):

it's impossible
bull! it's possible

it's impossible
bull! it's possible

it's impossible
bull! it's possible

it's impossible


miishaan miishaan miishaan

miishaan miishaan miishaan
can you handle it?

ye miishaan nehii.n aasaa.N
ye miishaan iistaanabuul

jaayegii isame.n to jaa.N
ye mishaan istaa.nbul

Don't you just love that play on (istan)bul?

The video features the four leading men beefed up from hours in the gym oozing machismo to back the rocksy pump-it-up throb of the track, dressed in black vests and black pants; they switch between looking like pimps feeling up foreign lissome lassies clad in uniform (or unclad in black lingerie) and swinging in the rain in the aforementioned black outfits (along with, needless to say, more phaarin phlesh).

Lest we forget what the film is really about: Zayed Khan plays a promising journalist, Suniel Shetty, the head of a Turkish news channel, Vivek Oberoi, a Turkish commando and Shabbir Ahluwahlia ... oh! who cares.

This transgressive mix of Zalman King, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Snoop Dogg and Ilsa, She-Wolf Of The SS would've been promising had the rest of the film promised any of the sleaze that the trailer tantalisingly offered. Alas, this is but one more in the long line of films that rely on such tropes that toss all character development, plot and sanity into the nearest exhaust fan to lure Bollywood's faithful ticket-buying audience that is only out for a good time. One wonders why they bother with story or even the ruse of substance. Here's hoping that Apoorva Lakhia draws inspiration from Steven Seagal and Krista Allen and breaks new ground in Bollywood filmmaking.

update [june 11, 2008]: The complete song (written and sung by Hamza Faruqui -- last heard on the soundtrack of Super Star -- and composed by Chirantan Bhatt) features another (rare) example of the F-word on a Bollywood soundtrack: Now it's getting deep with all the secrets that I keep, I'm outta luck ... what the f**k! (a line repeated with carefully placed engineering just so that you don't miss it). The last time I found that colourful kernel of profanity on a song was in Rock Dancer (music by Bappi Lahiri) where Bali Brahmabhatt got to rap I'm like Mickey Mouse / I've come to take down the house / I'm like Donald Duck / I don't give a f**k (Kamal Sadanah does the on-screen honours for the song). Looks like this film's all set to make a mark for itself with one of the oldest tricks in the book -- baiting controversy. Is anyone from the Sena or the BJP tuning in to these songs?

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