Tuesday, September 01, 2009

bollywood's chameleon car

Despite its lofty meta-cinematic ambitions, Tashan manages to bore you out of your wits while also tossing one delicious gaffe after another. The continuity department was out smoking maTakaa while reels of footage were captured, digitally created and spliced into specious brouhaha. In this post we consider one of the most visible paws of the fox starring one of the two most important vehicles in the film. It's a red beauty of ambiguous parentage and schizophrenic identity.

SLK 320 front

The film opens with a red mercedes SLK 320 on the wild road accompanied by a stereo switching between a little ode to 80s rock ("She's a highway to hell" courtesy Ranjit Barot) and kabhii kabhii (the plaintive voice of the late Mukesh).

SLK 320 rear

It's a red Mercedes SLK 320 with a spoiler. UGR 9403.

And then it veers out of control and drives off the road, to the side and over the edge. The landscape looks fake, the milestone flying by is bad CG. But the worst is yet to come. A montage of obviously fake VFX shots follows to illustrate the inevitable -- the descent of the car succumbing to gravity into the water below.

wrong plate front

It's at this point that things become confusing. The car's licence plate goes into the witness protection programme in midair relocating, in a manner of registration, to the state of Maharashtra.

SLK 320 mustang?

A fine shot of the automobile's derriere laced with dust is marred by the word embossed on the rear bumper. I'm confused -- when did Ford team up with Mercedes?

Several minutes later, we return to the car under water.

wrong plate under water

The licence plate continues to be the same as it was before the car hit the water. It is also clear that the car is an SLK 320; I can't see lower part of the bumper, so it's hard to see if the embossed Mustang is still there (I wish I had a better angle).

SLK 320 under water

Peculiar. Very peculiar.

Since this is a film laced with references to other films (with, as a later blog post may reveal, the choice of films bears a strong bias for the Yash Raj canon) and especially recent YRF productions, it is possible to construe an explanation for this gaffe and credit it as being a little in-joke. Remember the Mustang fetish in Dhoom? Remember especially that red set of wheels bearing the likes of Esha Deol? That, kemo sabe, was a Mustang. Perhaps bhaiyaajii created his own motor mash-up (Benz+Ford = Bored?). Or perhaps we're just dealing with an overpaid sloppy crew obsessed with bringing fruition to an overbaked balloon of nothing built on an idea that deserved a creative mind.


For the Love of God said...

nice car, It looks flying and can dive underwater. I think this car is a nice submarine too.

sdrane said...

LOL, nice catch George. It is as if the car is a microcosm of Bollywood: Bring two or three foreign movies/stories (now cars!) together into one weird mash-up job.


Dave said...

WHERE is this clearly an SLK320 ? I own one.

This thing looks nothing like a Mercedes besides maybe the ebay fake Mercedes front grille ... stuck to a mustang ...

George said...

Apologies if the post seemed to suggest any authority in car makes. I was only noting all the hints thrown at the viewer with brand logos, names and the like. Thanks for the useful pointer about the grille. It just added more value to my rant :)

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