Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Little More Bollywood: Chak De! India and Ek Tha Tiger

RAW agent Tiger is on a mission to retrieve information from a scientist in Dublin. The plot centers on an Indian spy (RAW) code-named Tiger who falls in love with a Pakistani spy (ISI) during an investigation and how Tiger’s ideology and principles change over time.
This was our first movie by Salman Khan, the last of the Three Khans for us to sample.

The movie had problems, being a blend of James Bond with romantic comedy. And not a stellar version of either genre was being blended If that sounds awkward, then I did my job describing it.

Adding to the problems, Khan reminded me of no one so much as Sylvester Stallone. Now, there's nothing wrong with Sylvester Stallone. I am second to none in my admiration of Rocky, but he has definite limitations as an actor. And that's what we saw in this example of Khan's work.

Just a few Bollywood song and dance numbers in this one, with the stellar one being over the end credits. I realized I was a bit addicted to the Bollywood format by how happy I was to see a musical number begin. Happy out of all proportion considering they used to make me roll my eyes.

This won't be our last sampling of Salman Khan's movies. I want to give him a fair chance. He's a top Bollywood actor. But this isn't his finest hour. (Or if it is, then he just isn't be my favorite of the Three Khans.)

Chak De! India follows a team of rag-tag girls with their own agenda who form Team India competing for international fame in field hockey. Their coach, the ex-men’s Indian National team captain, returns from a life of shame after being unjustly accused of match fixing in his last match. Can he give the girls the motivation required to win, while dealing with the shadows of his own past?
This was really solid. Shahrukh Khan shows he can play nice with others by not having to be in a lot of the scenes even though he is the main character and star. This is our second of his films and it was nice to see him in a more conventional role though I did miss seeing him shirtless in a dance number. This movie had songs but, as seems to be the case with some of the modern movies, they were played against standard montages (training, traveling, etc.).

It was a fairly straight forward feminist underdog sports film with an interesting undertone of combating regionalism in favor of nationalism. I never knew that was an Indian problem but I read that this movie was really significant for India in several ways and I'd guess that was one of them.

Overall it is, as I said, solid. And definitely enjoyable.

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