Kambakht Ishq: Kambakht everything...
There are many cinematic ‘firsts’ that Kambakht Ishq manages to achieve:
1. Last many decades have seen Sylvester Stallone saving the world, US and Afghanistan. Now, finally, see him save a damsel in distress from some goons who, mysteriously, find the lead girl, despite her chronic anemia, worthy of the trouble.
2. Sylvester Stallone also gets to do a Sunny Paaji in the pre-climax. He gets to uproot a lamp-post (a la the legendary handpump-ukhado scene from maha-legendary Gadar) and beat the goons to pulp…it’s a classic east-meets-west moment.
3. Sylvester Stallone finally says something comprehensible (his utterly unforgettable and incomprehensible outburst in Rambo First Blood is still haunting my subconscious)… and it’s Hindi that comes to his rescue.
4. A typical verbal exchange between our hero and heroine borrows from a very realistic vocabulary such as stuck-up bitch, dog, sick bastard, asshole etc. When it comes to progressive and modern cinema, this is right up there.
5. Hindi mainstream cinema gets its first rectal search. Clearly, if it’s funny enough for our director, we must laugh our heads off.
6. It’s a liberating experience to see a stunt man making so much money and leading a lifestyle of a rock star. They must be paid really well in Hollywood. There is hope in this world…er…in America.
7. And finally, it’s not really a first. After Neal ‘n’ Nikki, Censor board has done it again (and hence proved that they are not biased towards YRF). U/A certificate to a movie which decidedly pursues the higher goal of sex awareness among our juveniles and adolescents. When Simrita (that, my friends, is our heroine’s name) tells her sister “Men want only one thing from women” and points towards that area below the abdomen, our little ones would have asked “Momma, what do men want? What is she talking about?”. Great stuff, this. It also surpasses the great cinematic moment in Billu (no-more-Barber) when Om Puri offers to display the eighth wonder and points to his own reproductive organ (ah, evaded that uncomfortable word).
The young boy (with twinkle in his youthful eyes) shrieked with joy when opening credits started rolling. Reason: there were shots from one of those Hollywood award functions. This guy was enjoying watching them all and excitedly naming them. So we (me and my colleague) joined him. Tom Cruise appeared. We shouted “Sylvester Stallone”. He gently, smugly corrected us “Tom Cruise”.
And we realized that this wasn’t a movie meant to work for us.
And since we have walked out long before the end credits could roll, I can assure you reasonably well, it didn’t work for me. To begin with, it’s a crass movie…which in itself is not a bad thing. But the problem is that it tries to be too many things. First half is full of bad-ass language (which gets repetitive after a point) and gross, dirty sex jokes (with not enough wit) and the second half is half-cooked mushy romance. The clash between the two protagonists does not have enough sparks. Akshay Kumar looks tired and is suffering from a perpetual bad hair day (literally). He does manage to bring some liveliness to the proceedings. But he is starting to look old, especially in front of Kareena. Kareena, to her credit, revives her irritating “Poo” act from K3G and is pain in the ass right from the word go. Amrita Arora exposes sufficiently but fails to look hot. Thankfully there is very little of Javed Jaffery’s irrelevant, unfunny character. I remember some songs too but I will not comment on them since I forced myself to think about eradicating poverty during those sublime moments.
I haven’t found the key to eradicate poverty, but I can save you some of your hard earned money in these days of recession. However, if you have made up your charitable mind to donate that money to already rich Mr. Nadiadwala, don’t take your kids along. Or be prepared to squirm in your seat when they ask you “What did that black Aunty do to Akshay while searching for the drugs that he is unable to walk properly”.
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