Monday, May 3, 2010

Khanna-o-Rama: Khanna In Love

Akshaye Khanna.

Oh, Akshaye.

I'm not sure how Akshaye Khanna feels about acting, or about anything really. I waver between the opinions that it's a pastime for him, a welcome break from the monotony of wealth and privilege, or the feeling that he's just caught a series of bad roles by chance, or that as his hairline receded, so did his ambition.

One of his better roles in one of his better films, that of Sid-the-sensitive-artist in Dil Chahta Hai, is the focus of one of the most surreal picturizations in the many-spangled history of Bollywood. The first few times I saw it, I couldn't help but cringe and peer from behind my fingers, screeching, "No! They didn't!" For the rest of the film I couldn't look at Sid without remembering that here was a guy who saw his love for a woman--for Dimple Kapadia!--like this. Now, however, I think maybe I can see where Farhan Akhtar was going with it. (Or whoever directed the sequence. I know that choreographers usually direct big numbers but this wasn't that sort of song so I'm not sure who was in charge of the camera.)

(One of my favorites at Television Without Pity, recapping god Jacob, mentioned that there's always a moment, in fandom, where you look at what's happening in front of you onscreen and you hope hope hope that no one you've raved to about this show/movie/whatever happens to tune in at precisely that moment. "Kaisi Hai Yeh Rut" is that moment from Dil Chahta Hai.)

(I love parentheses.)

So, like I said, I think I see where the director of this sequence was going... Whether or not it's a success is left to the judgment of the viewer. Let's take a closer look. Because this song deserves the Filmi Girl Dhoom:2 treatment.

Sid's alone, waiting for Dimple/Tara to come out.

Finally, she emerges, fan in full force.

Sid's appropriately stunned.

"What? What?!"

Never mind, let's just get this started. Of course, not five minutes pass before...

She's checking out his sketching--sketching performed, I might add, straight upon the canvas with no preliminary paper work. My, Sid, kya confidence hai.

"What? Are you serious?"

"Just sit here. Good girl."

"You know what Dimple is like? She's like a painted river in a painted forest with a painted easel."

"No! I know! She's like a McCallister's Paint-by-Number I once saw!"

Tellingly, Tara is not actually present in any of these fantasies. A shooting star, however, does make an appearance. (Behind Akshaye.)

Whoa! Dysmorphia! Sid gets turned upside down (get it? geddit?!)...

And merges with Tara's hair.

She's like the moon to him. Heh. Heh.

Sid works and works.

And works.

Very serious artists have ten of each color.

His biggest focal point is her eyes. I think it's something about the windows of the soul thing.

More with the eyes.

That's... Um... Well, we'll just call that a work in progress, shall we?

His other big focal point? Her mouth. **touching paintmouth as he will never be able to caress realmouth**

Sid works so hard that he falls asleep in a chiropractor's worst nightmare.

He's up with the dawn, though.

"I... am... Superpainter!"

"Yeah... Maybe not quite yet."

"Her eyes... They're nearly perfect... She's almost as tortured as a tortured artist!"

"Know what else Dimple is like? She's like blue skies."

"And bubbles. Yes, bubbles."

(Note that, once again, the object of his fascination is nowhere in his mind. True to type, he's in love with his idea of Tara more than Tara herself.)

**brushes hand through weirdly pixelating grass**

These bubbles are pretty tough. He can really mess with them.

"Yes! YES! A pot of gold! I never have to find a patron!"

"Please, God, let me die before anybody I know sees this."

The finished product, in bits and pieces:

Windswept blossoms. Or possibly autumn leaves.

Tara's neck.

A FREAKING TEDDY BEAR WITH A PARACHUTE. Clearly Sid's artistic vision was acquired from his 10-year-old feminine side.

A little girl with a parachute. I guess that could be about her daughter.


Those eyes! They haunt him! And they're not nearly as scary as the drifting bears!

Of course, all this effort and rainbows is useless if Tara doesn't like it.

What will she think?

She loves it, of course.

"Phew! I can actually sleep in bed again; what a relief!"


  1. I LOVE IT!!!!! I love everything about this post, including your assessment of Akshaye's career, which no matter how many times I mull it over (and that's a lot, believe me), I cannot figure out how he makes his choices.

    THhis song also made me cringe when I first saw it; I am revisiting DCH on Saturday for the end of Khanna-o-Rama and cannot wait to give it another try. I like to think it is possibly a winking nod to a song Vinod has that has bubbles in it. But I sort of doubt it :)

  2. Beth: Thank you! Yeah, his career is a cypher, isn't it? I can't figure it either. I can't wait to read your re-take on DCH. If it *is* a tribute, that would be cool! But somehow I share your skepticism.

  3. This. Is. GENIUS.

    The teddy bear in the parachute had me literally LOLing.

  4. I love it!! That song is horrific and is perhaps what started me down the road to not really liking Akshaye...

  5. Ness: Aw, gee, thanks! *blushes, scuffs toe* I actually never noticed the teddy bears until this screencapping round, can you believe it?

    Filmi Girl: Poor Akshaye. This song is tragic; I don't blame you for being turned off by St. Francis of Bubbleland.

  6. I enjoyed reading your take on Sid. I liked the movie and also think it is one of his better performances. I think I blocked this song out of my memory banks because I only remember the picture of her comming alive. I don't recall bears and bubbles etc. So thanks for the "Filmi Girl Dhoom:2 treatment."

  7. I loooove DCH, one of my faves. Sad that Akshu's career hasn't gone the way Saif's has :(

  8. cmleigh: Glad you liked it! Yeah, the rest of the movie is so not like this that it's hard to believe they're from the same film. I don't blame you for blocking it out!

    Nicki: I love it too. :-) It is sad about his career, but I wonder if he really cares one way or another.

  9. Oh, I adore Akshaye. But yes, I would never, ever want anyone not totally in love with Bollywood (or him) to see Kaisi Hai Yeh Rut. Thank you for this frank discussion. If someone ever sees DCH and comes to me and says "What is this monstrosity?" I will send them here and maybe they will be more forgiving.

    Personally, the dolphins remind me of Lisa Frank.(

    And the teddy bears! Eeep! We had to rewind and make sure we weren't imagining them.


  10. LOVE this! Such an awesome song, and I didnt even remember it?!! Uhh well... it was the tail-end of the 90s and such awesome was kind of common back then. ;-) (Or maybe I was so stunned by Saif's sudden transition - from annoying brat to cool and cute brat in DCH - that I forgot everything else.)

  11. Han: So true about not wanting anybody who hadn't declared their passion for masala to even catch a glimpse of this. And OMG I totally said that about Lisa Frank too, in my review of the movie! (In fact, check out that link in the second paragraph following the second picture.)

    bollyviewer: How could you forget?! Unless it was just too much trauma. ;-) Thank goodness I didn't catch that song by itself on YouTube or I would have sworn off the whole movie, I think. And that would've been sad!

  12. OMG, I never noticed the bears!!!

    This song would definitely make my list of Song Picturizations I love, but wouldn't ever show to my friends :D

  13. I think I blocked this from my memory because even though I've seen DCH several times, I do not remember this... WOW.

  14. I never noticed the bears either, Ani! So. Freaky. Every time I show this movie to friends I start with the disclaimer that, "I swear, the rest of the movie is so not like this. Promise."

  15. martoufmarty: Did you see how many other people said the exact same thing? It's like we all had a collective blackout!

  16. I hadn't remembered the bears either and I have seen that song AT LEAST ten times. Maybe they're subliminal?

  17. I think that's it, Beth. They're subliminally urging us to bail out of this picturization with our favorite comfort object ASAP. That's what I'm taking away from it, anyway.

  18. Well, unfortunately, I DID notice the bears the first time. I was trying desperately to block the "Lisa Frank nightmare" and focus just on the so-far good painting of Dimple, and then the Teddy Bear parachute attack started. NO!!! At least it was the only horrid moment in an otherwise outstanding film.

  19. Cool post here, Ajnabi. ROTFL at the last sentence, pun intended there? :D

    Have you seen Gandhi My Father? Thought Akshaye was brilliant.

    And while we're at it, I must confess to not disliking the picturization of Kaisi Hai Yeh Rut. (That's not to say I like it.) I've also always wondered whether those who can't stand it draw or paint for a hobby. Among the many multi-factor Bollywood polls likely to remain untouched, LOL...


  20. myrna-nora: That's the truth, it really is one of the very few WTF moments in the whole (great) movie, if not *the* only one. The bears... They hurt to remember...

    tBF: I totally didn't mean the pun, but I'm glad you noticed so I could laugh too! :-) I haven't seen Gandhi My Father--yet--but I would really like to see Akshaye in another good role so I'll make sure it's added to the queue. And I certainly have no talent in the drawing and painting arena, but I can't speak for anyone else!

  21. AHAHAHAHHAA!!! I usually lean pretty hard on the fast forward button when I come across this song but no longer! I shall take my time and relish every last bit of it from henceforth.

    As for how Akshaye gets his roles - I think he wakes up in the morning, drinks his coffee, wonders if he wants to buy something expensive or go on a trip, calls up a friend and asks them if they're making a movie and signs on as necessary. There can be no other explanation for some of his movie choices.

  22. Amrita: Oh, yes, you absolutely must enjoy every second. And I think you're right; his choices seem to be taken from a filmi version of Russian roulette. :-D

  23. LOL! Fun! Are you going to write anymore Khanna films :) You should! :)

  24. Akshay was quite good in his small role in Aaja Naachle. I wish he did a really good role like that but with him as a the main lead ie more screen time.

    He was very good in Gandhi My Father. I also enjoyed "Mere Baap Pehle Aap"

  25. Nicki: The only other Khanna films I've seen were Wake Up Sid, Aaja Nachle, and Salaam-e-Ishq, and I felt like everybody else covered them way better than I could. :-)

    Filmbuff: He was really good! His script choices are so odd, aren't they? I have Mere Baap Pehle Aap in queue; I'll have to check it out soon.


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