I watched Krrish 3 in a theatre packed with whatever you call those little humans that are composed entirely of Happy Meals, and the film can pretty much be summed up by the following conversation that I overheard:
Mother: It was –
Young girl: (interrupting) Awesome!
Young girl: Nooo. Awesome!
Mother: *puts child up for adoption*
Yes, kids will love this film, but then again, they also love to eat mud so what do they know? Having said that, Krrish 3 isn’t nearly as bad as the promos made it out to be, even though Hrithik refuses to ditch that raincoat made out of garbage bags. Seriously, every time I see his billowing lehenga, I imagine him tittering and trying to hold it down while Marilyn Monroe goes 6000 rpm in her grave.
This instalment actually has a story, which was written in collaboration with the writers of X-Men even though they don’t know it yet. Krrish battles Kaal (Vivek Oberoi), a telekinetic, quadriplegic genius who looks like the love child of Professor Xavier and Edward Cullen. Kaal has spent his life trying to cure his paralysis and in the process, has created a bunch of mutants that include Kaya (Kangana Ranaut), a shape-shifter who was designed using “girgit ka khoon”.
(See, that’s the problem with doing science-fiction in Hindi – certain terms don’t translate very well. For example, in English, a guy with ten arms is called a mutant, but in Hindi, he’s “INDIA TV EXCLUSIVE: JAUNPUR MEIN MILA DUS HAATH WALA AADMI SHOULD WE KILL HIM OR WORSHIP HIM I AM SO CONFUSED!”)
The trouble begins when Kaal needs to inflict a lethal virus on a large population and has to choose between India and China. Here’s how it plays out:
Kaal: Did you unleash our flesh-eating virus on China?
Kaya: Yes, but –
Kaal: But what?
Kaya: They made a soup out of it. It’s now an international delicacy.
Kaal: Dammit. Let’s hit Mumbai.
Kaya: We already put the virus in their water supply.
Kaya: The local BMC toxins pointed and laughed at it till it died of shame.
Kaal: What about aerial dispersion? Let’s poison the air.
Kaya: Bro let me tell you about Saki Naka…
Rajesh Roshan’s score is magical because it takes you back to the 90s, when Bollywood music could be clubbed into two categories, i.e. ‘Rickshawallah Favourites’ and ‘Sounds Like Macarena’. The Krrish 3 OST falls into the category of ‘I would rather be stabbed in the ears with Himesh’s tongue’.
My favourite was the super cool dance number, Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram which, like every other Bollywood song, has an African guy doing a fake Jamaican voice in the middle. It’s quite sad that a Bollywood dance number is the only place in India where a black guy is treated with respect. Everywhere else, it’s just a series of “Aye how much for coke?” and “Aila! Akon!” which is no way to talk about the American President. (His name is Tyrone.)
There’s also a giant Krrish statue that’s unveiled during a song called ‘God, Allah Aur Bhagwaan’, which made me turn atheist three times over. In a dramatic twist, it is revealed that the government spent 2000 crores on the superhero statue, as mandated by the Ministry of Hollow Pride Rox Poor People Can Suck It. Then a Prime Ministerial candidate claims affinity with Krrish, at which point the statue smacks him across the head and migrates to Mars. I’m glad that all this is just silly fantasy and would never happen in real life.
Towards the end, Kaal transforms into something that looks like Robocop – that is, if Robocop was assembled by blind monkeys using aluminium foil from your lunch box. Krrish and Kaal pummel each other while 9/11ing half the skyscrapers in Mumbai, which is ok, because they were guilty of FSI violations anyway. One of the buildings that gets destroyed looks like Antilla, so even Rakesh Roshan must think it’s ugly. That’s how you know you’ve failed – when you get a lesson in aesthetics from the man who made Koyla and King Uncle.
Krrish 3 offers some intense emotional moments as well, like the scene where you spot a garlanded portrait of Priety Zinta and shed a tear for the demise of the word ‘bubbly’. They’ve also integrated a ‘Kids, do not try this at home’ message into the film, which is also what Hollywood said to us about superhero movies. For better or worse, I’m glad we ignored them. It’s what the X-Men would’ve done.
(Note: This is my HT column dated 3rd Nov 2013.)