“Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies, and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised, and we can never know which one is which until we’ve loved them, left them, or fought them.”
― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
A long time ago, i stumbled across a crazy YouTube video that had a long scene from a Bollywood Movie. It showed an attack by a merciless, horrible army on the Good Guys©. There was a lot of emotional looks between characters that I had no idea who they were – but the most handsome of all the Good Guys© seemed in command of a third (or so) of the army. He had catapults and proceeded to throw giant, round stones connected to a huge, red cloth over the attacking enemy. Once it settled onto the evil swarm a flaming arrow was fired and the cloth turned out to be soaked in a flammable oil – burning the evil heathens to death.
It was amazing, cheesy, and so much ridiculous fun. It took a little searching until I found out the scene was from part one of a two part movie series called Baahabuli. I watched bits of it and it was as glorious as it could be. I never had time to sit down for the whole six hours it would take to grind through both installments – plus, viewing little bits here and there with no idea of the overall plot or who these people were was kind of exciting.
Now, however, I have more opportunities for allocating big chunks of time (though not as many as you would think – it is possible to be very busy doing nothing) and over a couple of days I have been able to sit down and watch part one of Baahubali. Now it (sort of) makes sense. I had watched some of the over-the-top action scenes… but being Bollywood it had some equally fantastic musical numbers – and romantic dancing. I really enjoyed these – probably more that the blood slaughter.
In particular, there is a scene in a bar where three sexy dancing girls emerge from a giant coil of rope to dance with the hero and distract the dastardly bad guys for a few minutes – very imaginative and unexpected.
Some friends of mine once came up with the idea of Bollywood watching parties – I would love to try and pull this off – find a place with a big television (ours isn’t giant enough). Baahubali would be perfect – both parts one and two. Crazy action, melodrama, politically incorrect dancing and romance (there is actually a scene where the hero, while holding his breath underwater, tattoos his love’s arm while she sleeps trailing her arm into a lake – that’s a me-too moment).
Now onto part 2 – there’s a lot of unanswered questions.
Ok, there is a YouTube movie reviewer named The Critical Drinker. He is apologetically nasty towards modern shit movies and the useless crap mendacity that has invaded what passes as entertainment – but every now and then he finds something that swims against the stream to recommend.
Today he reviewed and liked a recent Bollywood extravaganza called RRR. He does a very good job of explaining how odd these movies look to Western eyes and why you should put your preconceptions aside and enjoy what dances across your eyeballs. A very interesting review (not too many spoilers).
RRR is streaming on Netflix. So its Baahubali Part 2 – and then it’s time for RRR. Sounds like a party.