This movie is stupid.
Available…online…sort of…maybe; I borrowed the DVD from my Library system. Approximately 142 minutes.
Raju was a successful industrialist on the verge of starting a 5 billion dollar project. Unfortunately, he got into a car accident, which left him with the mindset of a child. Raju’s sympathetic grandfather, Krishna, canceled the loan from the bank, to the consternation of Raju’s two greedy uncles, their wives, and his drunken cousin Vicky.
It is clear that Raju is in no condition to run a project that is worth that much money. He is content to wander around outside under the reluctant care of his servant, Murari. Raju is under the belief that eating sweets while making Murari run laps counts as exercise, and frequently pesters him with riddles about an elephant and an ant. Murari barely puts up with Raju, but makes up for the hardship by stealing from Raju’s allowance and sending the money to his wife, who lives far away.
At one point, Raju gets…um…kidnapped. Fortunately, he not only…escapes, but also leads his kidnappers straight to a police station. As a reward for catching the criminals, Raju gets one million dollars…or rupees…one million something. He decides to use the money (or, at least half of it) to throw a party for himself. He invites…a bunch of people who will show up only for the party scene. Most importantly, though, he invites his love interest, Meena, and refuses to leave his room until she shows up. He is told multiple times that she will not show up, but then she does. And everything is great. And then Meena’s brother shows up and angrily takes her back home.
Raju is distraught that no one, not even his grandfather, had stepped in when Meena’s brother took her away. Vicky takes this opportunity to destroy his cousin’s sense of self worth and convinces him to kill himself. Raju…tries…but fails, and Krishna scolds him for even thinking of suicide. Meanwhile, a miserable Meena thinks back to a happier time…
Meena and Raju had first met the day that Meena’s car got a flat tire. In a hurry to go back home for marriage arrangement meeting, she skipped the option of changing her tire and chose instead to steal the car that was parked next to hers. At that moment, Raju was stepping out of a business meeting and noticed his car being stolen. Somehow, he caught up with Meena, but she convinced some random group of guys that Raju was harassing her. So the guys beat him up.
Meena made it back home to the meeting, only it turns out that her future betrothed is the badly beat up and shaken Raju. Everyone else quickly started making light of Meena almost getting Raju killed for absolutely no good reason…and it seems as if he got over it too, since the movie cuts to them roaming around the countryside and professing their love for each other. It is unclear how well they get to know each other, though, as the main piece of dialogue that they share involve them tricking each other about their past romantic entanglements and each getting upset at the other. Raju stormed off in his car, going very very fast. Meena called him up to tell her that she was kidding, just as he was. With this cleared up, Raju turned the car around and got into an accident that gave him brain damage. Meena’s parents put the marriage arrangements on hold, pretty much cancelling them. And here we are.
Raju’s relatives decide that Krishna is devoting too much of his attention and his money upon Raju, and make plans to get him out of the way. First, Vicky hires a group of goons to provoke him into a fight. Then they throw rocks at a group of schoolchildren and Vicky blames the attack on Raju. Despite there being at least one witness who could have theoretically countered these accusations, Krishna decides that it is best for Raju to be sent away.
Murari gets tasked with taking Raju to his hometown, and will be paid to keep him there. He fools Raju into coming along by saying that it is to help arrange for the wedding with Meena. Things are going tolerably until Raju steals Murari’s money to spend on the wedding. Murari eventually catches up to Raju and finally tells him that there was no wedding. Raju is extremely upset and runs off.
Up to this point, the movie had been kind of dumb, but it is around this point that the movie starts to get stupider and stupider. And stupider. And it is wonderful.
Someone on IMDB said that this was basically a movie for kids. And…yeah, maybe. It is not so much a movie as it is a series of comedy skits and musical numbers that are tied together by a few thin strands of cliched plotlines that eventually unravel. Yes, Raju is portrayed as someone without all of his mental facilities, but pretty much every character has a moment of sheer idiocy that either gets called out or exploited, leading to some ridiculous situations. So, it is sort of like a Monty Python movie…only significantly longer and stupider. For sure, there is probably a whole lot of clever wordplay that sailed over my head, though at least the people who made the subtitles were not the same people who typed up the horribly incoherent description on the back of the DVD case. But even if there is a lot of cleverness in scenes, they are all in service of some really dumb antics. Not just goofy, but really dumb.
Now, my calling this movie stupid and dumb so frequently may seem like a warning to some people that this is a movie to avoid…and maybe it is. I don’t really have much of a defense for why one would want to see such a stupid movie as this one. I can understand it if others find the same things that made me laugh to be infuriating. All that I could say is that I find the charm and fun to be so infectious that it breaks through my cynicism. This movie takes a bunch of well-worn movie tropes, shakes them up, pieces them together haphazardly, and then dares you to try to make sense of it. The movie breaks the rules of logic, makes up its own rules, and breaks those as well. One of my favorite characters is constantly on the verge of ruining a certain scheme up until the ending, when…
Okay, the ending. I will try to avoid spoiling the ending. I will say, though, that it seems as if the last twenty minutes was just a mad scramble, with only an obligatory climax to keep the story from completely falling apart. When I first watched the movie, the last couple of minutes or so just had me staring in disbelief, trying to figure out how this coda did not completely clash with the rest of the movie…and then the ending credits burst in and I could not help but laugh. That was how they decided to end the movie?? Yes, that is how they decided to end the movie. Maybe there was some major problems during production that made this ending necessary. Maybe the people behind the movie had no attention span. Maybe they thought that the audience had no attention span. Maybe they did not care about the attention span of the audience. Or maybe they were just pulling a fast one on the audience. I would like to think that it was the latter, because that ending was a brilliantly idiotic cap to a wonderfully stupid movie.
In conclusion, this movie is stupid and I recommend it.
WTF ASIA 73: High Kick Angels (Japan: 2014, approx. 90 minutes)
Available in Canada, the United States, and maybe some other countries.
WTF ASIA 73: Too Many Ways to Be No.1 (Hong Kong: 1997, approx. 91 minutes)
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