Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

Viva Bollywood!

When I first set out to write the Big Book, I was writing it only for myself, so I started by making a bullet-point list of Everything That Entertains Me. It was a long list, and included some things that have turned out to be odd in combination: shapeshifters, courtesans, burning cities, boy bands, paella, plagues, escapes through sewers, guillotines, etc.

I suspect the makers of Mr. India started working up the script the same way. How else can one explain a superhero musical that features breakdancing slum orphans, a plucky girl reporter wielding a bullwhip, a Charlie Chaplin homage, and a flying golden idol? And did I mention that the superhero never takes off his hat? If Mr. India were an American film, I would say that it can't decide whether it's trying to be Austin Powers, Flash Gordon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or It's a Wonderful Life. But it's not an American film, so if it presents us with a mad fascist villain who talks about himself in the third person, builds a secret island base complete with nuclear missiles, and cackles with a classic "Bwahahahahahaha," why should there not also be a dance number with a rain-soaked sari? A rain-soaked sari, and lyrics translated as, "Your squirm reminds me, I love you." Add a repertoire of special effects worthy of a Tom Baker-era Dr. Who episode, and you can have a sublimely complete cinematic experience.

Everyone, everywhere ought to watch Mr. India. It's best watched in a room full of friends, so that when you chorus "Hail, Mogambo!" along with the villain's minions, the effect is suitably echoing.
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