Readers Write In #425: ‘VEER’ Sooryavanshi

Posted on November 9, 2021


(by An Jo)

  1. Major Spoilers/Disappointments
  2. No intent of comparison to Hollywood or ANY claim of superior intelligence or ‘taste’. I love Suppandi
  3. No intent of bringing down the morale of the Hindi film industry
  4. No claim over ‘masala’ and English ‘Grammar’

When Saibal Chatterjee from NDTV, who is utterly unfit to view or understand commercial Hindi cinema, rated it a 3 on 5, I was bowled over! This was like Ray giving ‘Gunda’ a thumbs-up! Then it is decided; this is going to be a full-on blast for me! And 2 shows were immediately added yesterday in DC [there were only 2 decided for the week – ‘Sone pe Suhaaga’; 2 more shows. I decided, if I like the film, I am just going to walk in right on to the next show. Also, I had credits on my account, so I could watch it for free! But then, being the ‘Bada Dilwala’ that I am, I forgo it and paid the 15$.] Alas, finding a parking spot in the mall parking site was a mess, as it is always. To add to the woes, now the theater didn’t have a central ticketing check-in, and the bar-code self-scanner was a mess. So I had to look at the triangular entrances to figure out where the movie was being screened for the 9:15 pm show. So I was like, ‘Idhar Chala Main Udhar Chala’. before I slammed my iPhone 12 max pro [I like showing off] angrily at the checker internally shouting at him as to how he could change the system like this without my knowledge: Don’t you know the state of my industry? Beherhaal, thankfully, the theater was the first one and I rushed to my seat and by that time, Akki was calling Bhide, ‘Yede.’ You see, he has a ‘disease’ of forgetting names; he calls Riya ‘Malaria’, Saraswati ‘Garbhawati’…you get the drift.]: And then there was an ear-blasting rush of ‘Soooorrryavaaanshi!’ Arre wah, full-on masala with tinnitus. And then a superbly shot parkour-laden executed action scene in Jaisalmer, combining ‘ghoomaroing’ women and Akki chasing down Abhimanyu, a sleeper cell agent from Pakistan atop the roof-tops. Finally, however, he is captured when Akki puts on his shades and shoots Abhimanyu’s vehicle’s tire. A promising start, a good interrogation style later, and the drama shifts to Akki’s marital problems, then his history with Katrina and all. In essence, the first half of the film is devoted to showing Akki as an ATS devoted workaholic who is ready to put his kid and his wife’s life in danger for the country, and emphasize it with, ‘Tucha mahila kutrya’—‘Bhai Papa Penguin ko bhi please karna hai na, kitna help kiya theaters open karvane mein; and then Shetty rushed back and shot 30% of the movie in Marathi— and shoot the terrorists point-blank. All good, and from then-on, the film, as a film (??), goes down like a nightmare, and the way Rohit Shetty makes light of terrorism is nerve-wracking, disgusting, and utterly repellant. 

Rohit Shetty doesn’t know his chaff from his wheat. For all he knows, he can cook something from chaff and call it ‘Paneer Paratha.’ As Akki and his team; Bhide, Tambe—aah the names, Arre apne ko poora 180 degree jaana hai boss; I will ‘convert’ Ansari to Shastri— begin their search for remaining operatives—lifted straight out of Khakee—you get in on the daily cop-banter, and in-between, the preachy and done-to-death cringe-worthy ‘Hindustani Muslim’ versus the ‘other.’ Shetty over-cooks, and how? Every serious dialogue/scene is inter-cut with comedy; so much so, that even in-between scenes! What the hell? Be it a chase scene, a fight scene, an interrogation scene where an old Gulshan is being beaten black and blue [‘Kya phaayda itna muscle banake; mocks a constable], everything has to have comedy and has to be taken lightly. Like a ‘thuski’, not ‘Laxmi’ bomb, the scene just fizzles out within a second! Akshay meeting Katrina for the first shot is hilarious! He just walks to Katrina and asks, ‘Are you a doctor? I have been shot.’ Arre, are we playing, ‘Doctor Doctor’ game here? I got shot and was strolling around the city finding a Doctor! The climax is a joke! For once, Devgan’s 10 degree perennially slanted look works! In fact, he slants even his ‘chikna kamar’ so effectively; an RPG just whizzes by him and guess what it does? Surprise! It blasts and uproots a van! Ever seen this before? And Ranveer’s constant blabbering when Devgan and Akshay are trying to untie a bomb tied to Katrina’s pretty waist is so laughable, that it wells up your eyes with acid. Arre, yahan bhi? Pehele ‘Doctor Doctor’, abhi ‘Bomb Bomb!’ Bum Buma Bum Bum.  I know we lost to Babar Azam, but it doesn’t mean you make-up your own games to win against Pakistan! Every time, every minute 10 bullets whiz by, there’s idiotic banter amongst the three, with so-called, ‘meta’ thrown in. ‘Apna Time Aayega?’ WTF? Also, there’s a discussion of ‘kiska bada hai, entry?’ Are you effing fighting terrorists or Mahatma Gandhi, that they have so much time and are so patient? ‘Bombs ke beech charcha?’

The worst part is how light Shetty makes of terrorism and the humor’ (???) he uses to lighten us; sorry meant to say, ‘enlighten’ us. After all, the great Charlie Chaplin also did the same, right? Boo Hoo says Shetty, always singling me out, you intelligentsia! And lo, he has the gall, the gall, to show grainy visuals of the Bombay blasts! Bhai, mein bhi reality mein believe karta hoon! Not just in gravity! The most horrendous scene was the one where they bring in Usmani’s daughters to break his morale. Akki slaps the belt on a bench and the plan (???) is 2 women constables would scream in pain: as soon as the first slap hits, one woman moans ‘AAAH’; and Akki retorts, ‘Arre, yahan pe Kamasutra chal raha hai kya?’ WTF was that? Women’s rape and torture are used as instruments and this, this is what you can conjure up as humor? You, Shetty, should have been belted and told the story of that mother who requests rapists to take her daughter one by one, otherwise, she wouldn’t endure it. This is effing humor for you? Any amount of BS of Muslims, sorry, ‘Hindustani’ Muslims removing their footwear and lifting Ganesha’s idol to safety cannot be salvaged by this disgusting scene. Period. [Shetty, I meant Period; not Periods.]

As the film yawned and yawned, and as I planned to leave the theater, I was remembered of the great Javed Jaffrey, who is so-called serious(???) in this film, holding me back by my collar and yelling, ‘Yeh Khatam nahi hua chutiye’! And my numbed brain went, ‘Industry Industry’, ‘Support Support’! And then I sat down. And I seriously wanted a drink, and with a nauseating headache, I headed for the bar, and instead of taking the east ramp, I took the west ramp; and realized I didn’t know where I was driving. ‘Abe, tu ‘King Kong’ hai ya Scorpio, jo tumhe police uthake, aaram se bar tak drop karegi?’ And as I went to the bar, the regular bar-tender asked me, ‘Hey, why so serious? Why such a long face? Your woman dumped you man?’ I wanted to yell, I just effing walked out of a Shetty film that’s supposed to save my industry man! But then again, like Gandhi in LRM, Shetty enshrined himself before me and advised: ‘Industry Industry’, ‘Support Support’? ‘Who knows, this gora might also buy a ticket to this film? And I said yes man, I just had a break-up. And then, miracle of miracles, 2 women came and talked to me about my ‘pain’ and brought me drinks. There, there in lies the genius of Shetty!! I belong to the category of Anu Agarwal in ‘Aashiqui’, i.e., neither ‘akal na shakal.’ And 2 women offered me drinks! I got the recipe now: Before heading to a bar, just watch Shetty handle serious topics! ‘Apna Time aa gaya!’ 

Maa Kasam Shetty, agli baar, agli baar healthcare, senior citizens, aisa koi sensitive topic handle kiya na, ghar mein ghuske maaronga tujhe.