Quick Gun Murugan: Bulletspoof Machismo ! Sunday, 30 August, 2009Posted by ~uh~™ in Bollywood, Movies, Tamil Movies.
Tags: cowboy, Desi, Dosa, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Gum Powder, Humour, Idli, machismo, Mango Dolly, movie, Murugan, Music, Quick Gun Murugan, Raghu Dixit, Rambha, Review, Rice Plate, Rowdy MBA, Sagar Desai, Sambhar, Shashanka Ghosh, spaghetti, spoof, Tamil, Western
This review was originally published on PFC [link]
I saw the Tamil English version of QGM, though intention was to see the Hindi-English version. I was hooked to QGM music for last few weeks and was really keen to identify the hilariously innovative Hindi dialogues in the movie, which were highly enjoyable, interspaced within the songs. For the record, I don’t understand Tamil, not even little little, so to speak (or understand). However, language had never been an impediment for me to watch and write about movies. I did that with my Sivaji review. (Read it, I say)
Being born on early seventies and have been fed with 60’s and 70’s cinema aired on Doordarshan afternoon slots and have seen few of the Tamil ones featuring Jayashankar, NTR, MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and other legends of the time, I understood the importance of powder, lipstick and curly hairs for men on screen. In due course of time I became the fan of Kamal Hassan and the spooferhero of all screen gods, Rajinikant. On the other hand, like any Bengali teenager in Kolkata I too grew up with Franco Nero, Clint Eastwood and the awe inspiring visual Eastman-colour bravura. We revered Django’s courage. We practiced trotting and spinning guns on our hands. We bought posters of Clint Eastwood, flashing guns in both hands, holding the cigar at one end of his lips in his unique style and that furrowed expression around his half closed eyes. We all wanted to become ‘the man with no name’. I even made a cowboy hat out of cardboard but could not complete my attire for the want of a holster and belt !
Sambhar Western- Eastwood and Murugan
So, in 1990s when the Tamil Cowboy appeared with Channel [V], we first had the taste of the bizarre blend – a spoof on spaghetti westerns and tribute to Tamil masculinity. ‘Mind it !’ became a cult phrase. Shiva, the original Murugan appeared just for two minutes but gave us the awesome Murugan experience to remember for a life. Action, drama, dialogues, romance and lost love- all packed in 60 seconds. We loved his attire, attitude, his locket and most importantly a ‘houseful heart’ behind his vicious valor against the villains. ‘ You blink before I shoot, I say’– grammar didn’t matter, attitude and delivery did.
That being the back ground, with QGM expectation was high. It was like a revisit to me teenage days, knowing the creative duo Director Shashank Ghosh and writer Rajesh Devraj, the mastermind behind original Murugan.
Plot (Spoilers protected)
Murugan, our multicolored Tamil cowboy is a stern veggie (so stern, doesn’t even like non veg jokes), hangs his lost love in a locket around his neck with an ambition to protect cows from becoming beef. He encounters the evil gang lord Rice Plate Reddy( Nassaer) and his heavy hand Gun Powder (Shanmugha Rajan) who want to take over and convert all Udipi restaurants to McDosa joints, strictly non-vegetarian, as a part of his business plan. Like a typical western, Murugan’s chronicle is a 2 hour revenge trip, to be concluded in Mumbai, which started 15 years ago somewhere in South India.
QGM is primarily a burlesque entertainment. It’s a movie lover’s movie. It’s a take off on certain genres of Indian and western cinema to provide an element of entertainment. For the audience, the degree of enjoyment of a spoof is directly proportional to his/her degree of exposure to the originals, which it’s based on. Also, any spoof would definitely qualify one of the greatest criteria of mock humour. It runs the risk of offending some while amusing others. That’s what happened when SRK did the spoof on Manoj Kumar and later Rajinikant. in Om Shanti OM. I won’t even try to fathom how QGM would appeal to those, who are not exposed the Tamil westerns, make-ups, acting style and not seen the Dollar series, Good Bad Ugly, Crocodile Dundee or Django. Because, I simply can’t. For the same reason the music, created by Sagar Desai and Raghu Dixit which is a lovely tribute to 60’s and 70’s Tamil songs as well as Western blues, would contain it’s own charm to those who would identify with it. Ofcourse there are the remix versions – Dialouge Mix, Aunties on the dance floor, Space Goddess to be in sync with the music of today. However I didn’t find my favourite number ‘Ek tha Murugan’ in the movie, may I need to see the Hindi version to see where did I miss it.
“Main terepe google kiya hai Rice Plate”
QGM is epic legendary at places, outrightly riotous at other, while being deliberately slapstick, quirkily intelligent and entertaining on most part. Bur most importantly it’s completely Desi featuring Jugaad ( my all time favourite vehicle), Well Known Lodge and Masala Dosa. I am actually suppressing my bursting desire to describe the numerous scenes, details, dialouges and how I found a childish to joy to relate to the originals or unfold the wit, layered in almost every sequence of the movie. For example, the walk on the crowded Mumbai street in his attire was a sweet simple spoof of Crocodile Dundee. The characters are very desi and ubiquitous, dialogues are notoriously funny [it deserves to develop a wikiquote page soon], the costumes, and settings are loud, authentic and flawless. The sarcasm towards Govt bureaucracy is Douglas Adams Indianized. The movie is expectedly high in humour quotient which traverses from being slapstick actions, intelligent verbal and visual innuendos, sarcastic signboards, witty body language, dark and shady death scenes and sometimes plain silly.
The unassuming superhero in his red leather tights, fluorescent green shirt, leopard skin waist coat, pink scarf portrayed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad is outstanding. The ‘Terminator’ disemberkment in front of Gateway of India is one of the treats to spoof lovers. The locket lover Anu (Lola Kutty) is the subconscious guide to Murugan, his pathfinder towards a secured and safe life. Thus, when confronted with lusty seductress Mango Dolly (Rambha) with her buxom assembly and Helen-ish oozing oomph, Murugan’s dilemma to taste the forbidden payasam is understandable.
What is not understandable is why there was the need to show graphic violence and blood, which could have easily be avoided making it a more universally acceptable creation, to the censor board and to the children may be? The now clichéd Matrix slo-mo has become an obvious and only way to dodge bullets in films these days. Here’s no exception, infact there’s an overdose of it. I wish we could get some more innovative ideas there, alongwith biting bullets (literally) and flying sideways. The shooting scenes for me was kind of letdown, except for the final duel with Rowdy MBA on the traffic jam. The last scene was somehow disconnected and can probably only be related by them who has seen Django.
Exclamation Marksheet !
Overall, I had a great time revisiting the hero, the fascinating catch phrases and relating to the original cults. The movie does have its momentary lapse of reasons, but why seek reason in everything and always? QGM was like an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence. The sentence to laugh ! Mind it !
Bring ‘em on and hang ‘em high. I am eager for the sequel ‘The Good The Bad and The Idli’.