Tag Archives: Aftab Shivdasani

Movie Review: Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 (2016)

KyaaKoolHainHum3Zero Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at iTunes

Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 (“How Cool Are We 3“) is so stupid that it seems easy to dismiss. However, the film is built on offensive racial stereotypes, so it can’t be let off the hook no matter how moronic it is.

The plot of Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 (KKHH3, henceforth) follows the exploits of two good-for-nothing guys — innocent Kanhaiya (Tusshar Kapoor) and his horny friend, Rocky (Aftab Shivdasani) — who wind up working as porn stars in Thailand. When Kanhaiya falls for Shaalu (Mandana Karimi), a woman outside of the industry, the porn crew has to pretend to be a traditional Indian family in order to win over Shaalu’s conservative father (played by Darshan Jariwala).

Being that this is a mainstream Hindi movie, pornography is hinted at rather than shown. There’s no nudity, and sex is depicted as two people dancing together in skimpy clothing. The crew specializes in dirty versions of popular Bollywood movies, so familiarity with Hindi films is a prerequisite (though the crew’s remake of Khoobsurat as Boobsurat is self-explanatory).

Almost nothing in KKHH3 is particularly funny. Jokes mostly consist of dirty puns and obvious sex references, such as the guys celebrating Kanhaiya’s grandmother’s 69th birthday. There are tons of Hindi wordplay jokes that don’t translate into English.

The juvenile humor frequently comes at the expense of gay men and people with speech impediments. Kanhaiya also has an unfunny condition in which his eyes cross when he sees the color red.

Yet the greatest offenses are aimed at women, particularly Western women. KKHH3 opens with a tour of Rocky’s mansion. Four naked white women sleep in four different beds, presumably having each had sex with Rocky the night before. When the guys imagine Thailand, they picture a dance sequence featuring a dozen bikini-clad blondes, not Thai women.

The two porn actresses are played by Claudia Ciesla, who is Polish-German, and blue-eyed Gizele Thakral. Karimi herself is of Indian-Iranian heritage, which gives her character leeway to dance in a bikini and make sexual overtures to Kanhaiya (who politely demurs, since they aren’t yet married). Two of the other three explicitly Indian female characters who act sexually are drugged with aphrodisiacs when they do so.

The implication is clear: “good Indian girls” don’t voluntarily do the kind of naughty stuff that slutty Westernized women do. Can we get past this harmful stereotype already? If you’re not willing to even consider casting an Indian actor in a role, then maybe that role shouldn’t exist.

KKHH3‘s one redeeming feature is that the music video for the song “Expectation” by the excellent K-pop band Girl’s Day plays in the background of a scene set in a movie store. Just watch the music video below and give Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 a miss.

Links

Movie Review: Grand Masti (2013)

Grand_MastiZero Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

If there is any country in which one would expect filmmakers to steer clear of rape jokes, it would be India. Nevertheless, on the same day that four of the perpetrators of last year’s horrific gang rape and murder were sentenced to death, director-producer Indra Kumar released Grand Masti: a movie that features a joke about gang rape.

The rape joke is the perfect example of Grand Masti‘s tone-deafness and sexism. In attempting to push the boundaries of what Indian audiences are willing to accept in an adult comedy, the tone of Kumar’s film feels like what passed for funny in Hollywood films in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In exchange for squeezing a record number of masturbation jokes into his film, Kumar reduces his female characters to nothing more than sperm receptacles.

(Correction: all of the sperm remains safely contained within ManForce condoms, a brand whose corporate sponsorship purchased a bizarre instance of product placement in the film.)

Grand Masti focuses on three asshole best friends: Amar (Ritesh Deshmukh), Meet (Vivek Oberoi), and Prem (Aftab Shidasani). Six years after graduating from college, the three assholes aren’t having enough sex with their smoking hot wives as they would like, so they travel to their college reunion — who the hell holds a college reunion after just six years? — hoping to have a lot of sex with a lot of co-eds.

Why are the guys so love starved that they’re driven to cheat on their wives? Amar’s wife, Mamta (Sonalee Kulkarni), is busy taking care of their infant son; Meet’s wife, Unatti (Karishma Tanna), is working overtime so that they can afford to buy a house; and Prem’s wife, Tulsi (Manjari Fadnis), is at the beck-and-call of Prem’s demanding parents, who live with the couple. All of the women would like to have sex with their husbands, but their other responsibilities keep getting in the way.

So, again, these three assholes don’t magically swap bodies with some single guys, nor do they find themselves facing temptation against their will. They actively seek out extramarital affairs because their gorgeous, willing wives are overwhelmed with the burdens of earning money and caring for their children and parents. It’s impossible to feel empathy for lead characters as loathsome as these three jerks.

Just as a bonus, the trio attempts to murder the dean of the college to keep their wives from discovering their cheating ways. What sweethearts!

These three tools become even less appealing whenever they are in the presence of any women other than their wives. They ogle and drool like animals, heads bobbing in time with the bounce of a woman’s breasts as she walks by.

This cartoonish horniness is particularly pronounced when the guys are in the presence of white women, of whom there are a lot in Grand Masti. All of the white women in the movie wear skimpier outfits than their ethnic Indian counterparts. They are ogled more freely by the male characters and are more likely to be groped or humped during dance numbers. It reinforces the Indian stereotype that Western women are immoral and willing targets for sexual predators. It’s offensive.

Not willing to limit the stereotyping to white women, Meet warns Prem about an angry East Asian woman: “She might know Kung Fu!”

In addition to being offensive and lacking sympathetic main characters, the immature, tired gags in Grand Masti go on way too long. Bits that are mildly amusing the first time are repeated for minutes at a stretch, blunting their impact. The acting is uniformly lousy.

It’s hard to believe that a movie this out-of-touch could be made in 2013. It just goes to show how far society still has to go before women are seen by all men as humans of equal status, and not just sex objects.

Links

Opening September 13: Grand Masti

Only one new Hindi movie is set to open in Chicago area theaters on September 13, 2013, and it looks painful. The bawdy comedy Grand Masti stars Ritesh Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi, and Aftab Shivdasani as three guys trying to cheat on their wives. If you have to include this many exclamation points in your official plot synopsis, your movie probably isn’t that funny.

Grand Masti opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. (Note: At the showing I attended at the Cantera this morning, the film had no English subtitles.) If you just can’t wait until tomorrow to see Grand Masti, the River East 21 has a pair of showings tonight. The movie has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 15 min.

Sadly, John Day isn’t opening in the Chicago area.

The charming romantic comedy Shuddh Desi Romance gets a second weekend at all four of the above theaters, plus the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Last weekend’s other new release, Zanjeer, carries over at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17. The Golf Glen 5 is holding over the film’s Telugu version, Thoofan, for a second week, but not the Hindi version.

Satyagraha gets a third week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17, having earned $672,951 in the U.S. so far. With total U.S. earnings of $5,220,926, Chennai Express chugs along for a sixth week at the Cantera 17 and South Barrington 30, which also holds over Madras Cafe for fourth week.

The Golf Glen 5 is also carrying over the Tamil film Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam.

In other news, the late-June release Ghanchakkar is now available for streaming on Netflix. It’s funny and worth checking out.