Writing a plot outline to a successful Hindi film - how hard can it be? Armed with only some pictures and an imagination largely unused for the better part of this decade, I set to task.
This is going to be largely nonsensical, probably terrible and any resemblances to existing Hindi films are intentional and nonconsequential because nobody's going to make this, right? Right?! (All producers reading, if you're crazy enough to give me money - it is the season of giving in my part of the world! - the email is culling.songs@gmailDOTcom.)
The film is simply called - Paramparaparamparamparamparapa... bas! (short international title: P..b! or Pb or What, Are You Kidding Me? or Nobody Is Going to Ever Make/Watch This Movie). Our story takes place in an alternative historical universe, where India exists in a peculiar timewarp between our current world and ancient Mesopotamia. Only not really. Think Dharam-Veer, only less sensical, because historical accuracy has never been my strong point. But to make this wildly unique, the universe is entirely of its own. Anything can happen ..and does!
Aamir Khan plays Ram, a humble prince of The Royal Kingdom of Neo-India (the old one was run into the ground by an emperor played by Uday Chopra - there was a flashback scene of this but we cut it out ..instantly), who just want to drink Coke and find the love of his life. Little does he know that he is actually second-in-line to the throne, and separated at birth from his identical twin (yes! wait, what?)..
..Raju, played by Akshay Kumar. As you can see, Raju works as a humble mechanic nowadays, constantly covered in oil but not always wearing shirts. But for the sake of the censors and the health and safety of the audience, he does always keep his jeans buttoned up. Promise!
Raju was kidnapped as a baby by an evil witch Roberta (played by black-and-white-Helen, because with modern technology we can do that sort of stuff). After the witch passed away, her clumsy, evil son Robert (played by Akshaye Khanna) left Raju to live with a childless mechanic Girilal (played by ..uhh we'll figure it out later - he'll probably die a tragic death early on in order for Raju to feel a sense of loss and make sure he stands up to the evil that is the Kingdom).
But little does he know that Robert is still around! Doing ..something evil! Look at that evil grin! So evil!
So Raju loses his guardian and after wiping some of the excess motor oil - but not all, are you crazy? - he goes to the King (which are mostly just images of Prithviraj Kapoor from Mughal-e-Azam because we gotta save money somewhere!) and demands justice. Because, you know, if it weren't for the awful kingdom and their taxes and something something, his guardian Girilal would be still alive today! There he meets Ram, and the two brothers clash over the issue of oil costs. Stern political debate follows. Statistics are brought up. We'll probably cut that bit out.
To solve the issue, Ram has to go visit Raju's workshop and there he runs into..
Sita, Girilal's daughter whose mother passed away years ago. She has separated herself from the world of motor oil and instead writes poetry, helps sick children and models on occasion. You know, the usual. Ram naturally falls in love with her but disguises the fact by pretending to be a university friend of Raju's. Sita questions this because Raju never went to university. Ram explains this is the university of mechanics design and time travel. He demonstrates this by singins a song where they are transported to 1990's Switzerland. Sita is impressed and falls in love with him.
Meanwhile Robert plots something evil to overthrow the King and kill Ram. His initial plan of turning the 90's Switzerland in which Ram and Sita (hey, that sounds familiar -- maybe I'm just imagining things) have travelled to into a molten lava pit, but his actions are thwarted by ...
Satyajit, a magical angel (played by Shahrukh Khan), who has protected the twins (yes, really!) Ram and Raju and has since their birth. He was, however, at a wedding when the evil witch Roberta kidnapped Raju, but can you blame him? Who wants to miss out on a wedding? Free food, good music!
Raju, after having cleaned up most of the motor oil off and wearing a shirt, meanwhile is researching the price of oil at the National Library of The Royal Kingdom of Neo-India's Capital City Archives, where he runs into...
..a university student named Nisha (portrayed by Katrina Kaif). They debate the cost of motor oil and whether one is allowed to dog-ear library book pages. Nisha thinks it's perfectly acceptable, while Raju thinks it's sabotaging otherwise good books. They part ways in anger but can't get the arguments out of their minds.
And they probably fall in love, too. There's a song.
At the palace, the little sister of our heroes, Princess Ratnapriya (played by Raima Sen), has a problem of being courted by our terrible villain Robert and as if that's not enough, he has cast her under a spell to manipulate Ram into killing Raju. Ram, after falling in love with Raju's beautiful sister, however doesn't want to kill the man, as he is now forced to pretend their friends, which they are not. Comedy ensues. (Possibly. It might actually not be funny at all. If all fails, we'll do another time-travel scene.)
Satyajit the Angel - or as the audience calls him, Shahrukh - is observing the situation and making popcorn. There is a song sequence where he romances The Devil (played by Kajol), because we've got to draw people into theaters somehow, and borrowing a page from Karan Johar never killed anybody (if it has, please contact me immediately).
As luck should have it, and because if you think you're tired of reading this, I am far too tired of typing it, the Chancellor Daman (Boman Irani) who is like an advisor type person to the King finds a hankerchief that belongs to the evil witch Roberta at Raju's shop while visiting it to get a repair job on his scooter. This proves to Daman that Raju is indeed Rajeev, the missing prince who inexpicably ended up with a similar name under the guard of his former father-figure Girilal. He rushes to let Ram know of this discovery, but his attempt is thwarted by the evil Robert who challenges Daman into a game of internet karom, his only weakness.
Then Robert realizes he could've used magic and so he does, making Daman fall asleep against his keyboard.
Upon seeing this, Satyajit decides it's time to swing into angelic action, but he finds his hands tied - his powers are limited and he cannot tell the brothers that they are indeed brothers as him speaking would blow up their puny human minds. So he does what any good employee does - call his boss to ask how to deal with the situation.
So the Creator Of All Things, Yes, All Things (Rani Mukherjee) decides to some stuff needs to go down and fast.
And she employs all of her powers and sends her God Squad to help out Satyajit.
There's Goddess of Beauty (Deepika Padukone)...
..God of Gambling (Abhishek Bachchan)...
Goddess of Grace (Sharmila Tagore)
God of Non-chalance (Saif Ali Khan) and finally..
..Goddess of Dance (Hema Malini). You know, all the important ones. Obviously.
The God Squad is set to help Satyajit prevent the marriage between Princess Ratnapriya and Robert, which would allow him to directly get the throne after poisoning Ram and Raju at the wedding banquet (this is so why I never eat at weddings). During all this, Daman has woken up and is rushing to the palace to deliver the hankerchief that proofs the connection between Ram and Raju. But as the wedding festivities begin, Robert has one more ace up his sleeve not even the God of Gambling could've detected...
..as Robert has the power of black magic to summon Death Himself (Vinod Khanna), pictured here with his missus, the lovely Lady Deceit (Neetu Singh), to aid him in his wicked deeds.
As Death Himself and the God Squad do battle on the metaphysical realm (which looks a lot like the glorious fields of Punjab), Raju comes to terms with the fact that Ram is in love with his (sort of-)sister Sita, and the price of motor oil is still rising. However, after developing a deep affection for books, he has now decided to quit his mechanic business and go to university to get closer to Nisha.
Little does anybody know that Nisha too is of royal descent, and secretly the princess of 1990's Switzerland, who has decided to study in Neo-India in order to avoid being recognized.
Wedding festivities continue (there's a song or twelve - hey, it worked for HAHK!) and Daman finally reaches the palace with the hankerchief that proves the brothers to be brothers. The truth comes out just as Satyajit reveals the wedding banquet to be poisoned and Robert's mother to be the evil kidnapper of Raju. Robert breaks down, claiming he did all his evil actions because of love for his mother, who has now passed away. He releases Ratnapriya from his spell, but it turns out Satyajit had already done that, and Ratnapriya was truly in love with Robert, secretly hoping her love would redeem him and his evil past.
Robert begs the princes to allow him to make amends with himself and being as magnanimous as Ram and Raju are, both being so humble and noble human beings, they agree to this - but they banish Robert from the Kingdom and insist that he transport himself to 1970's Hindi film industry, which they've heard is a pretty cool place. Ratnapriya decides to go with him, because she's a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan.
Death Himself leaves the scene unnoticed and instead of a wedding between Robert and Ratnapriya, the festivities continue celebrating the reunion of the brothers and their love for the young women they met during these amazing (well, sort of) adventures they had and of course, the lowering price of motor oil.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Especially Satyajit, who took permanent residence in 90's Switzerland, and met a pretty cool girl on Eurorail...
This is the final Indian Film Advent Calendar post as it's now Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays to those who celebrate something during this time of year, have a great end of '09 for those who do not. Thanks for reading and not getting bored with these posts. It's been fun writing them!