Tuesday, April 10, 2012

International Khiladi - what did I just watch?

Listen up, kids. This is not so much a review as it is a write up. Hence there will be SPOILERS. But ask yourself - do you really care enough not to get spoiled for International Khiladi? This film has been out for ages. It's a soddin' Khiladi film. Getting spoiled for it will mean one of two things: 1) you'll realise what a bullet you dodged not watching it or, 2) you'll realise it's so outrageously peculiar you've got to witness it with your own eyes. Either way, getting spoiled for it is win-win.

Now that we've got that clear, welcome to ...this whole thing. It's not really a review. It's a bit like therapy? For full effect, please listen to the theme song while reading!

At first we get a scene from the conference of the biggest criminals in each country, and some cops talking about blowing it up. Do they ever? Of course not. The criminals are selecting a boss. Democratically, via vote. You know, as you do, when you're members of the underworld. You're all about democratically elected representation. Who gets picked? Who d'you think?

Meet Devraaj, our International (get it?? because they made him boss of crime world over!) Khiladi!

Then there's a cop who discovers a dead body in Devraaj's place and they also find Payal, the sister of the dead person, played by Twinkle Khanna, who in court accuses Devraaj of rape, but says they were also in love. At this point you're thinking, "Wait, it's that kind of movie? Well, he is a bad guy, but goddammit, really?"

The backstory tells us that Amit (played by Rajat Bedi, ie THAT GUY WHO REALLY LOOKS LIKE SHAHRUKH KHAN), the cop we saw earlier, is friends with the dead guy (pictured here, not yet dead). And he's really in love with Payal. Payal dances, he watches with that ridiculous almost-Shahrukh face of his.

Then we enter a god-awful "comedy segment" where Payal and her colleague Focus (YES REALLY, oh wait he's played by Johnny Lever so surely that makes sense? not really) want to interview Devraaj. Comedy hijinks! You know, if this wasn't the WORST criminal on the planet, who could easily get you killed.

Still! Comedy hijinks! (Just kill me.)

Oh yeah, Gulshan Grover plays Thukkral, who is the criminal boss of Pakistan and has got bit of a beef with Devraaj. Colour us all surprised. He speaks in the most ridiculous English/Hindi mix, and I mean ridiculous. He says "I-ko" instead to "mujhko". He says things like "mere dil toh garden-garden hota hai". I just can't even.

And of course he's got some Western female bodyguards who wear golden bikinis and kick ass.

..and whose ass Akki is forced to kick. He doesn't want to. So they have a bit of a tumble in a padded pool.

(Yep, this film is quite weird.)

Payal stalks Devraaj some more for an interview as all ethical journalists are willing to do, even to the point of staying in the rain for three days without any food. Devotion!

So he finally gives in and comes out to chat to her, and of course ends up falling in love with her journalistic integrity. They never actually end up doing the interview, it's almost as if it doesn't matter. (There is a song, though. Of course there is!)

Then Amit goes and tells Payal about all the murders and crimes Devraaj has committed, putting quite a damper on this fledgling romance. Back off, Almost Shahrukh! We don't want you here!

Payal confronts Devraaj about this, so he is forced to bare his TERRIBLE BACKSTORY of woe and death and how basically he is the most noble, ethical person there is, and really the cops are the ones going around raping and murdering, under the protection of corrupt politicians. In a world like this, aren't the criminals really the good guys?

Of course they are!

So Payal believes him and they have a ridiculous song together!

Joy of joys! (Do you remember the rape part from the beginning of the film? No?)

Something happens I didn't pay attention for about 3 minutes and they're on a boat that explodes (?) but Devraaj saves Payal, hurray!

(I'm really sorry but I have to) .. so they dance!

Look at them go!

So happy and in love! (Remember the rape part?)

Well, it turns out Devraaj finds out that Payal's brother is an undercover cop infiltrating Devraaj's organisation, so he tortures the brother and then despite loving Payal, molests her in front of her brother and then kills him and then (the implication is) rapes her.

..yeah, good times.

And thus concludes Payal's testimony in court (oh, you didn't realise 80% of this movie is flashback? silly you!), and Devraaj gets sentenced to death and all's well ends well, right?


Almost-Shahrukh really wants Payal to live in his creepy Payal-worship shrine (read: house) but Payal cannot stop thinking about the fact how they dragged her brother's dead body to Devraaj's house and then framed him for her rape.

...allow me to repeat that.

Amit (Almost-Shahrukh!) dragged her brother's body to her house and told her that Devraaj's men killed him, so they must make sure that Devraaj's gets the death penalty for this crime, and Payal was like, okay, what's the harm in a little framing the man I love for rape that never happened when my beloved brother is dead, probably killed by the man I love.

Except she cannot give her heart to Almost-Shahrukh because she still loves the man who killed her brother!


So he gets a woeful song.

Yeah, whatever.

Devraaj escapes jail because even the police know now that he is the Good Guy and does a cool press conference, essentially saying he will find Amit and Payal and give a reward to whoever tells him where they are, and then somebody calls him, and says "They're in Toronto," so being the INTERNATIONAL khiladi that he is, Devraaj flies to Toronto.

But instead of killing Payal like he said he would, he just confronts her at a picturesque locale. And basically says that there's no way he could have killed her brother, because he loves her.

And also? He loves her.

Doesn't she get it? He loves her.

She does get it. Hurray! Happiness and flowers and faked rape!

.. so they dance!

Then we enter the climax of the film, which is ..quite something else. First Amit shows up, wanting to kill Devraaj. Payal protects him. Thukkral shows up to tell everybody that he killed Payal's brother! Shock of shocks!

Amit is heartbroken that Payal loves Devraaj but accepts this fate.

Oh wait, Devraaj has to fight Thukkral's gang of women in bikinis.

And some random martial arts guy who he then has to stab in the back.

And some random black guy in the forest.

You think this would be a fitting climax to an action film? You think fighting a bunch of random enemies would suffice?

No, no, and no.

Turns out Amit is NOT okay with Payal loving Devraaj and anyway, he's the one who killed her brother (we're told in flashback) and then just asked Thukkral to work with him and say he's the one who killed the brother in front of Payal and then he shoots Thukkral and wants to kill Devraaj and run off with Payal but this does not quite work out.

But he does get to kidnap Payal and put her on a cargo plane! (Are you still with me? Doesn't that whole rape thing feel like a millennia ago? I know, right?)

Luckily Devraaj grabs a pair of rollerskates (YES REALLY) and is off to save her! From a moving plane.



His success is varied.

But somehow they still end up here.

.. so they dance!

Actually, they don't, I'm just kidding. But this climax is far, far, oh so far from being over.

So then they fight inside the plane.

And then Payal ends up falling out of the plane, with no parachute (though she is wearing a mysterious backpack but apparently did not plan to fall out of a plane, that silly girl!), and so Devraaj jumps after her, with parachute, and Amit heads to the cockpit to turn the plane around so he can kill them both WITH THE PLANE.

I don't even know.

These the faces of two people about to get hit by a plane.

Look at the International Khiladi.




It's like that song, "Getting hit with a plane toh darna kya", isn't it?

So they do actually get hit with the plane (well they crash against the nose and DON'T DIE) and end up on the wing, holding on for their dear lives.

Yes, really.


And then the plane crashes but they somehow survive and Amit gets killed and they get married I guess?


I think it'll take me about a lifetime to digest this viewing experience.. I thought I was made of such strong stuff, and then. Fake rapes! ROLLERSKATES! Plane fights. Plane crashes to the face! Happy ending!

I just.



carla (filmigeek) said...

You had me at underworld democracy. Because nothing says "sinister cartel" like Roberts' Rules of Order.

carla (filmi geek)

veracious said...

I'm sure they could've had some objective measurement, like who's got the most countries' police after them, or whatever, but no - a paperslip vote seemed the best policy in the end, all things considered..

Ramsu said...

You know, maybe the gangsters originally thought of kicking it old school (go bang-bang until a consensus candidate remains), but then encountered that guy from Monty Python and the Holy Grail who said (I'm paraphrasing): "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical display of violence." :-)


numerounity said...

Hee hee..I loved your narrative..

But why they "didn't dance" in the climax? sad :(

How much i felt the same about the movie when I first saw it...The movie could be named as "roller skates khiladi" lemme think ,more :)

Riddhi G.D said...

Oh man. I come back to this review about every other day just to make me laugh (I'm going through university final exams right now :/)
And hello! I don't think I've ever commented here before

veracious said...

Ramsu - Good thinking! :D

numerounity - Those roller skates were quite the twist...

Riddhi - Hey, nice to see a new reader. Welcome. :) Good luck with your exams!

Unknown said...

OMG....I just watched it (Netflix)... while also intermittently reading your report, which I came upon while googling around trying to find cast info in Leeka, Sheela and Break or whatever those gold-lamee glad lady bodyguards were...partly cuz somehow fascinated wi Like you said....I just don't even know....you also just have to move it that almost Shahrukh's costumes and voice and whole Payal-worship-den were very similar to real Shahrukh's in Darr...my all-time favorite Indian "Cape Fear" ...thanks for the write up. What was Akshay thinking with this one??

Unknown said...

Hmmm, many autocorrect-induced typos in that....u get the gist, anyway...

Unknown said...

Hmmm, many autocorrect-induced typos in that....u get the gist, anyway...